Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Write. And listen carefully.

There was a great feature in The Hollywood Reporter today about feature writers John Patrick Shanley, Jenny Lumet, Dustin Lance Black, Andrew Stanton, J. Michael Straczynski and Thomas McCarthy. I think the biggest lesson to be taken away from it is their major dedication and discipline. These people write for hours and hours, every day. We all have moments of doubt or hesitation (I definitely have room for improvement myself), but sometimes I think writer's block is a thing of amateurs. Really successful writers just write. All the time.

I also love Jenny's line about listening very, very carefully to people.


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11 comments:

Monsterbeard said...

I read a story by Orson Scott Card (Ender's Game) once where a character said "Writer's block is for when a writer knows what he needs to write but can't." I don't know if I agree with that, but I do think that we have to write even when it might be bad, more than that even when we KNOW it will be bad, because it gets our brain moving and lays more blocks for us to build on.

And I feel ridiculous for commenting.

Amanda said...

I agree with you: You are ridiculous. KIDDING! Don't feel ridiculous. It's okay to comment on stranger but not someone you've met? haha... Oh any account, the whole point of this blogosphere is to start a discussion. And make 14 cents a week in ads.

evanshaffer said...

Hey Amanda,
I wouldn't do this if he wasn't a buddy of mine, but it's Dustin Lance Black. Not Justin.
Best,
evan

Amanda said...

Thanks for the catch, Evan... late night posting is always dangerous :)

Harry said...

Thanks for linking to that article -- it was a good read, though disappointing as usual. Six writers and only one's a woman? And they're all white? That's the best they could do?

Monsterbeard said...

It is what it is. More than that they were pulling out this season's oscar contenders, although to be honest, I had never heard of The Visitor.

I'm not saying its ok. I'm just saying they're doing it to pull in readers, not to promote diversity in screenwriting

Josh said...

I really like this blog. It has a ton of really useful information. I have a question. Does anyone know how many people interview for the ABC-Disney TV Writing Fellowship? Has anyone interviewed for it in the past?

TheShadow said...

Straczynski is awesome. He is a bit of an idol for me. I love that back in the day he was just able to send an animation script to Filmation (He-Man and the Masters of the Universe spec) and ended up being hired as a staff writer at Filmation.

m said...

john patrick shanley, no 'd'.

and i only know that cause he's a playwright too!

AdicaRoy said...

I definitely agree that straight up writer's block is an amateur problem. My four season stint as a reality television producer taught me that under deadline, you can come up with an idea at will. It might no be the best thing you ever brainstormed, but you can get SOMETHING. I think there's a lot of value in sidelining something that it seems like you "can't" progress on to work on something else, or at least coming at it from a shockingly new direction.

Mike said...

The title of this blog should be Blind Leading the Blind.