So, You Want To Become A Screenwriter By: Kirsten N. Crawford 15 March, 2017 - 4:00am
Almost every creative soul – whether writer, artist or even daydreamers – have come across one dreaded question that could probably earn them a “most indecisive person in the world” award.
“Do I really want to be a writer?”
We’ve all heard it. Maybe we have even said it. Maybe we ranted about it to our mothers, fathers, best friends or even boyfriends about our greatest desires and career goals. We all face the inevitable dream scale. On one end, we daydream about the money, the fame, or even the fact that we love what we do. On the other end, we feel like we run into an imaginary brick wall named “reality” as we realize that maybe we can’t see ourselves writing for the rest of our lives.
Then again, we can’t see ourselves doing anything else.
The sad truth is, every writer will face this phase in their life. Sometimes, we face it more than once, our mind like an annoying song on repeat, and sometimes we bust through the red curtain in the back of our minds and say, “Yes! I want to be a writer!” But no matter who you are, you’re going to tip one way or the other.
I’m here to tell you that there’s a solution to this endless cycle of questions, and the first step to do that is to discuss the top right and wrong reasons to go into screenwriting followed by ways to make sure screenwriting is right for you. In fact, if you find that screenwriting is not for you, chances are at the end of this article you’ll find which writing career is the path to take! But first, we need to make a list of reasons why we want to go into the scriptwriting industry – and that starts with listing things that should not be on our list.
The Wrong Reasons to Want to Go into Screenwriting
If you’re going to write for the film industry solely to become – let’s say – a millionaire, then turn around and keep searching for work. Sure, writing for plays, movies, and TV shows can earn you big bucks if you are successful, but that’s a big if!
According to Screen Writer Unknown, about 1 million scripts are written and thrown into the market each year, and at least half of that is thrown out. The rest are read and processed, and only a selected few come out to be turned into movies, television series, and plays. Never mind the fact that even fewer are raised to become big hits – but either way, that’s a lot of competition!
Not only is finding success in the screenwriting industry – or writing industry in general – difficult, but according to Yogin Patel who wrote “The Top 10 Hardest Industries To Get Into”, writing fields have shown up three times – Journalism ranking eighth, the internet (A.K.A. Blogging) ranking fifth, and guess what the Movie Industry ranked in?
There’s a reason why writing is a hard career field to find success in. Everyone wants to do it, and even more, people think it’s an “easy way” to earn big cash. If you truly want to be successful, know that writing takes patience, hard work, and downright commitment.
You Can’t Work With A Team
Screenwriting isn’t a one-man kind of job. It’s a collaboration of many, many professional writers – and to find success, you’ll have to work with a team of writers. Of course, there may be instances where you’ll work alone versus with other people, but if you want to create a movie or television series script, you’re going to have to face the idea that you aren’t the only one writing.
You Have To Have Things A Certain Way
Many aspiring writers and script writers dream about making a movie or television series based on their novel, or even their life story. But, remember what I said about competition? It goes beyond that. If your script does get through the many obstacles to land on the big screen, you’ll still have many more obstacles to go. Like, the fact that your script will be written, re-written and re-re-written so many times that it will become unrecognizable. So, if you like to have things exactly the way you planned out in the first place – with no changes what so ever – then maybe novel writing is right for you. Besides, as a screenwriter (Or even Executive Producer, if you get that far) you’ll see that once the actors and actresses are thrown into the mix, your story will create itself. It’s a beautiful thing, but only if your mind is open to it.
The Right Reasons to Want to Go Into Screenwriting
I know, I know. I just said this was the wrong reason to go into screenwriting. But, hear me out. If money is a motivation for you combined with other right reasons to want to go into screenwriting, then have at it. There’s no reason why this can’t be a motivation, just don’t be bummed when you don’t turn up as rich as you thought you’d be.
You Get To Create Stories
If you ask any aspiring writer, you’ll find that this might be the number one reason they write. The idea of creating characters, plots, and different worlds is often exhilarating. If this is you, then go for it. Who said stories are just for kids?
You Enjoy What You Do
This is probably the biggest motivation for any writer. If you don’t love to write, then what are you doing in the writing field? So what if it’s a difficult industry, or if you are behind on rent? You’ll just have to make things work. If you love what you do, you’ll never feel like you’re working, and you’ll enjoy life and be a much happier person.
Okay, so now we discussed the top right and wrong reasons to want to go into screenwriting. So, what are your reasons? If you still haven’t decided if screenwriting is right for you, then make a list, research on other writing fields, and see what is best for you. Perhaps you enjoy having things your own way, and writing a novel is right for you. Or maybe you enjoy other types of writing – journalism, travel writing, editing, or even blogging. Research each of these job fields. Once you decide, go online and look up classes and workshops! It’s never too early or too late to follow your dreams, and taking more classes will only heighten your knowledge and make you even more successful.
So ask yourself this:
“Do I really want to be a writer?”
This article was written as a creative response paper in my freshman college course and was posted here for my Web content portfolio. This article was in response of this website.