Borrowed Tips on Why Your Screenwriting Career Might Fail

I’m back and we’ve got an exciting new design for the site.  With the new design comes a lot of new developments.  Make sure you catch one of them on Youtube later today – Pitch-Catch!  Don’t forget to submit your questions and pitches via Youtube or click here to send them to me now.
Today, I’ve borrowed a message from Pat Flynn who runs www.smartpassiveincome.com, a site on running an online business. He sent out an email which I thought was highly relevant to screenwriters because we have so many ideas, it’s sometimes hard to stick to one long enough to finish it to a polished state before moving onto the next one.
Finishing the script is only half the battle.  We still have to be as passionate about it when we go to pitch it.  We must be passionate enough about the concept to finish it and pitch it time and again even in the face of constant rejection.  We also have so many ideas on a regular basis, we need to be able to weed out the good ideas from the bad otherwise, we’re overwhelmed, scattered, unfocused and can’t get anything done.  These are five reason why screenwriters often fail to either complete the script or don’t send it out:
–If you’re anything like me, new business ideas run through your brain each and every day. Sometimes, we come across a few particular ideas that we just can’t stop thinking about – because they are that good!
I think you know what I’m talking about.
Constant brainstorming, rapid note taking, and visions of success are all symptoms of this sort of “business bug”.
Many times, however, after a couple of days or even a couple of months, the motivation behind these great ideas just seem to die out and never evolve into the next step.  It’s kind of sad, because I’m sure many of those ideas were awesome, money-making ideas.
If we can understand why this happens, then I think we can stop the momentum from slowing down and start taking things to the next level. Here are 5 main reasons why I think ideas in our head take a turn for the worse:
1. We’re Not Seeing Any Results
 
We live in a time where we all want things to happen FAST. I mean, Google searches take .000012 seconds, and we all perform these searches each and every day. It’s what we’re used to.
Ideas take time to materialize, so quitting or giving up before anything even begins to happen is a sure-fire way to kill a great idea. Remember what your goals are and why you were so excited about your idea in the first place.
One trick I learned is to map out your “path”or roadmap. Write down the steps you think it takes to get to where you want to go, and you’ll see that you’re only in the beginning phases of the entire process. But, seeing the rest of your “roadmap” (including your goal) on paper will definitely give you the boost you need to keep going.
2. We’re Unsure of What To Do Next
 
This happens all of the time, but it definitely shouldn’t stop us. We’ve just reached a hurdle, and we just have to do a little more research (or simply ask someone for help!), in order to jump over it.
Also, you can go back to your “roadmap” and see what the next steps are. And, remember to take things one step at a time.
“Cinch by the inch, hard by the yard.”
3.  We Just Don’t Care Anymore
 
For whatever reason, you’ve lost sight of why you’re working so hard. When it comes to motivation, here’s what you can do:
  • Remember why you were so excited about your idea in the first place! Envision what life will be like at the end of the tunnel.
  • Read an inspirational book. My favorites are Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk, and The 4-Hour WorkWeek, by Tim Ferriss.
  • Display your favorite quotes. At my desk, I have this quote posted up on the wall next to my computer: “The Harder I Work, The Luckier I Become.” Reading that always gets me going again.
  • Talk it out with someone. If you’re feeling low on energy, sometimes all we need is a pick me up from a buddy. That’s why so many people say it’s a lot easier to go to the gym or stay on a diet if there’s someone else there with them.
  • Take a quick break. We often work on something so much that we forget why we’re doing it. Take a day or two off, and you’ll often see the motivation come back in no time.

4. We’re Not Sure if Our Idea is as Great as We Thought it Was

 
Maybe you’re having second-thoughts about your idea. Maybe it’s not as awesome as you thought. This is the thought that pops into my head more often than the others, and it’s definitely a downer. But here’s what you can do to keep your idea alive.
Simply put – think positive thoughts. Have you ever heard of “The Law of Attraction”? It basically states that people’s thoughts dictate the reality of their lives. In other words, think positively, and positive things will happen to you.
Also, you have to realize that you’re not going to succeed unless you give it a shot. What’s the worst that can happen? If you’re doing business online, the worst is probably not as bad as you think it could be.
5. We See Someone Else Doing Something Similar, and It Seems Better
 
Okay, so someone “stole’ your idea, or they beat you to it. Either way, it doesn’t matter. Here’s why:
  • That fact that you see someone else doing something similar to what you had in mind is actually a good thing! In fact, it shows that it was such a great idea, that others are already using it to make money for themselves. There’s a proven market for it, and now it’s your turn to join in.
  • The Dry Cleaners Theory: Have you ever noticed how many dry cleaners there are in one location? Here in San Diego, there are over 600 (according to the yellow pages). My point is this: you don’t need have a unique idea in order for it to succeed. And if there a need for something, there’s always room for more options and solutions in the market.
  • Lastly, all you have to do is make yours better. Put some thought into why people will choose to visit your website, read your content, and purchase from you, instead of someone else.

If your career has stalled, could it be one of these reasons?  If so, what can you do to solve the problem?  Because we’re creative people, the temptation is to jump on every idea that comes along because it’s the best idea ever! But is it actually?  Tomorrow, I’ll write about how to weed out the good from the go-nowhere ideas.