Expanding on the first installment in the new Hindsight Being 20/20 series, where I shared why it really is "All Who You Know", I thought I'd dig in a little deeper and suggest the 3 most important things I think all, screen/novel writers, who would eventually like to get their work out into the world, need to be doing right from the start:
Expanding their social network and building bonds with fellow creatives.
Perfecting their ability, and therefore comfort level, with sharing about their creative journey/projects, with anyone, anywhere.
Finding some short term creative satisfaction that will fuel them to keep going with their long term writing projects.
Why might you, as a novel/screen writer, need to do these things now? Even before finishing a possible first novel or script?
As I mentioned before, if you don't build a network, you'll have no one to share your work with, no one to champion it, no connections in the entertainment or publishing industries who know you well enough to refer you, when the time comes to sell and/or produce your work. And the time to start looking for and building those types of relationships with people is not when you need something. Learn from my mistakes, and start doing it now, with your peers, while you're not looking for anything other than friendship from them, and the rest will follow. The more people you know, who also know you and your work, the better.
Like it or not, and no matter how uncomfortable it makes you, pitching yourself and your projects is something you will never ever get away from if you want your work to be read. Even if you succeed at getting a team of agents/managers/producers/publicists surrounding you, you will still have to pitch yourself, because no one will ever be a better Ambassador of your work than you. And frankly, you won't even be able to attract that team, if you can't at least pitch yourself to them. So it's best to go ahead and start practicing away the fear, now. Early. Even before you've ever finished a first draft because, yes, it can be practiced away. Little by little. By practicing sharing with people, while the stakes aren't high, you will become desensitized to it and better at it. Writer's need to muster the courage to fully express themselves through their writing anyway, might as well do it on all levels.
And finally, as I always mention to my students, writing novels and screenplays is a marathon not a sprint. The sheer amount of battle you have to do with your inner saboteurs, before you get any results you're super proud of and ready to share, can leave you feeling disconnected from your own talent and wondering why you're doing it. For this reason I highly recommend, as some of you already do, writing blogs or short stories, that can give you some much needed reminders and short term satisfaction that your creative self can be buoyed by. Basically you need to throw your creative self a bone from time to time. Writer's like to be read. Give yourself some short form pieces that give you that chance to share with others.
If you feel need like you need help with any of these things, then I highly recommend you sign up for our Monthly Writer's Workouts. They're FREE so there's no reason not to. And they're designed to make sure you're moving forward on all those fronts mentioned above, simply by popping in and being willing to play, full out.
As a coach who genuinely cares about writers, I do my best to make it a fun, safe space where you can stretch your creative muscles and get comfortable with sharing yourself as a writer.
The workouts will always be the first Wednesdays of the month at 8:30 pm EST / 5:30 pm PST. To sign up for the next one click HERE Hope to see you there!