London Screenwriters' Festival

Everybody Knows Everything by Daniel Eckhart

Posted on: September 24th, 2011 by Lucy V Hay No Comments

The post’s title is the upside down version of William Goldman’s famous quote about Hollywood, “Nobody knows anything”. As a screenwriting newbie, take it to heart. Believe in yourself and realize that you have all it takes. You, my friend, have as much of a chance of making it in this crazy business as everybody else out there.

I’ll let you in on a little secret – writing a screenplay is easy. As you start out on your screenwriter journey you’ll want to learn, of course. You’ll read the many how-to books, you’ll attend the workshops and seminars, you’ll follow websites, forums, blogs – and of course you’ll be attending the London Screenwriters’ Festival. All of the above is useful as this business is incredibly multi-faceted. But all of the above is also dangerous. It can keep you from writing, it can stop you in your tracks. It can serve as indefinite excuse, as there’s always something more for you to learn before you actually begin with your brilliant story. In addition, all of that knowledge offered out there can seriously drag you down to the point where you think you’ll never be able to get it right.

I’m neither wizard nor guru – I’m just an average screenwriter schmo. I’ve been at it for twenty years now and I have the good fortune of getting hired for doing what I love doing. About a year ago I started a screenwriting blog and guess what – most of the post are not about the actual craft – but instead about everything else – about passion, discipline, stamina, meetings, collaborating – about all the stuff I’ve picked up along the way. Basically, it’s about living life, attitude, guts – it’s about believing in yourself when everybody tells you to give up and go home.

Which brings me back to the beginning – writing is easy. Learn from others, but don’t depend on them. Trust your instincts and stay true to yourself. YOU – CAN – WRITE. And write you must – if you don’t, you’re not a writer, simple as that. And no, you’re not going to be Aaron Sorkin right away – but once you start writing, you’re on your way.

That’s it, there’s no great magic – it’s just words, it’s just life – now go write!

Daniel Martin Eckhart

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