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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 (often with a humorous eye) 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: 

DcH, I'm really afraid that I'm never going to sell a screenplay.  Do you have any advice?

Sera B. from Detroit


This week's Answer: 

THE FEAR OF SCREENPLAY SELLING

I think all screenwriters have that fear at one time or another (most likely at a time before they sell their first screenplays).  The American Medical Board of Medicine and Drugs That Won't Kill You have recently come up with an official name for that very fear.  It's called, "NoScreenplaysaleophobia," the fear of never selling a screenplay.  The best remedy is to face that fear by going to a therapist in Los Angeles who is also a producer who, so that he can cure you, will buy your first screenplay.

Or there's another way to solve this problem.  It's possible, Sera, that, instead of trying to sell a screenplay, you've actually been...

TRYING TO NOT NOT SELL A SCREENPLAY

That may seem a little convoluted.  I'll put it another way:  Instead of trying to sell a screenplay, you've been...

TRYING TO AVOID FEELING THE FEAR OF NOT SELLING A SCREENPLAY

And trying to avoid feeling the fear of not selling a screenplay and trying to sell a screenplay are two entirely different things.

I recommend that this shadow part of your personality that continues to daunt you with fears about never selling a screenplay needs to be embraced as Carl Jung, I believe, recommended (or Neil Young when he sang about his Cinnamon Girl, I think it was).  Either way, it's best not to run from that fear, or any fear, for that matter.  Let's always recall Winston Churchill's prophetic and sagacious words...

"The only thing to fear is the fear of not selling a screenplay itself."

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