Bela Lampert

Optioned Screenwriter
Yoga Instructor

Beware of Writers’ Groups

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Beware of Writers’ Groups

… and I’m saying this with the utmost respect and understanding of all the writers in your writers’ group, may it be online or in real life (although right now there are probably not many writers’ groups in person).

The problem with other new writers is that you don’t get professional level advice.

Why not?

Because they are no pros.

They are well-meaning, hard-working, friendly people (most of the time), but that doesn’t mean that their advice about your writing career is any good.

In fact, often it’s downright disastrous and the exact opposite about what you really should do to get things going.

New writers usually give feedback from their own perspective, based on their experiences and on what they think they know. And that’s exactly the problem.

What they THINK they know is often very different from things are really done in this industry.

I paid a couple of people a lot of money to learn these things. That’s one way to do it. And I keep learning all the time.

There are others.

The important thing is that you go to sources that are in the industry and trustworthy.

So here you have a bunch of places to check out that I think offer a lot of great advice if you’re a screenwriter.

John August’s website johnaugust.com. Subscribe to the “scriptnotes” podcast if you want.

Terry Rossio’s website wordplayer.com. Look for the columns section and read them all one after the other (although some articles might be dated, so keep an eye out for changes in the industry).

Read the trades (The Hollywood Reporter, Variety).

Take classes from people with contacts to the industry:

ScreenwritingU: screenwritingu.com

Jen Gristanti: jengristanti.com

I’m sure there are others out there, but these are the ones I use because I know I get useful information there.

What most of them don’t touch on (or only in part) is, “what are the things in your life that keep you from being inspired on an ongoing basis and how to change that”.

That’s where I come in:

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