London Screenwriters' Festival

London Screenwriters’ Festival Guest Blog: ‘Yes, I’m A Writer’

Posted on: August 18th, 2010 by Lucy V Hay 1 Comment

by The Kid In The Front RowI'm a writer!

When someone asks, “What do you do?” the answer is, “I’m a screenwriter.” Any other answer and you’re letting yourself down.

If you don’t identify yourself as a writer, then you’re hiding a big part of who you are. ‘I’ll call myself a writer as soon as I sell a script,’ or ‘I’m a writer as soon as I leave this job’ — they might sound logicial; but you’re saying you’re not good enough to be a writer yet.

With that attitude, it’s going to take you longer to get success. You need to be proud of the fact that you are a WRITER! When you meet someone and say, “I, um– well I work in Asda, but…” the best case scenario is someone offers you a job in Waitrose. If you answer “I am a writer” then you open yourself to opportunity in the very profession you love.

If I need someone to rewrite a screenplay I’m developing, I’d hire a ‘writer’ but I wouldn’t hire Mr. I’m-kinda-writing-but-um-I-am-a-waiter.

You’re a WRITER. Own it. Be proud of it.

The Kid In The Front Row is an award-winning film blog that has gained a loyal cult following through a mixture of screenwriting advice, humour & inspirational articles, including interviews with high-profile industry members. Read it here.

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One Response

  1. Lookman says:

    To be a writer you have to believe in yourself while you learn on your journey. If you make it to the big time in Hollywood you need a thick, thick skin.

    I was enthralled by William Nicholson’s interview by Jo Nolan of Screen South at the Lighthouse in Brighton. He said, firstly “Writing is not a job but a way of living.” You need to write from your life’s experiences, your emotions and your disappointments. About characters he said, think of them as real people, and imagine the person is next to you or within you when you write. Film is about truth. Put your characters in jeopardy. Dialogue needs to be simple, direct with a story behind. Emotion he cited as the main element in dialogue.

    Screenwriters: most screenplays are awful.
    He has no high opinion of Directors because they never engage with the actor’s performance and are bullshitters.

    His advice to Producers and Directors is they should keep their Writer informed and up to date throughout. On production Writers only work well with enough praise to allow then to eat and sleep. They should never be pulled apart. They give their best work and fly when they are confident and excited.

    BEWARE WRITERS in Hollywood: You have a very low status. The Producer is unlikely to sack you themselves. They are so otherwise occupied with important business that they will find an underling to do that. He suggests that sacking a writer is the duty of the Director and Producer. He also suggests that the Writer should be invited to meet the actors and to the set. On one project he worked on a stranger turned up on set with his family. They were cold shouldered and were without accommodation. He approached the man and found out, he was the original screenwriter. He made protests about their treatment.

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