Dear Screenwriter – It Helps to Remember These Things

Dear Screenwriter, REMEMBER:

A script is not who you are.

Whether it ends up produced or not, it is not a reflection of your worth as a human being.

Repeat after me — even if OTHERS judge it as such, a script is not who you are. Period.

At most, it is just an inkling of the wonders that lurk within the folds of your infinite mind. It is a single drop from the mysterious endless ocean that is churning in you since the day you were born.”


“Dear Screenwriter, REMEMBER:

A script is a blueprint to construct a movie with. Don’t forget that.

Its ultimate purpose is to help an audience spend 90 to 120 minutes away from the daily grind, and hopefully feel elevated as well.

Hopefully they’ll feel better about themselves and life in general, even if they’ve just watched a horror flick. It’s therapy through pictures in motion.

A script is an invitation to entertainment and enchantment; not a do-or-die proposition. It is a wonderful thing to envision, write and enjoy but it is not the end of the world.

You should be ready and happy to BURN all your scripts and never touch your pen and keyboard again if, for example, it would help find cure for cancer.”


“Dear Screenwriter, REMEMBER:

1) The worst has already happened.

2) Even if you don’t write a single word — as Woody Allen put it so well — you’re not gonna get out of this alive.

3) So glue your bottom to that chair and finish that @#$*% script!”


“Dear Screenwriter, REMEMBER:

Being rejected is a future worry. It is not right here now, this very minute. It is not the past either.

Do not be afraid of being rejected by Hollywood because you are either in it, or you aren’t.

If you are in it, you’ve taken your licks and you’re still ticking. It means they could not reject you enough :-)

If you’re not in it, then how can anyone push you out of something that you’re not a part of?

Rejection is a feeling that only you can attach to yourself like a scar. Nobody else can do it for you.

If you don’t do it to yourself, it’ll never get done.

Adopt the anti-NIKE motto — Just Don’t Do It!”


“Dear Screenwriter, REMEMBER:

Do not feel bad for not having written the CHINATOWN or BODY HEAT or CASABLANCA because all movies are not CHINATOWN or BODY HEAT or CASABLANCA.

There are thousands and perhaps tens of thousands of movies that go straight to DVD, shown in all kinds of cable channels, PPV channels, on regular TV networks, hospitals, schools, conventions, membership organizations, hotels, in airplanes ships and buses, etc. and God knows where else.

In the near future we’ll all start to watch movies regularly on our cell phones, Internet sites, iPods, wristwatches and cameras, and perhaps may be on our toasters and refrigerators…

There are 3 BILLION people in India and China alone who’ll need tens of thousands of movies in the coming years.

Selling your scripts to any one of those outlets should make you very proud and satisfied as well. You do not need to win an Oscar for a theatrical-release feature to be happy as a professional screenwriter.”


“Dear Screenwriter, REMEMBER:

You must never regret if your scripts are overwritten, rejected, or changed or etc. because writing and marketing scripts are not the worst things that can happen to a human being, not by a long shot.

You have sold insurance, used cars, and waited tables for a living.

You have sold kitchen knives, orthopedic beds and Tupperware by going door-to-door.

You have worked as a journalist chasing after pompous VIPs and politicians for crumbs of news-worthy tid bits that were forgotten the minute they were published.

As a wise and sensitive person you are aware that as we speak people are losing life and limb in coal mines, ocean-going vessels, power plants, oil fields, and battlefields all over the world as a part of their regular day jobs.

Writing scripts is a blessing and a luxury, not the worst thing that can happen to anybody. Enjoy the privilege while you still can.”


“Dear Screenwriter, REMEMBER:

Your screenplays already make you very happy because you write them with great joy and enthusiasm. They are all the stuff that you would LOVE to watch on that big screen.

Actually, you’re writing them because you are frustrated that you can’t go and rent them from your favorite video rental store.

Hopefully one day soon they’ll also bring some money and recognition as well because you’d love to treat your loved ones to much better material things in life.

But even if you die leaving behind a hundred unproduced scripts, that would be a life spent very well. It already is.”

Post time: 12-25-2017