Have you ever thought about becoming a screenwriter, and then actually thought about what it would take to become one? There are so many people who have been talked out of becoming screenwriters either because of self-doubt or some underhanded actions behind the scenes.
But now, it’s a new day.
The same entity (cough cough, Hollywood) that’s been gatekeeping certain voices from being heard is powerless. There are so many ways for freelance script writers to take control of their careers.
If you’ve been interested in becoming a freelance script writer, there’s no better chance than today to get started.
Is it really that easy to get started as a freelance script writer?
Yes, yes it is. Now if you’re expecting to have an easy ride, nothing in life is easy. But there is a realistic way for you to start your career in screenwriting and to get your name out there as a script writer. Here are some actionable steps you can take to get started as a freelance script writer.
Create your own writing samples
You may look at this step and start panicking. You may say to yourself, “I can’t write an entire movie script as a writing sample!”
First, take a breath and gather yourself. Then come to some realizations.
Realize that you can write an amazing script; you just need to know the correct format. Just like with any type of written content, there’s a certain type of structure you have to learn. Learning that will be easier with experience.
Next, realize that you can start with different types of writing samples. Maybe you’re a little overwhelmed with thinking of writing an entire movie script. Have you thought about writing scripts for YouTube videos? What about creating storyboards for different film companies?
Even offering to proofread a script can help you gain the experience that you need for your career.
These are just some of the different writing samples that you can create to show your credibility as a script writer. The more diverse your portfolio, the better.
Launch your own website
Another step you want to take is to create your own website. Again, you may think to yourself, “Is this even necessary? Do I really need a website?” Again, yes, yes you do.
While you are a script writer, you are still a freelance writer. You have full control over your writing career. That means that you set your own rates and determine who you want to work with. But it’s hard to have those type of choices when no one can get in contact with you or know what you can write.
A website is like your online marketplace. It shows your clients who you are, what you are about, how you can solve their problems, and various testimonials and reviews.
You can house your portfolio on your website and give your clients a view into the type of work you have done and what you can potentially do for them. Having a website is a great way for you to market yourself and your script writing services.
It’s also a great way for you to stand out amongst the thousands of script writers. Instead of putting in an application like the thousands of other applicants, you can post content on your website and have your clients come to you.
Another critical step you want to take as a freelance script writer is to network.
Again, this is a step that you may be overthinking.
You may be thinking to yourself that networking is a dirty word where you don’t have to be yourself with other people. That’s the misunderstanding that so many writers have with networking.
Networking is not this special science where you have to say the right thing to the right people or your career is over. In fact, you can be your authentic self when you network with other writers.
All you have to do is be the human that you were born and be pleasant around other people.
A simple, “Hi, I am so and so. I’m a freelance script writer, and I just wanted to connect and see how we can help each other” will suffice.
You don’t know how far being nice will take you as a writer, or in business in general.
Continue to perfect your skills
Another skill that you will honestly be doing for the rest of your career is honing your script writing skills. This can be something as simple as rewriting a script for a video you were recently watching.
Whether you play a sport or are interested in a certain hobby, you know that practice makes perfect. Writing is no different.
Any spare time that you have, you want to practice your skills as much as you can. That way when your special moments come (and they’ll come) you won’t suffer from imposter syndrome.
You don’t have to get ready when you stay ready.
The more you are accustomed to script writing, the more that movie script in your head starts to come together and doesn’t feel so scary.
Read amazing screenwriting books
Along with practicing screenwriting, you also want to read some amazing books on screenwriting. Freelance writers understand how beneficial it is to read books on our intended subject.
There’s something about reading where you discover an aha moment that you can’t always get while reading an online article. There’s information in books that I’ve read when I started my freelancing career that I still go back to annually.
One great book that you can read to get your feet wet as a screenwriter is “Save The Cat” by Blake Snyder. It’s a great book that gives you a realistic look into screenwriting and telling a story. Feel free to purchase the book from my link below
As you can see, becoming a freelance script writer is not as difficult as some people believe. With everything else in life, it takes dedication and practice.
If you have thought about becoming a script writer or have additional questions about how to get started, share in the comments below.