Writer’s Letter: Your Secret Weapon

By Michael Schilf · April 1, 2010

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the smartest of them all? You are. That’s why you’re writing the script – I hope – because you believe in its potential excellence.

And in the beginning, this confidence is easy. You have enough passion and excitement to fill the National Mall as you speak from your pulpit at The Lincoln Memorial to rally your inner troops.

The problem occurs months later. You battled in the trenches doing story and character research, outlining the screenplay, and now you’re stuck somewhere in the second act. It’s all just a big nightmare mess. Your enthusiasm gone, it’s like pulling teeth to sit down and type your way through this muck of what you’re embarrassed to call a script. Simply put, you lost your muse.

So what do you do?  First off, let’s hope it never gets this bad, but when it does – and at some point it will – you must go to your secret weapon and open that sealed envelope with the letter you wrote to yourself months earlier when you had just planted the seed.

What’s the beef of this letter? Way back in the beginning when the script was just a great idea, I suggest you write down why it will be such an amazing movie. Be detailed, tapping into all of your early enthusiasm and eagerness, and later on, when times get tough somewhere in that second act, open the letter. Trust me, you will rediscover your muse.