I hear all the time from writers wails of confusion and irritation about how certain writers do well when they're yet to be discovered. "But they're so mediocre!" Said aspiring writers will say on message boards, forums and social networking sites. "If someone just took a chance on me, I'd do it so much better!!!"
Here's what I say: yeah right.
Check out John and Edward from the X Factor. Those guys SUCK at singing, but they're very entertaining. Both weeks the competition has run so far, much more talented singers have been voted off, yet those Irish twins are still there - despite repeated booing from the X Factor audience. I doubt they'll win, but I'm certainly not ruling it out altogether.
These guys have become the poster boys for what this competition is really about, what it's named for: X FACTOR. Not the Singing Factor. Not Dance Factor. Not Looking Really Cool Factor. End of the day, if you are rightly packaged - double trouble! How handy, not to mention memorable - it can work for you. You don't actually need that much talent. You just need to be in the right place at the right time.
And this can work for screenwriters too. Think about it: everyone goes on about talent, but what this means is so different to each person you talk to. It's unquantifiable. I've been called talented and I've been called a loser. We all have; we all will be again.
But PACKAGING - there's something that IS quantifiable. Being professional, knowing what you're talking about, pitching well, being polite, pleasant, someone to remember - we can ALL do that. But most of us don't. Most of us let self doubt crucify us - or believe erroneously the story we've dreamt up will do all the talking. IT WON'T. Preparation is key; remembering how you APPEAR is key. Sure you'll cock some stuff up and come across as a weirdo; learn from it, move on to the next one.
Basically it all comes down to this:
You are everything you have. So use it wisely.