13 Habits Of Highly Successful Script Writers

If you’re a screenwriter, there’s no doubt that life is exciting and full of possibilities. But as with any career, it can also be stressful and hard work. 

If you want to be successful at your craft, it may help to know what habits other writers have formed over time that contribute to their success. Here are 18 habits of highly successful scriptwriters:

The 7 Habits of Successful Writers – YouTube
1. Consistent Writing Practice
2. Embracing Creativity
3. Seeking Feedback and Critiques
4. Time Management
5. Setting Realistic Goals
6. Adapting to Constructive Criticism
7. Collaborating with Others
8. Researching Extensively
9. Reading Widely
10. Learning from Successful Scripts
11. Persistence and Resilience
12. Balancing Structure and Creativity
13. Networking and Building Connections in the Industry

They Take Writing Classes

There are a lot of different writing courses available and they can be taken in person, online, or through some sort of community college program.

A good way to get started is to take a writing course at a local college. You’ll meet other writers with similar interests, who may even become friends for life!

If you don’t have time for that, consider taking an online class through something like the Writers’ Guild of America East. 

The cost is minimal compared to the benefits you’ll receive from learning from professional screenwriters who know what they’re doing (and have been there before).

Maybe both options sound great but aren’t available where you live? No worries! There are plenty more options out there if none of those work for whatever reason (maybe no one else around here takes any classes about screenwriting). 

Consider checking out what’s available through your local library system instead there should be plenty available within a driving distance no matter where we live: 

Whether it’s nearby or across the state, lines don’t matter so long as we keep looking until we find ourselves enrolled somewhere that works best with our budget/schedule needs.”

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They Have A Routine

A routine is essential for successful writers. Many successful writers will tell you that their writing process is the same every time they sit down to write. 

Some might say that this is a crutch or something of a trick, but it’s something quite beneficial and can be good for your mental health. 

A routine helps keep your thoughts in line and focused on the task at hand, as well as helps you avoid distractions outside of your office space – or wherever else you may choose to work from.

A routine allows you to set aside time each day when it’s just about writing and nothing else – no phone calls, no emails, no Facebook notifications! There are many benefits associated with having a routine:

  • It keeps people accountable for their actions (they have set deadlines)
  • It provides a structure for an otherwise chaotic schedule

They Know That Writing Is Rewriting

You have to be willing to rewrite your work.

It’s a fact, and it doesn’t matter if you are writing a script for a feature film or television series, unless the words flow like an open faucet of inspiration, they will need editing and re-editing before they are ready to hand in. 

You also need to accept that what you write today may not be what you want tomorrow, so learn how to develop flexibility in your approach as well as be prepared for change.

Writing is rewriting! It has taken me many years (and many drafts) to learn this lesson myself but once I did I finally started seeing real results: 

My scripts were getting optioned by producers and agents; my screenplays were being read by actors, and I was starting conversations with studios executives.

They’re Inspired By Other Writers

When you’re a scriptwriter, inspiration is a necessity. You’ll be creating characters who need to act and speak in ways that are unique to them.

But no matter how much research you do or how many books or scripts you read, there’s no way around the fact that writing is personal and it’s important to stay true to your voice. 

This doesn’t mean that you should ignore everything else out there; rather, it means taking what works for others and making sure it works for you too.

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They Keep Journals And/Or Note Books

  • Keep a journal.
  • Write down your ideas.
  • Write down your thoughts.
  • Write down your dreams.
  • Write down your goals (and how you plan to reach them).
  • Write down how you feel about yourself and the world around you your experiences, successes, failures, fears, and hopes for the future.

Because those feelings will affect how successful you are as a writer at achieving success in the creative industry or in life in general

They Immerse Themselves In The Material

What’s the best way to learn how to write a script?

You might think it involves sitting down at your desk, opening up Word or Final Draft, and cranking out the first draft of your masterpiece. While that’s certainly one approach (and certainly one that many great writers have taken), it’s not the only way. 

If you want to be a good writer and make sure your scripts are strong in every aspect possible from characters to pacing then here are some habits that highly successful scriptwriters have:

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They Immerse Themselves In The Material

The number one thing you can do as a writer is research. Researching means reading books about whatever subject matter you’re writing about; 

Watching documentaries about whatever subject matter you’re writing about; studying historical events that may relate; even researching areas of psychology or human behavior if they pertain.

They Make Outlines And Schedules

Outlining is a great way to stay on track and organize your ideas. It’s a chance to think through how the story will unfold, and it helps keep you focused on what’s most important in each scene. 

An outline can also help you stay motivated and on schedule, so that your script stays on a budget (or at least comes close).

They Write Every Day

  • You should write every day. If you want to become a successful scriptwriter, you need to write every day.
  • It’s best to set a schedule and stick to it. Many people find that writing in the morning works well for them because it gives them time to concentrate without being distracted by other things in their lives (like work or family).
  • Writing is not something that comes naturally; it’s a skill that needs to be practiced over time. So if you’re serious about becoming a great writer, then make sure that every day of your life includes some writing time! 
  • The more often you do it, the faster your skills will improve, and eventually, this will lead directly back around into…

They Use Applications And Tools To Help Them Organize Their Work

Several apps and tools can help you organize your work and make writing easier, especially when it comes to scheduling. 

One of the most popular ones is Google Calendar. It’s great because it allows you to share your calendar with anyone who has access through email or phone number, as well as add other people’s calendars so they’re visible in one place. 

You can also create reminders for yourself so that you don’t forget about any important dates or meetings, which helps you avoid being late for something because there was something else on your mind at the time.

Another option is Trello, which lets users create boards where projects are divided up into different sections (called “boards”), each with its cards detailing what needs to be done during each stage of development before moving on to another stage until completion occurs. 

This tool is great if team members need access but won’t always be available due to location since they’ll still be able to see progress made by others while away from their computers; however if multiple people need constant updates.

Then this could become an issue since there aren’t any notifications sent out automatically when changes occur within the project structure itself unless specifically set up beforehand – so keep this in mind if considering using this option!

They Know What They Need To Recharge Their Batteries

Everyone needs to recharge their batteries from time to time.

It’s healthy to take a break, and it can be just as important for our mental health as it is for our physical health.

When we choose not to take breaks, we burn out and that’s when all of our bad habits start creeping in.

We have all been taught since childhood that taking regular breaks is good for us but many people forget about this when they get older or if they are in a job that doesn’t require them to take any real breaks at all (I’m looking at you 9-5ers).

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They Know When They Work Best, And They Plan Around It

This may seem like a no-brainer, but knowing when your writing is most productive and planning around that is incredibly important. If you’re an early bird, plan to write in the morning. 

If you’re more of a night owl, write later in the afternoon or at night. Or if you love writing on the weekend, plan to do so during those times!

Whatever works best for you will allow for more productive time spent working on your script.

They Read Articles On Writing And Study The Craft Regularly

You need to read. A lot. You should be reading books on the craft of writing, screenwriting, playwriting, and creative nonfiction. 

Read biographies of other writers as well as their work (go ahead and read some Shakespeare). Study what other people are reading to stay up-to-date on the latest trends in your industry.

You’ll find that there are many different schools of thought when it comes to script writing and even more so when it comes to the actual process of creating one so take notes on what resonates with you based on your own experience(s).

The Listen To Audiobooks Or Podcasts About Writing

As a writer, you should listen to audiobooks and podcasts about writing. Listening to audiobooks or podcasts about writing can help you improve your craft.

Listening to audiobooks and podcasts about writing is also a great way of improving your listening skills.

The Join Critique Groups Or Hire A Writing Coach

Critique groups are an excellent way to get feedback on your work. If you’re looking for a free option, try joining a local writing group. 

For example, the Screenwriters Network in Los Angeles offers eight different critique groups that meet weekly. You may also find local organizations that offer this type of service as well if you’re not near Los Angeles!

If you can’t afford to join a group or are looking for more personalized attention, consider hiring a professional coach who will give thorough feedback on your script and help it reach its full potential. 

There are many great options available through online resources like the Writer’s Store and The Blacklist; however, one thing to keep in mind is whether there will be enough space during their busy season (which is typical during the summer months). 

If so then it could be worth checking out but if not then maybe wait until later when things start slowing down again before trying something new like this!

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The best part about being a writer is that you get to work on something you love. You get to make your schedule, and you can occasionally play hooky from work if needed. However, writing isn’t always easy or fun. 

It’s hard work! That’s why it’s important for every writer out there to keep their mind focused on staying motivated by taking care of themselves both mentally and physically. 

The tips listed above are just some ideas for how writers can stay productive in this crazy world full of distractions; hopefully, some of these will work for you too!

Further Reading

7 Habits of Highly Effective Screenwriter: Discover seven essential habits that can elevate your screenwriting skills and boost your effectiveness as a writer.

The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters – 10th Anniversary Edition: Insider Secrets from Hollywood’s Top Writers: Uncover the insider secrets and habits of successful screenwriters from Hollywood’s top writers in this comprehensive 10th-anniversary edition.

Successful Habits of Screenwriters: Dive into the successful habits employed by screenwriters to create impactful and engaging stories that resonate with audiences.


What are the key habits that successful screenwriters follow?

Successful screenwriters often cultivate habits like consistent writing practice, thorough research, collaborating with others, and seeking feedback to improve their craft.

How can I enhance my screenwriting effectiveness?

To enhance your screenwriting effectiveness, focus on time management, maintaining discipline, staying open to new ideas, and continuously learning from both successes and failures.

Are there any insider tips from successful Hollywood screenwriters?

Yes, the 10th-anniversary edition of “The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters” offers valuable insider secrets from some of Hollywood’s most accomplished writers.

Can habits play a role in shaping a screenwriting career?

Absolutely! Cultivating positive habits can have a significant impact on your screenwriting career, helping you stay consistent, motivated, and continually growing as a writer.

How can I learn from the experiences of other screenwriters?

Reading about the habits and experiences of successful screenwriters, as well as seeking mentorship and attending industry events, can provide valuable insights and learning opportunities.