You might think you’re a screenwriter.
But you have to be more than that. You have to be a studio.
When someone asks you what you’re working on, you have to have a slate.
Every studio has a slate. Fox, Disney, Warners, Paramount, Columbia - they’ve all got a lineup of pictures they’re making and more in the pipeline.
Think about who you’re competing against. It’s not just other writers. You’re competing against studios. You have to have the same professional attitude they have about finances, contingencies, material.
As a writer, you have to have at least three finished scripts and half a dozen in the works at all times. In a meeting, when a producer asks you what else you have, you must be able to rattle off four, five, six projects - and be able to pitch them all.
Just because you’re creative doesn’t give you permission to be an idiot. The reason writers are condescended to and treated like children is because they act like children.
Those days are over. You’re in business. You’re competing against multi-billion-dollar enterprises.