1. Build a family before you even start
your screenplay. Find smart, loving and motivated people that want to be
part of the project in some capacity. They’re not going to pay you, but
the fact that they’re emotionally invested will keep you going.
2. Get up really early to write. Do your work before the world wakes up and reminds you about your credit card bills.
3. Spoil yourself while you’re writing. If you like
coffee, pound it. If you like smoking, smoke. If you like going to a
cafe where there are hot chicks, go. Make your sessions a special time,
something to look forward to.
4. Enjoy the freedom that comes from writing your
story. Okay, you aren’t getting six figures for an assignment job from a
studio. But the perk of not being hired is you can write whatever the
fuck you want. Feel lucky.
5. If you can, cast your friends early. It’s hard to
do a Mike Leigh process with no development budget, but this way, you
can study your friend over brunch. They’ll inform your writing and it
gets more people excited about what you’re doing.
6. Get comfortable saying your characters names.
Sounds stupid, but the more you talk about them, the more they become
real people in your mind.
7. Let people read drafts and hassle them for notes.
Make sure you go to friends that are going to give you a confidence
boost, and to others who will say it’s shit. You need to hear both. And
thank them, they spent two hours on you.
8. It’s never a waste of time. Even if the script
doesn’t get made, the creative process is happening every time you sit
down to write. That’s why you signed up in the first place.
9. Read it out loud. It can be just you and your
girlfriend acting out all the parts, but you have to listen to what it
sounds like. You’ll see it differently.
10. Remember that hustling is the fun part. Trying
to achieve something is way more fun than actually achieving it, because
then there’s nothing left to do.