New Year’s Writing Resolutions
NEW YEAR’S WRITING RESOLUTIONS
Congratulations writers! You have reached the end of another writing year. Regardless of what stage you are at in your writing career, it’s important to take the time to recognize all you have accomplished in 2017. Whether you completed your first screenplay or made your first spec sale, there is much to celebrate in the fact that you have made a commitment to your writing. Every step forward is a step in the right direction, and if you’re interested in writing New Year’s resolutions, here are some to kick you off and get you set up for 2018!
- Love the process. So often, we are so focused on the end result that we forget to enjoy the journey along the way. Most professional writers will tell you that the best part of the job isn’t the big paycheck, Hollywood parties, and premieres (though those things are nice). It’s the act of filling the page with words that gives them the most pure joy in life. If you love writing, it won’t ever feel like work, and you’ll never stop doing it, which increases your chances for success. So bring on the love!
- Join a writing community. There are some fantastic writing communities that nurture screenwriters and give them opportunities to network. In Los Angeles, we are proud to support such organizations as the Scriptwriters Network and ISA. Final Draft also hosts regular events at the Cat & Fiddle in Hollywood, where writers can get up close and personal with professionals and learn all the tips and secrets of the trade. Check Meetup.com in your area to see if there’s a local screenwriting group; and if there isn’t, start one yourself! The journey is always much better if you have company to cheer you on.
- Finish what you start. So many writers feel that their writing has to be perfect, and as a result, they abandon screenplays with lots of potential that just need a little additional TLC. Writing is rewriting, and most scripts go through many drafts before they hit the big screen. Don’t let perfectionism stop you from finishing what you started. As fantasy writer Will Shetterly famously said, “It is better to write a bad first draft than no first draft at all.”
- Share your work. Some writers have no problems finishing their scripts, but get too scared to show them to people. Filmmaking is a collaborative medium. To get your script made into a movie, it will have to be read by literally hundreds of people—from studio executives to the director to all of the production crew. You need to get used to people reading your work and giving feedback. It’s a part of the business you can’t avoid: So be brave, be bold, and get your script out there!
- Dream big! Actor Will Smith believes that successful people need to have a certain delusional quality to put them ahead of the pack. It’s the belief that they can do anything, even in the face of enormous odds. So get crazy with your dreams! Make them big and beautiful, and enjoy every moment you spend working toward. Write them on a piece of paper and hang them on your fridge, so every day you are reminded of what you want to accomplish … and be proud that you are taking all the necessary steps to do it.We hope these resolutions have struck a chord with you. Let’s make 2018 our best writing year ever!