Believe me. I get it.
You want to be a working screenwriter more than anything. ANYTHING.
So much that you find yourself occasionally succumbing to lapses in good judgment and common sense, resulting in actions that might initially seem sound and sensible, but in retrospect, become more of a “what the hell was I thinking?”
You want to make a good impression, and overstepping the boundaries of courtesy is a surefire way to have that NOT happen. Sadly, too many aspiring writers tend to ignore that and just plow forward, not taking into consideration the fact that they’re most likely sabotaging their own career before it even gets started.
So presented with the best of intentions, let’s go over a few of the basics:
-This is all on you. You want to be a working writer? Then you need to do the work. All of it.
There are no shortcuts.
The writing, editing and polishing. Researching reps, producers and production companies on IMDB Pro. Networking. Making and maintaining connections. DO NOT approach a total stranger either online or in person and have the first thing you say be “Hi. Can you help me?”
–Be patient and courteous. Everybody’s got stuff going on in their lives, so they might not get to your script right away. Much as you want a fast turnaround, you’re not a priority to them. DO NOT be pushy and bombard them with constant “Did you read it yet?” emails. Send it, give it 4-6 weeks. If you haven’t heard anything by then, send a friendly reminder (“Hey. Just wondering if you’ve had a chance to read MY SCRIPT. Thanks.”)
-Once you do get the comments back, send a thank-you note. If you agree with what they say, or think it makes some good points, say so. If the comments are negative, or at least not what you want to hear, DO NOT respond by arguing why they’re wrong. “You just don’t understand my genius” is never a good idea. They’re doing you a favor and providing their honest opinion. Just say thanks.
Rememeber: there are a lot of other writers in the exact same situation as you, and each and every one of them is spending just as much time figuring out some kind of plan to help them reach that goal.
Use your head while being polite and considerate to help you make a better impression.
-I’ve written about some of these topics before. Feel free to give ’em a look-see.