Do you write every day?
Or do you only write when the creative muse inspires you?
Here’s my advice on this matter.
Imagine that you sold a screenplay for $100,000.
Frankly, that’s pretty “bottom of the barrel” in terms of a compensation package, but not unrealistic for a screenwriter’s first paycheck.
So while it’s not an insignificant amount of money, at the same time, you’re probably not going to quit your day job.
Remember, that 100k isn’t given to you upfront, but piece by piece.
You may get a chunk of it upon acquisition of the material.
Then, additional chunks after specific rewrites and polishes.
If you’re married, have kids, and you’ve just sold your first script, then you’re probably going to celebrate a bit (as you should!).
Then, take into account that you are also paying a potential agent, manager, and attorney, and that already small pie is looking smaller and smaller.
But here’s my point in all this.
And it’s a VERY important once, so read carefully.
No one, not your agent, not your manager, not your producer, not the studio executive responsible for you, is going to contact you to see if you’ve scheduled time to write.
They are going to expect you to be a professional and already have the discipline.
Hark unto me:
Screenwriters are only given about a ten to twelve week time frame to deliver script changes based on studio notes.
In television, that time frame is more like three or four weeks.
If you have not developed the discipline for daily writing TODAY, then I assure you, you won’t be able to manage it later.
The reality is, those who schedule daily writing time, approach the business as if they were professionals today.
They don’t wait to become professionals, or wait to get paid like professionals, before behaving like professionals.
You’ve probably heard the wonderful saying, “Be, Do, Have.”
Well, behaving like a screenwriting professional means scheduling daily, uninterrupted writing time.
I would even encourage you to post this declaration on the fridge, and communicate it to your family and friends.
So my message to you is to behave like you’re already a working screenwriter who must also juggle a full time job, manage a family, and pay your bills.
Because if you DO succeed, then this imaginary situation will more than likely become your reality.
And if you’re unprepared for it, then you may be sabotaging your own success!
So take my words to heart, and don’t learn this lesson the hard way.
And tomorrow… another success habit!
By the way, want my personal help in your screenwriting career?
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