In response to Jaded's questions in previous post.
Under no circumstances would I advise anyone to give up a job to try to start a career in screenwriting. Unless perhaps you get on the new BBC Writer's Academy where at least you are guaranteed a year of work.
Building a career does take years in the vast majority of cases. So write in your spare time and don't even consider giving up your job until you see a steady stream of commissions coming in. Even then think hard about it. You will have no regular pay cheque and no job security. It isn't for everyone.
A career involves making contacts, proving you can do the job and a large slice of luck. Mainly being in the right place at the right time with the right script. It takes talent and pereseverence and business sense. And while you are starting out the commissions will be thin on the ground. TV is a specialised and expensive business and many Producers are loathe to use brand new writers on their shows because mistakes can cost many thousands of pounds as well as screw up the shooting schedule.
No one can actually say 'I'm going to be a pro writer' It's not like being an accountant where you pass a few exams and off you go. Talent does play a large part but there are many other factors. There are lots of talented writers out there who don't have careers. There are simply no guarantees.
You can shorten the odds a little if you snag a good agent, and I think that's the way to go if you can. But remember, lots of people think they can write. I could give a long list of editors, directors and even an exec producer who decided writing was easy peasy and that would be their new career. With one exception they have returned to their own jobs and the sanctuary of the monthly pay cheque. It is TOUGH out there. And that is what you have to be prepared for. Make sure you have the talent for it. Then dip your toe in the water to see if you have the skills needed and the personality for it. Then and only then, have a think about whether you want to try to make a career out of it.
Would I do it again knowing what I know now? Probably, I'm fit for nothing else.
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