How to Fight “The Doubts”

Last month I received an email from a screenwriter client who, after receiving a “thanks but no thanks” letter, wanted to know what I tell myself to fight off the doubts that I’m not good enough. – and stay focused on finishing my story…

It was such a great question and it really started me thinking – what exactly DO I tell myself to fight off the doubts and keep going?

Self-doubt affects just about every writer I know and I’m certainly no stranger to it. Being a writer means endlessly seeking validation and approval from the outside world. And sometimes we just don’t get it. Cue the doubts aka the dark vortex of doubt aka the creeping fingers of dread aka the paralysing, grey corset of doom.

So what do I tell myself to get the crazy under control?

Continue reading How to Fight “The Doubts”



The Best Dumb Questions About Screenwriting

Every time I teach my Beginner’s Guide to Screenwriting workshop I get asked these same questions and they’re almost always prefaced by the statement “this is probably a dumb question but…”

However, if no-one has told you about this stuff, how would you know? And I think knowing what you don’t know is actually kinda smart.

So let’s jump in and clarify some basics…

Continue reading The Best Dumb Questions About Screenwriting



I Hate Big Buts and I Cannot Lie

I want to write a screenplay/book/play BUT I don’t have time.

I want to finish my book/short film BUT can’t because I have children.

I want to apply for that writer’s grant I heard about BUT there’s probably no point.

I want to enter that short story competition BUT only real writers ever win.

I want to write a book BUT I’m afraid I’m not good enough yet.

I want to write short stories BUT I worry I’m too old to start now.

I want to write BUT I worry I’m too young and that people won’t take me seriously.

I want to write for TV BUT I don’t know other writers or industry people.

I want to write plays BUT I have to spend most of my time making a living.

I want to write one day BUT I’m waiting until I retire/until work calms down/until the house is renovated/until I’ve done one more workshop /until the kids have left school etc, etc, etc, etc.

And the list goes on.

I hear variations of these excuses all the time. And sometimes I hear one or two coming out of my own mouth – goddamnit. But there are always numerous, perfectly freaking logical reasons for not investing your time in writing and, um, so what?

Continue reading I Hate Big Buts and I Cannot Lie