One of the challenges for screenwriters and really many other active, ambitious creative people is trying to find time to do all the things they feel they need to do. If you are someone who likes to deliver high quality work – and I would hope that you are – then not only do you have to find time to do the thing you need or want to do, but you also have to find time to study it and learn how to do it the best way.
The problem is, as an aspiring screenwriter who is not yet making a reliable, consistent income, you probably have a job to tend to, and various relationships that you must also share your time with, so you have limited time to dedicate to your screenwriting.
Given these demands on your time and your deep desire to have a screenwriting career, how do you get everything done that you need to help with your screenwriting?
The answer is the big trend these days… outsource. It may not be the perfect word for what we’re talking about for screenwriters, but simply using that term gives a slightly different bent on getting assistance.
Here are three of the critical elements of a screenwriter’s skills I’ve identified. Let’s look at which of these are critical for you to be able to do and which ones you can outsource or get assistance with.
- Writing and studying the craft of screenwriting, knowing how to develop and integrate theme, character arc, and plot.
This is the number one element that you should spend about 80% of your most key prime time hours doing. The core of a screenwriting career is the writing itself. The other 20% is critical, too, but the writing itself is the fundamental core and what you should absolutely spend most of your time on and develop excellence in.
- Typing your script in the Hollywood style format.
Your script must be formatted properly, and you should definitely know the basics of how to do this. The format itself creates the pacing of the script. So you should know how to do it at the most basic level.
However, this is not one you should spend an enormous amount of time on after you learn the basics. You can easily outsource a good proofreading of your script to correct any errors in formatting.
- Pitching your story ideas and screenplay – both verbally and in written form.
This is another critical 10% of your screenwriting career. Ultimately, you have to learn to pitch your stories – both verbally and written – to have a screenwriting career. But developing your pitch is definitely something you can seek input on from an outside source.
The fact is that writing a pitch IS different than writing a script, no matter what anyone says. You have to succinctly pick out the most critical aspects of a story and tell it in an interesting way.
But you don’t have to sit down on your own and do it starting with a blank page. You can hire assistance by outsourcing to help you with it. Once you get good at it, you can still work with an expert to help you hone it. But if you have limited time, then spend that time writing and get assistance with this.
There are certain screenwriting career skills that need your direct input and focus. Other skills may be better suited for outsourcing. Your responsibility as the manager of your writing career is to understand what’s necessary for success and then determine the best way to achieve it. You may find that your time and focus are better spent in some areas and not in others. Outsourcing some career skills may be just the solution for rejuvenating your screenwriting career.
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