Thinking of becoming a screenwriter? That’s great! But if you really wanna make it in the industry, you have to prepare yourself for the good things and the bad ones.
Here are 10 reasons why majoring in Screenwriting sucks:
10. No matter how much work you put into a show, there’s no guarantee a network won’t pass it.
Your writing teachers might try to prepare you. They might try to remind you as much as possible that, every now and then, you must kill your darlings. And even then, no matter how much you try to remind yourself, the heartbreak is always inevitable.
Chances are that for every 100 scripts you work on… 99 of those will get rejected, and you’ll be forced to move on. And the sad thing is that you can’t even try to avoid the heartbreak by learning to put your feelings aside, because as a writer, you’re supposed to be sentimental.
9. You will always be held accountable for your words.
For every script that you’re lucky enough to have network-approved, that also means that like it or not, everything you say will matter. You might think that just because you’re a writer and people don’t stop you in the streets for autographs or paparazzi pictures… you’re free of backlash.
Sorry to break it to you — but no, you’re not. In fact, you can get in a lot of trouble for not holding your tongue about that one actor you didn’t like or the one aspect of the production you mainly thought was a mistake. Unfortunately, once your script is approved and produced, you must watch your words very wisely, just like actors do.
8. Self-discipline matters.
Much like #8 mentioned, you’ll be doing most of the work by yourself — meaning no boss, no professor, no colleague pushing you to meet the deadline. But the deadline is there either way.
As a screenwriter, you must have a good sense of self-discipline to know that, even on those days you’re not at the office or the studio writing, being at home is no excuse for procrastination. Otherwise, the deadline will just creep up on you, and you’ll end up rushing your work.
7. Your work schedule will probably be bizarre.
While you might do the occasional 8-5, be it at school, the office, or a studio — as a screenwriter, you’re most likely to do most of your work by yourself, either at home in your pyjamas or at a coffee shop.
6. Your agent won’t always give you feedback right away.
Are you the kind of person who’s generally anxious? Do you seek approval? This might be a strong pillar for you because agents often won’t read your work or give you feedback as quickly as you’d like them to. For some people, that’s almost a deal breaker.
5. It might take you YEARS to find a good agent.
No matter how talented you might be, it’s a harsh world out there. You might have a hard time finding a good agent. But don’t get discouraged!
4. Even if you land a good agent, you might not get assigned jobs right away.
Sometimes, agents might know of a job that you would be perfect for — but you’re not necessarily ready for. And that can be kind of heartbreaking to a lot of young screenwriters. Then again, don’t get discouraged! It’s just the beginning!
3. This is a male-dominated industry
Much like any other field in entertainment, screenwriting is a male-dominated industry. Mostly straight-white-cis-male-dominated. So if you’re a woman — or part of any minority, really — you might have a hard time getting equal opportunities for a moment in the spotlight. And that can be very frustrating.
Fortunately, though, times are changing, and we are getting a more significant number of diverse writers making it into the field. Captain Marvel, a soon to be release highly estimated Marvel movie, is one good example of a great spotlight for female writers and directors. Wonder Woman as well!
2. If you don’t live in the US, you’ll have a hard time finding a good academic program to study screenwriting.
Everyone knows America rules the film and TV industry. It’s just unfortunate to realize that actually majoring in screenwriting might end up being way more expensive than you can afford.
1. If you make it in the industry, people will continuously tell you all about how they should also become a screenwriter.
Don’t get me wrong. It’s nice to see people excited about your career. But it’s also a little annoying to have people always tell you that they could totally do what you do — as if you didn’t sweat your soul out to get that far along.
But then again, I guess that’s just one of the perks of working in entertainment, right? Everyone thinks it’s all fun and games. Well, at least now you know it isn’t.