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BREAKING IN: New Year's Resolutions for Screenwriters

Screenwriters: If you haven’t made your New Year’s Resolutions yet, here are my top ten suggestions for ones that could actually help make your dreams of "walking down the red carpet" on Oscar night come true.

It’s a New Year-- and, you never know, this just might be YOUR year to break through with your screenplay. If you haven’t made your New Year’s resolutions yet, here are my top ten suggestions for ones that will actually help make your dreams come true:

1. I will stop constantly pestering producers who are reading my script (“Have you read my screenplay, yet? Have you? Have you?”).

2. I promise to buckle down and write more spec scripts instead of nagging my agent about not finding me enough work. And if I don’t have an agent, I will write some great spec scripts anyway, so I have something to sell.

3. I resolve to actually finish writing that first draft, even if I have doubts about how my script will turn out.

4. I will spend at least as much time planning my script - doing research, and refining my concept, story structure, and the order of my scenes - as I do writing it.

5. I pledge to stop complaining about all those “lousy movies that get made” and instead write one that’s better.

6. I will read and study lots of screenplays for successful films instead of just watching the movies made from them.

7. I am determined to avoid the fruitless pursuit of writing scripts according to the latest movie trends, and instead will write from the heart.

8. I will grieve over script rejections for no more than five minutes before doing something more productive with my time - such as starting a new script, submitting the old script to another company, or sending it out for an objective critique before rewriting it.

9. I will stop ____________(watching too much reality TV/smoking/overeating/pill-popping/drinking to excess - fill in the blank) because I eschew the notion that a talent for self-destruction is part of the job description for writers.

10. I will have faith that if I am truly talented and persistent in pursuing my career in an emotionally intelligent way, I WILL sell my script. Because it’s true.

Happy New Year!

Keep pitching. See you next month.