My first post!
And what else to start with, but starting out?
So you want to be a writer, but what do you have to do to be a writer? What does it take to shake off the shackles of the day job and proudly announce that you are a writer?
When I was starting out and I first opened an account on Twitter, I did what many new writers do; claimed to be an aspiring writer. You might also have said you were a “writer learning their trade” or perhaps “…their craft”. You might even have said “trainee” screenwriter.
I was very quickly told, by more than one friend, that I should drop the “aspiring”. If I am writing, then I am a writer. You do not have to be successful or published or repped to be a writer, you just have to write. If we refer to ourselves as “trainee” or “aspiring” we are also putting ourselves down. Self-deprecation can be an appealing trait in certain circumstances but, if we are trying to build a career for ourselves, we want to convey as professional an outlook as we can.
You want to be a writer? Then just call yourself a writer.
Well, and maybe read a little too.
One of the first bits of learning I did as a writer came through the Go Into the Story blog and refers to four simple numbers:
which are simple instructions to:
- Read 1 screenplay a week
- Watch 2 Movies
- Write 7 pages
- Research for 14 hours
Now, I am not saying you have to do exactly that (and we will come back to screenwriting rules and writing time in later posts) but it is a great reminder of the very basics of what you need to do to be a writer.
Read scripts, watch films, write pages.
So don’t get hung up on qualifications or experience, knowledge of the movies, or understanding all the screenwriting rules, you can learn a lot of that stuff on the go. Just draw on your love of movies and get writing.
Do that and you are a writer!
Do you feel able to call yourself a writer?
What do you think makes you a writer?