Out of all the jobs in show business writing are probably the least glamorous and also one of the toughest to break into. Everyone dreams of being on screen and giving interviews to the press. Hardly anyone dreams of sitting alone in an office cubicle hammering out story lines and characters that may never make it to the big screen. Whether its stage writing in New York or screenwriting in Los Angeles the path of breaking in to the show biz industry as a writer is not easy but if you have the passion, desire and skill there’s always room for creative people in entertainment.

Every writer first starting out asks the same question: what do I write about? The answer is simple: write about what you know. This may sound easy but many writers get caught up in trying to mimic writers that inspired them and end up copying rather than creating. If you come from Eden Prairie then write about the mid west and if you grew up in Miami than craft your stories around the tropics but don’t try to assume your creative talents can overcome a lack of experience. Publishers, directors and agents have read thousands of scripts and stories and can easily tell when someone is out of their element.

Too often an aspiring writer is concerned with what they think the publisher wants rather than trusting in their ability and producing original content. Great stories can come from anywhere and you don’t have to fret over re-creating a blockbuster screenplay to get yourself noticed. Making it as a writer is not an easy career but with dedication, practice and confidence you stand a much better chance than if you simply cut and paste from previous stories.

Another tip is to find your niche. Maybe you enjoy investigative reporting and want to take a try at journalism or perhaps fiction is your true calling. You know yourself better than anyone so take some time and figure out what style of writing most interests you and fits your skill. The point is to know your strengths before setting out on crashing the entertainment world. If you don’t like a particular form of writing don’t force yourself into it just because it’s available. Stick to what you know and trust that in time you’ll find the right opportunities.

Of course, as with any craft, the more you practice the better you get. Whether you have a writing job or not don’t let idle time pass without getting your ideas down. Many successful writers set aside a few hours a day to focus on stories, scripts and miscellaneous writing and though it can seem like tiresome and dull work it will help you in the long run to have the discipline it takes to focus.

Lastly, don’t be afraid to work a few side jobs at the beginning to make ends meet. Many aspiring writers will have to forgo paid gigs to get their name published but if that’s what it takes to get stared then do it. The more samples you have in a portfolio the better and even if you had to do the work for free it’s having your name in print that matters.

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