Screenwriting Resolutions for the New Year

It’s that time of year again and we’re all making our New Year’s Resolutions.

Or are you avoiding them, like me? (In my defense, I’m just now finishing up a writing assignment and I wanted to maintain my focus on that, so suck on that, haters.)

Ahem. So…let’s give each other a kick in the pants, shall we? Here’s some advice, take it or leave it…I think you should split up your resolutions into CRAFT and CAREER.

For example…


  • Edit, Polish and Proof your best script. (Hint: Avoid the 140 page period epic.)
  • Story Map a new spec, beginning with a killer Logline with a great HOOK, i.e., a new take on a classic story/beloved character/universal archetype/proven concept. (Hint: workshop the Logline amongst friends, your writers group and maybe even email it to a few industry professionals who work for producers and reps to get their reactions.)
  • Dedicate a specific time and place every week to write — make it clear to family and friends that this is your private writing time (i.e., no interruptions!) and stick to it! To turbo-charge your commitment…
  • Go one week without TV or Internet! Can you do it? I challenge you!  (Last month, I went one week without any social media and it really helped me to get a lot of work done. And I didn’t miss Facebook one bit — trust me, your friends are more boring than you think. Contrary to public opinion, you won’t die if you have to wait a week to see the photos from their bowling night.)
  • Write that new spec! On the first pass, follow your map and scene list but the most important goal is to get through it. As they say… Don’t get it right, just write it. (Hint: If you make changes to your structure as you write, update your Story Map along the way to make sure the meta-structure is still working and you don’t run into problems down the road.)
  • Get notes on your new spec from others. As I’ve often said, NO writer can be truly objective about their own work, not even the most successful pros. Everyone needs outside feedback.  Whether this is from friends or a consultant is up to you. From there, it’s up to you and how much time you can devote to get that spec into submission-ready shape.
  • Others: Take a writing class to keep yourself honest and meet fellow writers — take a writing research trip — hold a reading — record the actors and make an animatic movie of your script — start a writing group in your hometown or online and swap scripts with others.

On to Page 2: Career Goals

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