Creating a business persona is another key ingredient to becoming a professional screenwriter. The reason is simple: the part of us that is a writer is not usually the part of us that we want to present at a pitch meeting or conference—artists and salesmen are not often the same.
For this reason, you need to build a kind of professional persona, a version of yourself that you can easily take out when you need to attend a meeting, talk to a producer, or go anyplace where your true writer’s persona might not serve you.
The irony, of course, is that in order to create this persona you’ll be using your skills as a writer, creating from scratch exactly who you would want to work with if you were a producer, manager, or an agent. Usually this person would be well groomed, well spoken, thoughtful, easygoing, pleasant, and, above all, professional.
Once you’ve created this alternative version of yourself, write down all of his or her attributes, everything from specific personality traits to the brand of shoe. I want you to really build this person inside and out as if you were building a fictional character in a screenplay.
As we all know, opportunities come at the oddest times. But by having such an alter ego in your back pocket, you’ll always be ready for any opportunity that presents itself, whether you’re in a cab, on the street, in a restaurant, or on an airplane.