DMc blogs that two things all his writer friends have in common are doubting and finishing
I don't know about doubting. I generally don't doubt the overall value of something I've written until I've become a better enough writer see how much better I can make it now. And there have been things I was pretty sure were the best thing that I wrote. (Some of them still seem to be the best thing I ever wrote.) If I'm not in love with what I'm writing, I find it hard to keep writing. So I let myself love what I'm doing.
(I am also, generally, a happier person than Denis. But that's a question of personal style. Bitter works for him. He's got the whole bitter Irish thing going. I'm a good witch.)
But I do finish everything, sucky or not. I am fanatical about finishing things. If I've got a treatment, it nags at me until it's a screenplay. I only stop projects at distinct quanta -- the ones where you can hand pages off to your agent and say "Now go thou and find us some money for this thing."
And I agree with DMc that writer isn't a job track. I have never met anyone successful who started writing for the money. (Though I have met some awful people who stopped loving it, in spite of the money, and are taking work away from people who really want to do it. Fortunately they're becoming producers.) I'm a writer because I need to write. If I couldn't make a living at it, it would be a hobby. I wouldn't write TV, because there's no point in writing TV as a hobby. But I'd probably write (and self publish if necessary) SF novels and short stories. A few days go by when I haven't written anything, you don't want to be around me. I get grumpy. Grumpy does not work for me.
Back to the pages...
I'm coming at this from a totally different mindset than you and Denis, Alex. You both love writing and can't think of anything else in the world you'd rather do, while I absolutely loathe writing but recognize it as a necessary step in the evolution of my project, leading up to the day it finally airs on network television. I know I'm going to have to edit and embellish the work of others, as executive producer, someday, and will also have to write a few scripts from scratch (I'm terrified of the 'blank page' monster). Doesn't mean I have to love it in order to be really, really good at it -- or to become a success in the industry.
So, why have I put myself through ten years of hell and spent hundreds of dollars on books and courses to learn a craft I really have no interest in? It's certainly not for the money. I'm already making some decent coin as the owner of three businesses, working 110 hours a week doing what I love to do. It's not for the fame. I've already been a radio/TV celeb with the autographs, fan mail and death threats, so I'm not terribly interested in throwing myself back into the public eye like that again any time soon.
So, why the hell do I do it? Everytime I ask myself that question I keep coming back with the same answer:
This project, the only one I have in development, needs to exist, to be a success for so many reasons that have little to do with making a nifty little TV show for my fellow genre geeks. The show is just one small but significant part of my master plan, an advertising tool that I intend to exploit to its full potential in order to fulfill my destiny and help change the world for the better.
KJC (who recognizes that she sounds like a deranged lunatic but doesn't really give a s**t)
Really pointed post. Writers are writers. If I wasn't selling direct to video scripts I'd still do something, even if it was just writing my own 'zine. There really is no becoming. You either are or you aren't, I think.
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