Want To Be A Successful Screenwriter?

“Don’t go quitting your day job just yet.” These words are very familiar to new writers. Last time I heard, there were 20,000 unemployed writers living in L.A. at any given time. That doesn’t mean that they haven’t tasted success, it just means they’re in between jobs.

Is it necessary to live in L.A. to find success as a screenwriter? I’ve heard both sides of the argument. One writer advises it is very necessary. He indicates how difficult it is to secure a meeting with a studio executive. If you’re lucky enough, you usually only get a day’s notice. Hence, the reason to be in the city when that call does come.

The other side of the argument is that it’s not necessary. For instance, Oscar award winner Diablo Cody wrote Juno while living in Minnesota. Rumor has it that her blog caught her literary manager’s attention and the rest is history. She has since moved to L.A.

Most working writers that do offer insight into the decision to move there for work have a resounding “No, not until you’re a great writer.”

Alternatively, there are other ways to get your script produced through crowdfunding. I’ve always heard the cream rises to the top. Meaning, if you are a great writer, sooner or later someone will discover you.

Screenwriting contests are also an excellent way to get exposure. However, if you don’t finish within the last quarter-finals, you’re still not good enough.

Tomorrow: Is it better to be a writer-director or a writer-producer?

(Photo credit: Fathromi Ramdlon)


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