BREAKING IN: New Year’s Resolutions for Screenwriters

It’s a New Year– and, you never know, this just might be YOUR year to break through with your screenplay.  If you haven’t made your New Year’s resolutions yet, here are my top ten suggestions for ones that will actually help make your dreams come true:

1.  I will stop constantly pestering producers who are reading my script (“Have you read my screenplay, yet?  Have you?  Have you?”).

2.  I promise to buckle down and write more spec scripts instead of nagging my agent about not finding me enough work.  And if I don’t have an agent, I will write some great spec scripts anyway, so I have something to sell.

3.  I resolve to actually finish writing that first draft, even if I have doubts about how my script will turn out.

4.  I will spend at least as much time planning my script – doing research, and refining my concept, story structure, and the order of my scenes – as I do writing it.

5.  I pledge to stop complaining about all those “lousy movies that get made” and instead write one that’s better.

6.  I will read and study lots of screenplays for successful films instead of just watching the movies made from them.

7.  I am determined to avoid the fruitless pursuit of writing scripts according to the latest movie trends, and instead will write from the heart.

8.  I will grieve over script rejections for no more than five minutes before doing something more productive with my time – such as starting a new script, submitting the old script to another company, or sending it out for an objective critique before rewriting it.

9.  I will stop ____________(watching too much reality TV/smoking/overeating/pill-popping/drinking to excess – fill in the blank) because I eschew the notion that a talent for self-destruction is part of the job description for writers.

10.  I will have faith that if I am truly talented and persistent in pursuing my career in an emotionally intelligent way, I WILL sell my script.  Because it’s true.

Happy New Year!

Keep pitching.  See you next month.

17 thoughts on “BREAKING IN: New Year’s Resolutions for Screenwriters

  1. RJ

    You took the liberty of writing what I’ve been thinking to a tee. I try and stumble across something on a daily basis to inspire me, but this will carry me through the year. An encouraging piece! Happy New Year!

  2. Roux Gilbear

    I can’t recall feeling, more compelled to do something about my scripts gathering dust under my bed!
    So inspired by this list, I intend to put into action some of the resolutions, especially (no: 5-10)


  3. BuddhaScribe

    I didn’t call it a resolution but when January hit I thought about the slew of film fest and contest coming and how I plan on being ready to submit and attend.

    East coast writers unite!

  4. La Cracha Mance

    Thanks for the encouraging Breaking In: New Years Resolutions article. I had no resolutions planned until I read the above suggestions. I plan to work on numbers 3,4,6,9 (priority) and 10. This article was exactly what I needed to get me motivated for the new year.

  5. La Cracha Mance

    I had no plans of making resolutions for the new year until I read this article. The suggested resolutions from the article I plan to work on include numbers 3,4,6,9 (priority) and 10. Thanks for the encouraging article. It will definitely be put to great use.

  6. Seth Ruffer

    Delighted to say the only one I really need to work on is #6- really have to start reading more scripts! Each of these items, though, is very important.

    Production deal on my script, “Three Houses”, is near completion, and I’ll be pitching two more the early part of 2011…keeping the above list close at hand all the way through the year just in case a reminder is ever needed!

  7. Osvaldo Abundis

    Thank you so much for posting this. I (deeply) feel there’s something–more than one thing–to look forward to.

    Keep posting. I need the motivation. XD

    Take care!

  8. Barry J. Moskowitz

    Thanks, Staton! Direct and wise! New Year’s Resolutions predicated on common sense. [“Common sense is not so common.” – Voltaire] A challenge to be consciously purposeful, disciplined and optimistically aspiring. Moreover, to be like a tough-minded boxer imbued with willful insistence. A fighter who – after getting knocked down [As in script rejections] – gets up! Again and again, if he has to…. Good luck with the movie development of your novel, Betsy and the Emperor! Barry

  9. Kirk Thompson

    Thank you very much for your New Years Resolution suggestions. Finally after 3 1/2 years I finished my screenplay and sent out query letters for it. Then finished another script I started along time ago, too. After I did that I kicked myself for procrastinating so long when it didn’t even take that long to finish whey I started. I did start my New Years Resolution a little early though. Better now than never.

    Kirk Thompson

  10. Eilis Mernagh

    Nice work – I especially like and agree with number 9! I like artist Chuck Close’s approach – “Inspiration is for amateurs. I just get to work”.

    That’s my big resolution for 2011 – to get to work and let the motivation flow from the action…

  11. Glenn C. Frazier, Sr.

    Thank you so much for those 10 Top Ten New Years Resolutions for 2011. That seems to be some of the best advice I’ve heard yet. I wish I could take them and use them in my sermons at church. Thanks again and HAPPY NEW YEAY!

    P.S.: I do expect to sell my script this year!