Your questions answered by a  Hollywood professional

A bit of Hollywood humor 


Screenwriting Help E-Mail (Previous)

Updated every Monday, one selected e-mail will be posted and answered here each week. With many years of experience in the film and television business, I look forward to providing answers to your questions about screenwriting or the entertainment industry in general.  Please send your e-mailed questions to: Script Advisor.  You may also wish to visit our Screenwriting Help E-Mails - The Archives.

This week's question: 

I really don't like to say this -- and it surprises me, too -- but, as much as I love screenwriting, I think I'm actually getting tired of it.  Do you have any advice, DcH?

Lynette, Dallas

This week's Answer: 

Don't Quit Before The Miracle Happens (Then You Can Quit

Lynette, thank you for your candor (and, being that candor is going for $100 an ounce in the open market these days, I especially appreciate yours).  I know it's not easy to admit to yourself that you're getting tired of something that you know you love doing.  Actually, I'm very glad you mentioned it because I'm sick and tired of writing this tedious e-mail column every week.  So I quit.


Ahhh.  I feel much, much better now.  I think I'll quit more often.  Even though I only quit for a few blank lines, it still felt refreshing to not have to write for a while (albeit a short one).  I think this quitting business could definitely catch on.  Screenwriters could quit.  Literary agents wouldn't have any scripts to read so they would quit.  Producers would quit.  Studios would quit.  In fact, why don't we all quit right now?  I want you to go to your windows now, each and every one of you, and shout, "I'm mad as hell and... I quit!"

I have reached that place, that "burn out" moment, when I haven't even wanted to see or hear about another script.  When that has happened, I've realized (hopefully soon or later or I could find myself dancing around a bonfire of flaming scripts, chanting "We Are The Champions") that I've over-extended myself, gone too far too soon (or something like that).  "What have I done when that has occurred?" you ask.  Good question (although I'm the one who really asked it).  What I've done, which has always helped immensely when I've been in that situation, is... quit.  No, not really.  Well, in a way... really.  It's a form of quitting.  What you actually quit is the pressure.  Or, better yet, you simply let it go.  You release this "have to" kind of thinking from your consciousness.  For that's what's really bothering you; that's what's at the heart of wanting to quit what you love.  There's been so much "have to" that you forgot about the "love to."

I, personally, love to be around screenplays:  writing them; analyzing them; stacking them one by one to make big piles of  "unproduced" works.  It's such fun.  Once I saw my first screenplay, I fell in love.  (Yes, we do have our problems, which actually started in the very beginning when I heard the pastor ask me those inimitable words, "Do you, DcH, take this screenplay to be your lawful wife, to compose and to analyze, to create and to polish 'till final draft do you rewrite?"  But we get by.)  But the work, any work with screenplays (or any writing form, for that matter) can be hard work at times.  (I think it was Shakespeare who said, "If I see one more sonnet, I'm going to stick my quill pen in my heart and call it a day.")  That's important to remember:  Writing, as wonderfully creative and fulfilling a gift it can be, it can also be HARD.  Just plain hard.  And when it's hard, I recommend you take breaks and juxtapose your "hard" with "easy."  Take walks; take baths; take other peoples' scripts so you don't have to write so much.  Whatever you do, be gentle with yourself.  If you need to take a break from screenwriting, by all means, do so.  

And when you come back to it, you'll feel refreshed and ready to give it another go.

Or you'll just quit.  

Either way, no more worries.



Script Advisor Home | About Us | Contact | Links | Samples | Help | Services | Weekly
Copyright 2003/2005 ... All Rights Reserved