More than 70% of US screenwriters are either burned out or at risk of burnout, according to the Writers Guild of America.
The guild’s annual Screenwriting Summit is held in New York City this weekend and the guild’s report found that more than half of writers surveyed said they had experienced “severe” or “significant” burnout over the past six months.
Writer Jason Smith said he quit writing screenplays after one year because he couldn’t keep up with the demands of the industry.
Smith, who is writing the first screenplay of his career, said the industry is in crisis and that he wants to help others see how things are going.
Smith told Next Big Futures that many of the writers he knows who have quit are not writing for the first time because they have to, and that the industry has become too demanding.
“I’ve got an audience that I’m working with now, but I just want to write for them.
If I’m writing for myself, I don’t want to be writing for other people,” Smith said.”
The pressure is out of control, and it’s just a real struggle for people to stay in business.”
Writer Adam Karp told Next BIG Futures he feels like he is losing his voice because of the demands he puts on himself to be successful in the industry and keep his work on the screen.
“People have to keep writing to be able to keep producing scripts, which I’m struggling with,” Karp said.
“It’s the same way it was with me as a kid.
It’s not fair.
It seems to be that way for everybody.”
Writer Nick Bilton says he has been in the business longer than most and is often burned out because of that.
“There’s just no other choice,” Bilton said.
The Writers Guild says screenwriting is the fastest-growing industry in the United States, with a projected growth rate of 50,000 jobs by 2021.
It said the screenwriting market will continue to grow at a faster rate than other industries as more writers enter the field and businesses are able to expand to accommodate them.