Hollywood etiquette tips for new writers

The following is a reprint from an article published on The Daily T.Lo on August 24, 2014.

MC Foley, author of one of my favorite indie books, The Cure, has a new book out on Amazon called 10,000 Likes. It's a juicy portrayal of a wild life in West Hollywood, California; and it's a story told in a non-traditional way through social media posts. 10,000 Likes is available on Amazon.

MC gave a great interview almost a year ago for The Daily T.Lo, and she talked about blogging and breaking down the misconceptions of what it means to be a writer. For those who didn't read the interview, MC is not only an accomplished author but she is also the coordinator of the Writers Guild of America's Showrunner's Program (a major Hollywood TV writers program.) She's an expert at navigating the world or professional scriptwriting, and in the previous blog post "MC Foley wants you to get off the couch!" she provided some tips on how to make it in Hollywood. Here's a reprint of her tips from that interview:

  1. Do NOT ask people for favors or to give you things when you’ve just met them. That is about one of the worst things you could ever do, and yet I see it happen all the time. Why in the hell should this person tell you how to get an agent or read your script when you’ve just met them?? Do you realize how disrespectful that is? Disrespectful of this person’s time as well as this person’s life work. For them to be at the level they’re at they have definitely invested YEARS of SWEAT and hard, hard work. For you to just ask for things makes you look either ignorant, selfish, desperate, childish or just plain stupid. I’m ranting here because I’ve seen it happen SO OFTEN. It boggles my mind. You need to build relationships with people on a human level – and not in an insincere way. People are smart out here, they can sniff that bullshit out pretty quickly. 
  2. Talk less and listen more. 
  3. Write a lot of material. You need an arsenal. 
  4. Take critiques. You’re new. And even if you’re not new, there is always something to learn. If anyone gives you notes on your writing, just listen to the note and consider it later. Do NOT get defensive. Especially if the person read your shit for free. That’s arrogant and you just burned the fuck out of a bridge. 
  5. Be prepared to work your motherf^&*(ng ass off. 
  6. Be prepared to hammer away at this for years without a break through. 
  7. Considering that last point… pay attention to every tiny, positive thing and write it down. “Had a great conversation with so-and-so.” “Read a great script.” “Went to a cool screening Q&A.” “Learned more about post production today.” Be proud of your gradual, daily accomplishments because if you really stay focused and driven and humble and open, you will find that you are making progress each and every day.
You can connect with MC on Instagram or Facebook, and don't forget to check out her book, 10,000 Likes!