Stop Worrying About Success...
“To gain your own voice, you have to forget about having it heard.”
Quit worrying about who will read your screenplay, what genre is selling right now, or what you’ll do after winning your first Oscar. None of that matters. What is most important right now is telling your story. Your story. The one from your heart, soul, and your experience. The other will take care of itself if you’ve done your homework and are extremely lucky. The best thing you can do for your career is to write a screenplay that can’t be put down.
“Always be yourself…unless you suck.”
Your screenplay will reveal a bit about you as a person. It can’t be helped. The way you phrase things, the way you describe the world of your story, etc. Don’t be afraid to let yourself shine and enter into your writing. Write about what you love and it will read as such.
Your passion will be contagious to the reader and will augment their experience. Don’t hesitate to show people who you are (through your writing) and what you stand for. Write with confidence and command. You’re story and screenplay can only benefit from you.
Humility... Taking Criticism
"I have been successful probably because I have always realized that I knew nothing about writing and have merely tried to tell an interesting story entertainingly."
Thick skin, and a desire to produce a great movie will get you through a lot. Screenwriting is re-writing. Others will tell you (over and over) to change what you’ve deemed perfect. Get used to it. Don’t be cocky or defensive about it.
Simply understand that everyone (even the idiot making ridiculous suggestions to your perfect story) wants to make money from your screenplay. Humility and a “can do” attitude will make life much easier for all involved.
Writer of screenplays, fiction novels, inspirational stories, and short stories.