Squirreled away in your apartment, typing all night, sleeping all day. Go out once in a while to stock up on groceries, then back to the grind. You are creating genius work. You are the stoic writer, alone in your world of insight and creativity. Who needs friends? When you are done, your work will shine above all others.
In your dreams….
In the real world, successful writers are part of a community. They meet other writers, develop support networks to help them through the struggle that is each screenplay, maintain healthy relationships to provide balance and perspective on their work. As their careers begin to develop, they befriend development execs and other professionals. In short, they are part of the world of writers.
Because you can’t create a writing career in a vacuum.
Even in the writing process, professional writers rely on substantial support networks they have developed over the years – trusted friends with whom they can discuss ideas, trusted readers to critique work as it is being developed, other trusted colleagues. This is a huge advantage over you, writing alone in your apartment.
Once the script is completed, these same writers have still more people to rely on – fans they have made around town, executives they have befriended, producers, managers, agents, and on and on. Another huge advantage they have over you.
They also live in the real world – friends to hang out with, interests outside writing, some writers even have spouses and children – yes, just like real people. Yet another advantage over you.
Developing a community that supports you as a writer is not just a lifestyle choice. It is necessary to the work. It makes you a stronger writer, substantially increases the chance of any script you write actually meeting the needs of the motion picture industry, and helps you through the many low points every writer faces.
To develop your own network, you must reach out, hold yourself out openly as a writer, celebrate your chosen path, and draw to you people who support that part of who you are. You must align your universe to your goal of advancing your writing career. Nothing less will get you there.
It can take a long time to develop your network. But it doesn’t happen alone, in your apartment, with a bag of groceries rotting on the counter, while you create genius inside your head. Tomorrow, why not write in the coffee shop? And take a break to introduce yourself to the person writing on the laptop next to you.