What I love about the screenwriting blogging community - or 'the scribosphere' as it's commonly known - is the inspiration and goodwill that is so readily shared. It can really motivate you to get things going if you're stuck in a funk. For example, if you're feeling down and depressed about your latest rejection, then chances are someone's written a powerful blog post about brushing it off (or linked to it on Twitter) which will lift your spirits and help you get back into your groove. On Twitter in particular, it's like one constant chat at a cocktail party; sharing jokes, links and interesting screenwriting tidbits (if you follow the right crowd).
Of course, there is no substitute for real interaction with your fellow human beings so that's why networking events such as talks, screenings, Q&As are so helpful and invigorating. The recent London Screenwriters' Festival is a good example. If you were there, you will know how strong the vibe was, and how fun it was to chillax, hustle and network with the speakers and delegates. The talks were top notch, while the energy and personality of the place was infectious and inspiring. Going to these types of events really help to boost your screenwriting battery so that you return to your desk, fully charged and ready to go.
And then you look around and see what your friends and colleagues are up to (or 'frolleagues' as I like to call them), which gives you extra incentive and inspiration. Jason Arnopp goes off with Dan Turner and makes a horror film. Just like that. No fuss, no hype, no ceremony. Just went out and made it. It's gearing up for a release next year and I can't wait. The Mighty James Moran is as busy as ever, and you get glimpses into his twisted soul on Twitter, but most of all, he's returned to the world of blogging (hurray!) and what he has to say on the recent Amazon Studios debate is worth reading.
Then there's the lovely Lara Greenway and Lucy Vee, who have teamed up with director JK Amalou to make a low-budget thriller called Deviation, starring Danny Dyer. This one's just started production but what's even more impressive is that Lara's just come from making a film called Crikey Villains, and Lucy, well, she was organising the screenwriters' festival, associate producing Deviation, script reading, blogging, script editing, tweeting, writing, leaping small buildings and saving the world (more details on Deviation and what an associate producer actually is on Lucy's blog).
Who else? Oh! Piers Beckley goes and sets up his own theatre company, Red Table Theatre, which has a show on over Christmas. Check it out! On the first night of the screenwriters festival, me and Piers (accidentally?) challenged each other to make a short film over the next few months, with 17th March 2011 (St Patrick's Day, apt) as the deadline. It's got to be between 3-5 minutes (not including credits), have no more than 5 actors in it (counted as anyone with a line, onscreen or off), and you need to either write or direct the film. Or both. So, um, I better get cracking. I quite fancy doing a comedy so if anyone's got a script that match these guidelines, I'd be happy to read it.
But my point of this post is to keep busy, keep active and keep working. Get your inspiration from wherever you can. Don't get sucked into a rut or knocked sideways by a rejection. Take it on yourself to do something or change something about your profile. What are you doing to stand out? There's more to writing than just writing, although ultimately that's what it all comes down to, so don't let it fall by the wayside either. Don't let online or other networking activities become the centrepiece of your profile. Let it inform and inspire, but stay focused on what really matters.