Writing On Spec

An award caliber procrastinator discovers a new and dangerous pursuit to keep him from actually writing another script. Why another Blog? I love to talk screenwriting. I love to talk story. I live in Richmond, VA. It's almost easier to get produced than find another screenwriter here. We are the anti-LA.

Friday, April 03, 2009

It All Comes Full Circle

So, over at Unknown Screenwriter, I was feeling rather maudlin and posted "Why Write". To some degree, it's something I've been feeling for some time. Just about everything has been done, probably done to death, and usually by a more talented individual than myself, so why write? If I'm trying to pass on some wisdom that I may have learned (perhaps something like Family Man - that says family and love is more important or more fulfilling than work), well (I thought) nobody's listening. I'm not trying to say that I'm a genius or overly wise, but some of the simple stuff you figure you should be able to pass on. However, I'm failing. I've failed to be surprised by the greed of corporations or the employees that work at the top. I've failed to be surprised by the seemingly idiotic decisions that are made from the top while people on the bottom just stare wide-eyed in stark amazement that the decision was made (because it's so ludicrous).

But I digress. Why write? Well, after watching Storytellers, it really did become apparent. For myself. As I thought about that, I recalled the long given advice from scores of writers that I'd read over the years. Write for yourself. That's the advice. Because, you see, if you can't please yourself, how can you expect to please anybody else? If it's boring you, good lord, you can be sure it's boring others. If it's a subject or story you are compelled or excited to tell, then it should be able to keep you inspired long enough to go through those long many drafts to get it into condition that somebody other than mom and dad can stand it.

I'm also coming to the conclusion that life is short. When you're gone, you may have a legacy, but it's rare that your legacy is one that lasts past your children. We have history, but that's not the same as art and very few of us are lucky enough to produce art that perseveres for over a decade, let alone a century or longer.

So when you write, be selfish - write for yourself, write those stories that put a smile on your face or a tear in your eye. Scare yourself. Surely there is somebody out there just like you thinking "if only somebody would write something that moves me". There's no time like the present. Don't wait. Before you realize it, time will be gone and instead of thinking "I wonder when I'll move out to Hollywood" you start thinking "I hope the rumors that Hollywood will buy a good story no matter how old the writer is are true".

Now go write!



Blogger Jim said...

I Googled "screenwriters Richmond, VA " and landed on your blog. I do that Google thing every so often just to see if there's anyone else out there that writes movies. Or struggles to write them. Thanks for your insight.


Sunday, April 5, 2009 at 9:46:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Dave said...

Jim - have you heard about the Virginia Screenwriter's Forum? It's a Richmond based screenwriter's group.

Sunday, April 5, 2009 at 10:27:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Jim said...

Yes, I've heard of them. On a smaller scale I was actually the member of a screenwriters forum that spawned from a Hand Workshop screenwriting class. This petered out after a dozen or so meetings. What is the success rate of VSF? Are you a member?

Monday, April 6, 2009 at 3:43:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Dave said...

Yeah, I'm a member and have been since the beginning. It's going on 15 or 16 years now. Here's the website:


I believe there's a contact e-mail there if you have questions or would like to visit one of our meetings. It's a somewhat small group - membership has varied from 8-24 over the years.

Monday, April 6, 2009 at 5:59:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Mr. Z said...

Thanks, I needed that...

Tuesday, October 27, 2009 at 8:14:00 AM EDT  

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