Dear Me Contest Entry (Jan 2012).
January 1, 2012
123 Main Street
Los Angeles, CA 90000
Have you ever wanted to sell a screenplay and see your name on the silver screen? What about walking into a bookstore and picking up a bestseller with your name on it? Does the idea of being paid for your writing, and working from home in your pajamas while everyone else has to get up early and trudge into a corporate office appeal to you?
Many writers have these dreams, but very few make them a reality. Thanks to our custom-designed and universally applicable system we like to call Hard Work (Persistence and Talent modules sold separately), we can help you get there and ensure that you have your absolute best writing year ever!*
In fact, we're so confident in our product, we're going to give away some of our secrets for free, right in this very letter! For example:
Give yourself realistic deadlines. We both know that you work better under pressure; when you actually have a due date. For your screenwriting this year, consider the TrackingB TV Script Contest (deadline April 15, 2012), Nicholl Screenwriting Fellowship (deadline May 1, 2012) and the, TrackingB Feature Script Contest (deadline October 30, 2012). Can you write two feature screenplays and one television pilot this year? Yes you can; and thanks to these deadlines, you know which ones to work on first, and when they're due!
Capitalize on existing opportunities. How about that novel that you've always wanted to write? Why not take advantage of the entire month dedicated to writing a manuscript and use that as an opportunity to actually finish one? And look! NaNoWriMo starts in November, which is conveniently two days after your last screenplay deadline for the year! And it's ten months away, which gives you plenty of time to prepare! Could your writing schedule for the year get any more perfect?
Cut back on the other things that take up your time. Honestly, you seem like a nice guy; the kind of guy who's probably always happy to help out when someone asks for something, the first to volunteer for any opportunity that comes along. But let's be real for a moment; you don't have all the time in the world. You have a family and a day job and a dozen other things that cut way down on your "me" time (which, coincidentally, also happens to be your "writing" time). You need to set aside a solid block of time for writing. It doesn't necessarily have to be every day, but you have to be able to maintain a consistent writing schedule, rather than relying on the fits and starts that come whenever you feel guilty about not getting behind the keyboard for a few days (or weeks). If that comes at the expense of some of the other things you do in you spare time, you're going to have to remind yourself that your writing always has to be a priority.
Stop getting distracted. This is going to be a hard one, but you have to stop letting yourself get sidetracked when the going gets tough. There's a time in the writing of any lengthy work where you're slogging through it. Where it seems like any fresh new idea or other project is more desirable than your current place in your current work. Resist that urge. Do not, under any circumstances, give in to that temptation to distract yourself with something else. Short stories, outlining a new script idea, revisiting past projects... just don't do it. Do you want to be an amateur short story writer, or do you want to be a published novelist? Do you want to be a recreational essayist, or do you want to sell screenplays? There's nothing wrong with writing in these other mediums that you love; but don't you dare use them as an excuse to stop what you're doing on your current, lengthier endeavor. Work on them between big jobs when they can't distract you from crossing the finish line.
Read as much as you can. Last year, I'm sure you read a respectable number of books and screenplays, but this year, you need to read more. Reading expands your knowledge and understanding of the craft, but more importantly, it serves as a reminder of both why you love writing and what level your skills need to be in order to compete with what's already out there. Your goal this year should be to read three screenplays and one book per week. Allowing for the standard two weeks of vacation, that means you should have 50 books and 150 screenplays under your belt by the end of the year. As long as you pace yourself, that's an incredible opportunity to learn, appreciate, and enjoy the craft of writing as presented by others.
We'd love to tell you more about our exciting Hard Work system, but we can't give away all our secrets in this letter! As you can see, though, we have a comprehensive system in place to make sure you become the best writer you can be this year. Our talented and highly trained customer service representatives are standing by to help tailor this program to your specific needs. So if Hard Work is something you might be interested in (or any of our other modules, for that matter), please give us a call today and we'll be happy to assist you with all your writing motivational needs.
We look forward to hearing from you soon.
Myself & I Consulting Firm
* Myself & I Consulting Firm cannot and does not guarantee that you will be published, sold, paid, or provided with any other kind of substantial success during the 2012 calendar year. Use of the product constitutes acceptance of our Standards Terms & Conditions, which releases Myself & I Consulting Firm from any liability in connection with the use of its product. After using the product, clients are solely responsible for their own future success, motivation, encouragement, drive, work ethic, inspiration, initiative, hustle, effort, ambition, and/or determination. Myself & I Consulting Firm is not responsible for any nervous breakdowns, obsessive-compulsive tendencies, annoying personal tics, intense focus on diction and syntax, rants about ethereal concepts like "character arcs" or "plot points," or any other idiosyncratic behavior known to be caused by individuals engaging in a writing lifestyle.