A lot of creatives are probably wondering how to succeed at writing professionally. Currently, (as of 30/3/17) I have succeeded in having a non-fiction book published, but am having difficulties with having creative projects produced. At this point in time, this is the advice I’m able to offer:
- Contacting creative companies at random, while it may seem sensible (or so I thought), is quite difficult to succeed at if you’re essentially an ‘Unknown’. As I found out the hard way, many/most creative companies, due to legal reasons associated with copyright (esp. lawsuits from stealing ideas from rejected submissions) will tend to not accept unsolicited submissions or enquiries at all.
- The main reason for any rejections stems from perceived financial risk – some companies are more willing to take a risk than others. If you can crowdfund a small-scale video game or some other format, you might have an easier time later with a ‘labour of love’ project. My non-fiction book (Out of This World) was published in large part because I self-funded the publishing costs.
- Having your own creative projects/original IPs is a sign of your originality and passion, but being prepared for a more low-key writing job in the early stages of your writing career to build up ‘cred’ will make it much easier to revisit your own IP(s) at a more convenient time when you’re more likely to receive recognition.
- Join any applicable ‘Screenwriters Guild’ in your country (Writer’s Guild of America, Writer’s Guild of Canada, Australian Writers Guild, Writer’s Guild of Great Britain, etc) – you will have greater representation, and your voice will be heard more easily – especially if you exude talent as a writer – and you’ll have access to many networking opportunities, script assessment services, etc.
- Starting out by writing novels earlier in your career may be a good stepping stone towards TV or video games later in your career.
- For novels, non-fiction books, etc, having an agent is advisable to give yourself the best representation.
- For books, being willing to spend money to advertise and promote a book can be expensive but is essential for giving your books – especially early ones – visibility. The more you’re willing to spend on advertising, the better.
- Books have the option of Giveaways – such as Amazon Giveaway. I haven’t actually tried a giveaway yet, but it’s another option available to promote books.
- It’s more advisable to seek out a producer rather than a specific creative company, especially if you’re essentially ‘Unknown’ – if you can secure financing, you’re much more likely to have something produced.