I Have No Idea How Hollywood Works

But it does. Some people make shit-tons of money being creative in their respective crafts. And some don’t.

Robert McKee warned me, along with a roomful of 300 other screenwriters and wannabe players-in-the-game. He said something close to, “writing is the hardest thing that anyone could ever do. So good luck, assholes.” My heart didn’t sink, it only beat faster because it was at that point that I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life. A couple of years later, the advice blares even louder than when the words left his wrinkly, sourpuss of a mouth.

I love writing. Always have, ever since I was given a set of colorful magnetic alphabet letters for my second birthday. I put those fuckers everywhere. Every night, I stored them in this Fisher-Price barn for safe-keeping. Not that I knew what the hell a barn even was. It was a container for their safe-keeping, that’s the extent of what I knew. And also the fact that shiny things were awesome and make me giggle.

The conventional wisdom is that it helps to know a person. Or at least a person who knows a person who is friends with this one producer’s dog-walker’s drug dealer’s cousin who is a production assistant on this sitcom which is on hiatus at the moment. Any connection helps. I buy this to a certain extent, but I’m also understanding that it takes your physical presence too. So that you can be there, if and when someone important reads your name off of page one from their giant stack of unread, unsolicited manuscripts.

The power of the writing word is something that will always bewilder me, even though I understand exactly the power of language. I can only say this now because I’ve used nearly every single English word at least a few times, and some of the time incorrectly, too. It’s funny how you hear a lot more about how you do something incorrectly than when you do things correctly. That’s everyone being a critic, part of human nature of course. Or at least those that choose to voice their thoughts outwardly.

Five feature-length screenplays, two stints in college, a ridiculous amount of short-stories, blogs, and now this, I refuse to be content. I want to eventually get paid for the things that I write. Real money. Part-time ad copy and ghostwriting are a welcome supplemental income (for which I am always for hire at a very reasonable rate), but it’s not exactly the kind of real that I had in mind when I switched career paths a few years ago.

Regardless, I’ll never stop writing. Not until I die. If I can tell a few good stories along the way to a few decent audiences, that’ll be pretty awesome.

And that’s my giving a damn.


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