Make this coming year be your most positive and productive yet with these screenwriting resolutions.
It’s that time of year again.
A time filled with baked goods, cups of cocoa, wrapping paper, constant carols on the radio, and thinking about the year to come.
Yes, that’s right. It’s time to make another round of New Year’s resolutions.
And if you’re a screenwriter, that means setting some concrete writing goals for 2022. Here are five screenwriting resolutions you should make this year.
Set Reasonable Writing Goals
What writer isn’t guilty of setting completely unrealistic writing goals?
We’ve all done it — claimed that we’re capable of churning out 120 pages in a weekend or rewriting our entire script in a single night. And time and time again, we fall short.
So this year, avoid the disappointment and make a resolution to set reasonable writing goals for yourself.
Everyone writes at their own pace — whether you’re Speedy McScreenwriter or Slow and Steady Scripter, set goals that make sense for who you are as a writer.
Maybe that’s one page a day, maybe it’s 10. Regardless, you’ll be grateful if you’re realistic with your writing goals instead of overzealous.
Try a New Genre or Format
As writers, we tend to silo ourselves into specific genres and formats.
To be honest, it’s not entirely our fault — people are always asking, “What kinds of stories do you write?” and we have to give some kind of answer. That, and many of us do have a habit of writing in the same genres and formats over and over again.
This year, make a resolution to branch out. If you write TV pilots, try your hand at a feature. If you write only sci-fi features, experiment with a romantic short.
Trying different things can be a refreshing challenge, something that can reinvigorate your writing and test your abilities as a screenwriter.
Read More Scripts
I can’t be the only screenwriter who says I’m going to read the script for this movie or that TV show and then never follows through.
The worst part is that I have no excuse! Scripts are so readily available online, it’s easier than ever to find the script for one of your favorite films.
Not only that, but screenwriters can learn so much from reading scripts. Things never look the same on the page as they do on the screen, and every screenwriter has different techniques for dialogue, sluglines, action paragraphs, and structure.
It’s important that screenwriters continue to read the very things they’re trying to write. After all, you wouldn’t go on the Great British Baking Show without at least baking one batch of cookies at home first, right?
Check out The Script Lab, where they have hundreds of scripts to download for free. Download a bunch of your favorites and resolve to read at least one script a week in 2022!
Stop Comparing Yourself to Others
They say that comparison is the thief of joy. I say it’s the thief of writing productivity.
Every writer is different. Including you! One writer may thrive off strict deadlines, while another needs more flexibility. One writer might take to Twitter to discuss their ideas, while another prefers to be a little more secretive.
If you’re constantly comparing yourself to other writers, it takes up all the energy you could be using for writing. So don’t waste precious time comparing your writing abilities, stories, or prowess to others.
Forget the comparison and instead focus on getting the words on the page.
Finish That Draft!
Of all the writing resolutions you make for 2022, this one is by far the most important.
“You may not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page,” said Phoebe Waller-Bridge. “You can’t edit a blank page.”
Taika Waititi, Stephen King, David Lynch, and many others have said something intensely similar. And they’re all right.
No matter how bad you think it is, just get that first draft written. Once you make it to FADE OUT, you can revise and edit until your script is the essence of screenwriting perfection.
But if you don’t finish the draft, you’ll never get to that part of the process.
If you only make one resolution for 2022, let it be to finish your damn draft!
Britton Perelman is a writer and storyteller from the middle of nowhere, Ohio. She’s had jobs in travel writing, movie trailers, and podcasting, and is currently getting her MFA in Screenwriting at the University of Texas at Austin. When not writing, Britton is most likely belting along to Broadway musical soundtracks, carefully making miniature bookshelves, or napping with her dog, Indiana Jones. Find more of her writing on her website or follow her on Instagram.