Screenwriters, Take Care of Your Business… Before You Have No Business

Creatives are notorious for not attending to the business issues behind their craft, and even industry pros can be careless in that regard.

Joel Eisenberg

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Geoffrey Moffett, Unsplash

I’m one of those “industry pros.”

Regardless, I’ll begin this one with a hoped-for stab of inspiration, as opposed to anything negative (though we’ll get there too): As a writer-producer my projects have sold to FOX, CBS, TNT, Ovation Network, Amazon, Sony, Warner Brothers, etc. I have current deals as well, presently being worked. I am a former CAA client, and a former Gersh client. As I was a small fish in those large pools, 100% of my sales came from my own efforts. I became a WGA member in my 50s because I never gave up.

There is no better champion of your work than you.

Further, as bigger projects and their big checks are perhaps two or three times yearly for me, I keep money coming in producing and content writing (Medium, NewsBreak and the like). Whatever it takes. No excuses.

I’m sharing this to point out, yet again, that the only secret of a successful, full-time writing career is to actually do the work.

And then I, recently, fucked up.

Learn from me.

Writers, we all need to take care of our business.

Let me juggle that a bit.

Writer, we need to take care of all our business.

I didn’t.

For those who don’t know, IMDB.com — fairly or not — is how many in influence, in my primary business, judge your marketability. Every Sunday night, aggregated industry personnel — actors, writers, producers, etc. — are assigned a “STARmeter” number, a ranking of search engine popularity.

I’m usually in the low to high five-figures, okay for a writer-producer especially when considering there are over 14 million potential placements for all related disciplines.

The lower your number, the higher your ranking.

For the month of October, as I worked on other areas of writing-related interest, I dipped to six-figures on my IMDB but let it…

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Joel Eisenberg

Joel Eisenberg is an award-winning author, screenwriter, and producer. The Oscar in the profile pic isn’t his but he’s scheming. WGA and Pen America member.