Hollywood has always been, both historically and presently, terrified to embrace change. As a result, they don’t want to hire new writers because they don’t already have a proven track record that they can point to. Of course, this sets up a vicious cycle — how can you begin your track record in the first place if you’re never given a chance to begin one?

As a result, agents and managers have a hard time representing new writers because they’re afraid of all the time and work they’re going to have to put into them before they start seeing any money. And because they know all of that going in, they have little reason to represent new writers. Why do all that work when they can potentially try to lure an established writer away from another agency for a lot less effort?

But don’t let this discourage you because I’m about to tell you a secret to how you get around this somewhat rigged deck. Are you ready? Good, then make your own movie. No, really, I’m 100% serious — write a screenplay and then make the movie yourself. And if you’re not a director — and believe me few screenwriters are — then you need to find a director who’s not a screenwriter. And again, most directors are not screenwriters.

Work out a deal to have the director shoot the movie for you. It will help both your careers. After that’s done, you can enter the completed film into film festivals, which is great in and of itself. But more importantly, you’ll have something much more valuable — control over your career and not being at the mercy of the Hollywood gatekeepers.