Her story wasn’t always this rosy. After grad school, Shonda sold her first screenplay, Human Seeking Same, but it never got made. However, it led to her writing the 2002 feature film Crossroads and 2004’s The Princess Diaries 2 which helped in elevating her status in the movies business.
How to become a Screenwriter like Shonda Rhimes
There’s no prescribed career trajectory for a screenwriter. Like everything else in life, you have to work really hard at developing your own talent. ‘ success is pretty similar to a lot of other creative people in Nigeria –she spent a lot of time practicing and refining her writing.
Now, if you aspire to being a screenwriter, producer, actor, or anything else, you can recreate Shonda’s steps:
1. Commit to a screenwriting (or your choice) career
2. Hone and practice your craft
3. Move to a city or location where you can meet like-minded people
4. Take every opportunity you get
5. Keep working hard and building on your success.
Plan it out
Of course, there’s probably a certain level of good fortune or luck in all these. But relentless hard work and consistency might compensate for both of those. No doubt, it is a really tough road, and there’s no guarantee you will succeed. But you wouldn’t know if you don’t try, right?
Since college, Shonda has written fiction and directed plays. In Hollywood, she went from producing documentaries, to short films, to a writing assignment for HBO, then onto feature movies, and then her own TV shows, in that order.
And as a student of English literature and creative writing at Dartmouth College, she was an academic overachiever. She also had a short stint in advertising, writing for screen and television program at the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, earning her MFA.
So, you see, with the right plan and dedication, you too can become Nigeria’s best screenwriter, producer, or anything you aspire to!
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