10 Actions You Can Take To Reach Your Screenwriting Goals

1As I mentioned in the previous article, there are two types of goals:

1.  Results Goals:  These are the final results you want to produce, such as getting screenwriting jobs and ultimately getting your script optioned or sold.  These results involve others making decisions.

2.  Action Goals:  These are the actions you take to produce the results you want, ones which you have control over and can do on your own.

Your actions help you move toward producing the results.  You may not be able to directly produce the result of making someone read or buy your screenplay, but if you take enough actions, you can greatly increase your odds of that happening.

It’s like a baseball player cannot make himself hit a homerun, but there are many actions he can take to increase the likelihood of that happening, including batting practice and working with a great coach.

We previously looked at the big picture of setting your long-term Results Goals.  We also learned that the right actions to take are “Primary Causes”  in producing results.   What are the best actions that you can take to produce the results you want?  Now let’s look at what some of the actions might be to help you reach them.

Here are 10 possible project-oriented marketing actions that can take to help you be successful.

1.  Send a query letter mailing to a target list of Producers.

If you want to sell a screenplay, you have to let producers know about it.  Creating a query letter mailing and sending it to a targeted list of producers is a great way to introduce your work.

2.  Attend a live pitchfest event.

One of the events that I attend every year and speak at is the Great American Pitchfest event held in June.  In that you have an opportunity to meet live with Hollywood executives and pitch to them.  I often attend the Screenwriter’s Expo as well, which is an event put on by Creative Screenwriting Magazine.  At that event you can also pitch to executives live.

3.  Send out an email query.

As email continues to grow, sending out an email query letter is another realistic option.  Keep it short, sweet, and sassy.

4.  Cold call and pitch to the executives on the phone.

This is one of the more challenging ways to try to get your script read, but if you are great on the phone, then this is a viable method of contact.

5. Create a query letter mailing to screenwriting agents.

To have a long-term career, you will ultimately need to have a literary agent represent you.  A great query letter can get your script read by an agent.  If an agent believes in you, that could set your career on the fast track.

6.  Attend networking breakfasts and luncheons and focus on building relationships.

Attend events like the HollywoodNetworkingBreakfast.com or Women in Film regularly.  When you attend the same networking events over time, you begin to establish yourself with those people.  If they get a sense that you are a serious writer, then they may consider reading your script and who knows what might be possible from there.

7.  Get a literary manager.

In the past few years, literary managers are gaining prominence and power.  You can have both a literary agent and manager to promote your work.

8.  Attend film festivals and network with other filmmakers.

As you’ve often heard, this business is built on relationships.  When you attend festivals and network, you get an opportunity to build relationships.  Once you build relationships, you get the ear of other professionals who might be able to do something with your script.

9.  Do a table read of your screenplay.

One of the ways to see how your screenplay is progressing is to have a table read.  Cast good local actors to do the reading if possible.  You can even invite an audience.  This shows you are serious and it’s also a good way to see how your work comes to life.

10.  Enter your script in a contest.

One of the main rewards that contests often offer is “access.”  They often reward the winner with passing it on as a “Recommended” screenplay to execs.  Enter these, and if you win, there you go – it could be read by a Hollywood big shot who could so something with it.

So there they are: Ten actions you can take to move your career forward.

Here is a summary of both articles:

  • Look to where you want to be three years out.  Work backwards to plan what you need to do this year, this quarter, and on back to this week.  Then start taking lots of actions on a daily basis.
  • Although you may feel that you can’t produce certain results directly, you can, in fact, take actions that are more likely to cause it to happen.

What actions will you take today?  What practices will you put in place to start causing the results you want?

If you missed Part 1, read about Setting Up Your Goals here.