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Fear is something that many writers contend with; and you’re not alone – script editors, producers, actors. We all experience fear in one way or another…
Is my work good enough? Will I be taken seriously? Will my work be misconstrued? Will my spelling let me down? Will people *get* what I’m trying to say? How can I network when I am so shy? Anxiety stops me from being able to pitch so how can I get anywhere? I find it difficult to express myself verbally. I’m too scared to send my work to a script reader in case they rip it to shreds! Will I ever make ends meet? Am I kidding myself that I can make a career out of my passion?
I know I have suffered many of these. It can be really tough. Self-doubt can be a slippery path. The quest to get somewhere in the writing/film industry can be lonely and stressful.
When we receive positive feedback and encouragement, when we feel that satisfaction after pouring our hearts and souls into something we can truly be proud of; a personal achievement no matter what comes of the work, when we place in a contest or get a captive audience, when we feel that buzz of having faced a fear and felt wonderful afterwards…
THAT is what you must think about, and aim for. But how can we keep up those positive vibes?
READ – books on the craft, scripts, novels, blogs, articles… The information might be daunting and the fear of making yourself feel depressed by reading about successful industry people can be off-putting… However, the more you arm yourself with knowledge; rules, methods, ideas, success stories AND failure stories (we’re all human!) the more you will feel inspired and prepared to have a good go yourself. I find reading to be really energising; the more I read about the craft, or read about other people’s inspiring journeys, or read captivating fiction that makes a desire to write burn inside me, the more confident I feel. One of the reasons why I love reviewing books, and publishing interviews, right here on Writesofluid.
WATCH – TV, movies, educational and inspirational talks. Ever watched something and been so impressed with it that it made you think “I wanna write something like that”? So DO IT! Watch a load of TV and film guilt-free (hey, it’s RESEARCH!) and then sit yourself down and get your ideas on the page. Nervous about writing, pitching, networking? TED TALKS can be a wonderful way to re-energise and boost your confidence. You can find individual videos and even playlists – check out how to deal with speaking out loud when you have a stutter, how to tell a story and how to create in the face of challenge, self-doubt and loss. Then there’s educational videos such as those filmed at London Screenwriters’ Festival; and which are, of course, also inspirational! As a prior or new delegate, you get to watch ALL the previous years’ recorded videos in the special delegates’ network.
INTERACT – virtually and physically. If you’re scared of networking, start small. Make friends, get advice, chat about writing and practice pitching… Social media can be great for this, particularly: Facebook – make a writer page, join industry-related groups, follow (“like”) industry-related pages and other writers; twitter – follow writers and other industry professionals, use hashtags like #scriptchat and #amwriting to connect with others and chat about certain topics, find opportunities and participate in Q&A’s; and LinkedIn – make a profile and connect with other writers and industry professionals. Join groups for writing chat, find jobs. There are all sorts of great sites emerging all the time, and also don’t forget forums – they may feel old-fashioned but they are still there and they are a fantastic place to network. Then there’s physical networking. Go to events such as talks, screenings, Q&A’s, courses (taster, evening, day, longer), conferences and topical events (think outside the box – what other learnings could benefit your writing?). Talks and screenings can be a great place to start to get a feel for being around other like-minded people and striking up conversations. Local writing groups can also be a great place to build confidence chatting with other writers – there’s never any pressure to talk or read out your work. You’re quite welcome to just sit and listen. I did this for quite some time before building up the courage to read out a short story. My goodness, I swear the whole group could hear my heart beating! But boy did it feel good after I’d done it.
There’s one place where you will get ALL of the above and much, much more. FESTIVALS. You know what I’m gonna say. If you want to be a part of the film or TV industry, then London Screenwriters’ Festival is THE place to be. Check out this article I wrote last year with HUNDREDS of reasons why it’s the bee’s knees. Yup, I know that discount code is old. But FEAR NOT! Here’s a lovely jubbly fresh one for you…
Get a massive £31 off this year’s LSF using my discount code: SOFLUID14
Click HERE to go straight to the ticket page!
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