Tom, every writer is different. That’s why when reading this post, three scripts… good rule of thumb. But some writers, given their creative backgrounds and life experience, may only need 1 script to break into the business. Diablo Cody and Jon Spaihts come to mind. However in the many interviews I’ve conducts, and read, seen, and heard, it’s much more likely a writer has the proverbial ‘box full of unseen scripts’ lying around which they needed to write in order to get to a place of professional proficiency. It just varies from writer to writer.
The not so subtle subtext of my post is it’s not just about the scripts. It’s about the CRAFT. Learning enough about HOW to write and about YOURSELF as a writer — your own approach to breaking, writing, and rewriting a script — so you feel a sense of confidence that when you land a writing assignment, you can deliver the goods.
A screenwriter I know who has worked on a number of high profile projects in Hollywood tweeted something the other day which speaks to this:
Yes, there’s talent and voice and style and inspiration and all the rest, but for a professional screenwriter, there is this fundamental reality: Land a gig. Have a deadline. Meet the deadline.
That’s doing The Work. And whoever we are, wherever we are in our respective creative journeys, we need to learn enough about the craft— however many scripts it takes for us to write to get there — so when we sign on the dotted line and see that due date, we have full faith we can meet it.
Thanks for your comment and kind words!