The single biggest difference between becoming a professional screenwriter vs amateur status is attitude. A person that is destined to become a professional screenwriter takes improvement of their craft as a goal. Something they actively focus on improving. They work on the skills and knowledge as much as they work on their screenplay.
An amateur focuses on their screenplay. They talk about making changes to the work to make it successful. They don’t look at skill acquisition that they can then use to improve all their work going forward. They believe that there are rules, steps, templates and things to follow and anyone that follows these will be successful.
Professional vs Amateur focus.
In a nutshell an amateur focuses on their script and not themselves. They cannot see that they need improving so they can produce quality work. They think there are things that make them professional rather than improving and becoming professional.
I think not focusing on self improvement may be an unconscious reaction to fear. What if I do all this work and still can’t be a professional screenwriter. Putting your own talent at the center of the equation is scary, but necessary. If you do not focus on yourself you will never change and therefore stay exactly where you are, an amateur screenwriter. CPD Continuing Professional Development is part of all professional’s lives, accountants, lawyers, doctors all have to do CPD. They know self improvement is the key to professionalism.
Professional vs Amateur thinking.
I need to work on my prose writing.
What’s the rule on prose?
I struggle with mood.
I have all the beats off the thriller template.
If you want to be a professional screenwriter you have to be professional. You have to focus on improving yourself. How YOU look at the story, how YOU control what the reader feels, how YOU approach the next sentence, paragraph, scene.
You want to be a professional writer then you must focus on improving YOU. Once you have achieved what is needed to change your thinking, skills and approach. You can take these new skills, knowledge and approach and start improving your work. You need a strong base that enables you to focus on the work. Without that you are destined to stay exactly where you are.