7 things to know about being a screenwriter

Is it difficult to be a screenwriter? originally appeared on Quora: the place to acquire and share knowledge, allowing people to learn from others and better understand the world.

Answer by Ty Leisher, writer and director of 11th Hour Cleaning, on Quora:

I’m a screenwriter and director of movies like 11th Hour Cleaning.

A career in screenwriting can be tough, but no more so than any other role in the film industry. Here are seven things that are difficult in a screenwriting career.

1. Scriptwriters must have a constant flow of ideas. Sometimes you’ll sit on an idea for ten years before you find the missing piece to break the story.

2. Being a screenwriter means you spend most of your time alone typing your latest draft. If you’re not one for loneliness, screenwriting may not be for you.

3. There’s a constant stream of rejection as a screenwriter. Even the most successful writers only have a quarter of their scripts produced. You have to have thick skin.

4. Your paychecks are scarce. You will need to be able to pace your spending while you work on other projects. Sometimes you won’t get paid for six months to a year after your last pay day.

5. Writing takes a long time to master and you don’t have a clear path to get there. Doctors or lawyers have clear certificates and diplomas that they must obtain. There is a structure there. With screenwriting, you have to keep writing until you strike gold.

6. Your personal fears and darkest issues will be on full display as you fit into your characters. The best writers manage to put their subconscious on full display. If you aren’t up for exploring your inner self, you may want to pursue another career.

7. You’ll never be able to watch a movie again without dissecting it. You will see every flaw, notice every twist to come. It’s like knowing how a house is built. You will see the scaffolding even after removing it.

Despite all those tough parts of the job, screenwriting is one of the best careers I can imagine. You can be creative, tell stories that move people, and explore the deepest part of yourself through your characters.

That question originally appeared on Quora – the place to acquire and share knowledge, allowing people to learn from others and better understand the world.