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« 6th Blogoversary | Main | Rom-Com Truisms #7 »



How long do we keep at the screenwriting dream, until it's time to stop and face reality? We all read about the fairy tale stories.... but, it's almost like you don't want to tell anyone your pursuit because they look at you like why hasn't it happened yet.... (and when I say "you," I just mean people in general...) Alan Loeb said that he would have advised people to quit and that he was just stone cold crazy afraid that he didn't know what else to pursue...


"...the person we want to believe we are–wise, compassionate, upstanding..."

Isn't that the reflection of ourselves we see in our (potential?) lover?


Eric: While it may be small consolation, what you're talking about reflects an ongoing crisis of faith for almost every writer I know or know of - whether they've been successful in their careers or not. (Some of the best writers I know are the most self-critical, and always fear that they're doing so badly that they should give it up.)

The only thought I can think of - a small beam of narrow light that occasionally guides me through such darkness - is that I write because I love to write. When it gets to a point that I don't reap any joy from the act of writing, that moment will be the cue to give it a rest. For a little while - because it's really hard to imagine that's a joy I'd ever lose (unless physically impaired) for good.

Careers come in all shapes and sizes and lengths - witness David Seidler winning his Oscar at age 73. But one doesn't need that kind of extreme fairy tale ending to justify a life of writing effort. Many frustrated screenwriters have turned to fiction writing (George R.R. Martin arrived at "Game of Thrones" that way), and then eventually found their way back to screenwriting again. You never know how it may go. But so long as it does something for you, personally, to put those words on the page - regardless of whether those pages sell for a fortune or are only read by an appreciative few - then it makes sense to keep doing it. That's the thought I have to offer.

S M: Indeed! And thus... cue up a centuries worth of romantic comedy (and tragedy), since over time (i.e. after a movie would discretely fade out), that Other Stuff tends to show up in that same reflection.

Rob in L.A.

Just dropped by to say two things:

1) Excellent words of advice to Eric, mernitman. They should be carved in stone somewhere — a Hollywood Starbucks, or an office building were aspiring writers are working to pay the bills, would be a nice spot.

2) I just saw “Tangled” again, and it’s still good. In fact, it has the best cute-meet I’ve seen in a long time.


Good words, Billy. Enjoyed reading that. Wished that my motives were as pure as that, but to be truthful they are not. Summer and Christmas time are probably the hardest times because every time there's a big movie coming out, I literally get inspired to do something and create. It's not really for the love of putting words on the page, but the love of all things movies... How can I say it's love for writing if it's painful 75% of the time, pushing through, sometimes just sitting around wasting time and not coming up with anything or not liking what's coming on the page, as not matching the vision in my head. Researching, reading blogs and guru books :) Sometimes, I wonder if I'm just wasting the prime of my years on a pursuit, that statistically might not bear fruit... and why do I have the temerity or ego to think that "I" would be the one to succeed where millions have failed at beating the million to one odds. I'm really embarrassed to tell friends that that's what I'm spending my time on....because although they don't say it, or even say flattering things, I get the feeling that they're rolling their eyes "another one." But, most of the time I'm really just tortured by the fact that I'm wasting my prime and that it may never happen.... when I'm alone trying to go to sleep or driving that's when it really hits me hard.

E.C. Henry

I ardently disagree with the crux of the Steve Almond quote. When you write you have the opportuninty to write BEYOND YOURSELF. How boring is that to be telling the world stories about yourself. It's never about yourself. It's always about the story. About finding out about people beyond who you are and what they're like. I know the characters in my story are VERY DIFFERENT from who I am. Creative writing is an excerise into worlds unknown, not some phycological journey to get to know yourself better. This quote is the framework for a limited life. When in all actuality writing is a gift from God to FREE those who are bound.

- E.C. Henry


Rob: TANGLED still in queue.

Eric: The statistics and the odds are all beside the point. A safe could fall on your head tomorrow. And while it's great to have your friends' support, it's finally not about what they think about you.

Does the torture outweigh the simply living in each day? That would be a ratio to look at, I'd say.

EC: You go, Ardent!

Sure, it's always about the story, yet it's always about you (i.e. characters are projections and expressions of a given writer's consciousness, no matter how "different" they may seem from his/her autobiographical self). Almond's addressing a fundamental duality within people - it's even, come to think of it, echoed in the ethos of romantic comedy.

We get to know the world better the deeper we go in, as well as out. True: Writing is a gift. Marianne Moore said, "One detects creative power by its capacity to conquer one's detachment." Sounds like Mr. Almond's creative thinking didn't leave you exactly... detached.


Good points Billy.

Was just frustrated last week, having worked very hard, but realizing that I still had a lot to learn about screenwriting and had to start from scractch again.... it seemed so easy from the other side of the biz. :) I've come to the realization that I'm drawn to it and will probably be doing it no matter what.... so, might as well keep learning.


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