I'm surprised you can't hear me chuckling through most of our recent interview with Monica Piper, an Emmy-winning writer, comedian, and producer whose name you may recognize from hit shows such as "Roseanne," "Rugrats," "Aaahh!!! Real Monsters," and "Mad About You." She had plenty of jokes to dish out, and they all seemingly flowed so easily. She's had enough experience to understand what's funny, and she's seen enough mistakes also to dish out some very serious screenwriting career advice.
Monica has observed writers throughout her career, and she says she sees them make the same mistakes time and again. So, she outlined those mistakes for us, and hopefully, you won't make the same errors while pursuing your screenwriting career!
- Screenwriting Mistake #1: Screenwriters Don't Set or Stick to Deadlines for Themselves
"The biggest mistake I think is not setting a deadline for yourself to get it done," Monica explained. "Because if there's no pressure to get it done, it's just so easy to say 'It's not ready yet. It's not good enough.' Just put a date on your calendar. Say, 'I will be done by this date no matter what.'”
- Screenwriting Mistake #2: Screenwriters Can Be Smug
“Something a writer can do to really screw himself up is if he’s on a show and in a writers’ room, be arrogant, not a team player, not feel the joy when someone pitches a great joke," she added.
- Screenwriting Mistake #3: Screenwriters Can Be Too Serious
And finally, Monica said, “Get along with people. You’re in a small room with a lot of people for many hours every day. It can’t hurt to be nice and be funny.”
So, do you agree? What other mistakes have you seen writers make, either those on the verge of breaking in or who have already found a screenwriting job?
We’d love to hear your observations.
Never make the same mistake twice,