If you came here for expert advice, I apologize ahead of time.
I myself am a “new” writer entering a new era in which my day job is being phased out in favor of writing full time and I may not be able to answer all of your burning questions. I thought it was important to put my evolution on trial for you experience because if I can save you a step or prevent mistakes my mission is complete with this blog.
I’ve been writing since the tender hormonal age of twelve. Epic space adventures and fan fiction were my modus operandi back then but late in my career as a theatrical stage manager a reader of my work told me I should be writing for the public. Since then, I haven’t looked back . I am now a screenwriter/day job and not the other way around.
If there’s one crucial piece of advice I can give any parent with a child who is a gifted writer, please for the love God, encourage them. Don’t let them pen their epics under your pessimistic eye. I would be farther along in my career, financially stable and a lot younger if my parents had pushed me harder and a lot sooner in life. They were very encouraging parents, but not necessarily with my innate talents.
I say this with accusatory disdain: Children can become writers and do other things in life.
I use to think writing was like masturbation. Do it in private and don’t tell anyone you do it because it’s a dirty thing that while natural, isn’t a public activity. Writing science fiction will get you nowhere, writers are poor and fill in the blankevery negative stereotype about writers you can list. It’s possible I’m imagining this sentiment from my past, but regardless, that’s how I perceived my choice to write when my peers were sneaking out to drink or party.
Encouraging children to improve their writing as they grow is not going to bankrupt them financially later in life. If you approach their talent as something that will accent any thing they choose to do (or have to do), you’ll give them the leg up I never had. People who can communicate their ideas through the written word excel in any profession.
So here I am, braving the difficult, heart breaking world of screenwriting. Thousands of scripts enter the market every year, very few are purchased and yet I still write. That will be my subject over the next few posts. Attitude is everything in this business. If you let the pessimists bring you down and believe me I still face it from those close to me…you will fail.
I will not fail.
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