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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: 

I know this may sound strange, but, now that some producers are showing interest in my screenplays, I feel kind of crazy and that I might blow it.  Can you help me?


This week's answer: 


Thank you for writing, Taggart, and for touching on this touchy subject.  First off, let me assure you that you're not crazy (unless wrote your e-mail in a rubber room on a lap top that you stole from some nurse).  Assuming that your mental condition is normally quite sound, it's perfectly understandable that signs of interest in your screenplay from producers can definitely agitate you, cause anxiety, and generally stimulate that "fear of success" or "fear of failure" gland in the screenwriter's body.  I think they are two different glands, but screenwriter surgeons tend to believe that there's just one of them.  In fact, the problem has become so prominent that the Surgeon Screenwriter General is currently considering a bill that will obligate producers to include a label on screenplay purchase contracts:

A Warning from the Screenwriting Surgeon General:  Screenwriters viewing this contract may experience dizziness, a false sense of elation that causes them to go out and immediately purchase a home, or many other forms of stress brought about by signs of screenwriting success.

So, as you can see, you're not alone.  And don't worry about "blowing it."  A producer will either buy or not buy your script.  He will simply make a decision that could bring you thousands of dollars, give you a writing credit, allow you to join WGA, get an agent and open the door for your screenwriting career to soar.  Or not.  Wait a second.  That is stressful.

Is there a nice, cozy, place with soft walls nearby that you can check into for a few days?

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