Happy New Year (almost)!
Oprah Winfrey once said:
“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.”
Getting older makes you appreciate good memories.
And one of the fondest memories I have about my youth is modeling.
No, not the “Derek Zoolander” type of modeling.
I mean modeling people who are better than you at something in order to improve yourself.
For me, modeling occurred when I played pool.
I always sought out players who were better than I was so I could raise my level of play.
I would ask better players for tips, study their habits, and emulate their behavior.
Somehow, intuitively, I knew that this was the fastest way I could become a better player.
When I got older, I realized that modeling is scientifically proven to shortcut your path to mastery in any endeavor.
Check it out:
“Learning would be exceedingly laborious, not to mention hazardous, if people had to rely solely on the effects of their own actions to inform them what to do. Fortunately, most human behavior is learned observationally through modeling: from observing others one forms an idea of how new behaviors are performed, and on later occasions this coded information serves as a guide for action.”
– Albert Bandura, Social Learning Theory, 1977
So Screenwriting Success Habit #6 is to model successful writers!
A writer I used to work with exemplified this habit.
He obviously writes everyday (Screenwriting Success Habit #1), but he also spends a ton of time reading scripts.
He also reads a ton of books.
But here’s the kicker… he also loves meeting other writers, speaking to them about their habits, and studying their successes and failures.
In short, he models successful writers.
Does this behavior benefit him in his screenwriting career?
Well, the last script he wrote was an adaptation on a book he absolutely loved.
And it sold within the first hour and a half we put it on the market.
This writer now gets paid well into six figures for his screenplays.
So what does this mean for you?
How can you model successful screenwriters?
First of all, know that you’re not limited to modeling only the most successful screenwriters in Hollywood.
You could be sitting across from someone who is simply a better writer than you in a certain area.
Someone who has the strength in characters that you may not possess.
Someone who has strength in plot that you may not possess.
Modeling is a key component to success, so why reinvent the wheel?
There is someone who has already conquered the obstacle you are currently grappling with.
So if you don’t know how to craft something in your screenplay, then you can ask other writers.
If you don’t know how to access agents and managers, then you can ask other writers what they did to attract their agents or managers.
This is what I mean by modeling successful writers.
Many successful writers already do this naturally (maybe subconsciously)… and now you know the secret.
Hopefully this gave you some ideas to kick-start your 2016.
But if you’re ready to REALLY get your year started the right way, then check out the “Read My Script” program.
Remember, this is the LAST time you can register for it since I’m shutting down the program on Saturday January 2nd at midnight PST.
So you better hurry!