Category Archives: Writing

The Writers Who Don’t Write

By ANDREW FLYNN, Managing Editor

I’ve absolutely had it with writers who don’t do what they say they do.

It seems like they’re everywhere. I use Twitter more than most, mainly to network, and then to reach out to other writers to possibly learn a little from them. From each of them. And do most of them actually write? No.

I’m a member of five writing groups at the moment. Some of them meet once a month, some meet once a week. Some of these groups are large, some are pretty small. There are writers who do write stuff in these groups, but they are easily outnumbered by those who don’t.

Why would you say that you do something like writing if you don’t actually write? There are many reasons for this. I mean, why does anyone lie about anything? The answer invariably comes back to something close to, “because they want to make themselves seem like they’re better than they actually are.” Regardless, fuck these writers.

It shouldn’t matter what you write, if you say you’re a writer. It’s literally one of the hardest things to do in a career. Both in getting coherent pieces of work completed, and then to actually make a living off of it. And even more difficult than both of those things combined is to get a large audience to appreciate it. I’ll admit it, I’m doing the first two, but definitely not on the way-higher level that I’m shooting for. But I am doing it.

It’s something I’ve noticed since the first screenwriting class I took a decade ago at a community college here in Arizona. The room was full of about 30 writers, ages 17 to about 55. Fucking great, a wide selection of writers to get to know and learn from. Seriously, I was totally enthralled the first day. But just like any other college class, the student population seemed to wane as the weeks went on like someone was siphoning them like the damn room was a full tank of freshly-pumped fuel during the pipeline crisis from back in the summer of 2003 for fuck’s sake. At the end of the class, there were seven students left. And only four of them had finished the semester’s work, that of an entire first act of a feature-length screenplay. The other three were just a bunch of clownshoes who acted as writers, but in fact had produced little to nothing.

I want to get into that class, but it serves as a wonderful analogy to what I’ve experienced since. The first few weeks of that class, which on the whole was an amazing course, we learned the theory behind good and effective writing from a well-known television writer who lived in Los Angeles throughout the 1970’s and 80’s. So at the turn of week five, it was time to get some shit done. No more of this talking and whatnot crap. Let’s get words on the page. That’s when the majority of the students decided to get the hell out. Because they couldn’t pass muster on doing the work, much less actually giving the effort to begin to produce ideas that would eventually be the first 20-30 minutes of a movie.

It’s easy to understand behavior like this especially from the generation that I’m from. We’re very lazy, we don’t have the work ethic and chutzpah to do more than we actually have to. This is all collectively in broad strokes, of course. Ultimately, I can only speak for myself based on the life that I’ve lived and am living now. Problem is, it does take work ethic and chutzpah to write and be creative and go from a hundred sheets of blank fucking paper to a work of art that only you could have created using both of those things as the cornerstone to getting something started on the way to getting something totally finished. Work ethic, and chutzpah: you don’t have these, you’re not writing. You just don’t have words on the page.

And that’s my giving a damn.

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Also from Andrew:

»Running Up the Odometer

»The Breeding of Irreverence

»An Open Letter to God

Afterwards returns this Friday for Part 9!  CATCH UP: »1  »2  »3  »4  »5  »6  »7  »8

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Running Up the Odometer

By ANDREW FLYNN, Managing Editor

Today’s the Superbowl, and I haven’t felt like writing a lot lately.

For the last seven months, my writing partner and I have been furiously working at creating an original screenplay about a very specific section of the service industry, something that we both really know about. We met through a mutual party and the premise that was presented was good enough to develop, and we took it from that point. Then life got in the way, a lot.

I hate saying “a lot”, because it’s a lazy fucking way to describe multiple things. But it’s 12:37am as I’m about to chunk this up on WordPress, so my brain is a little fried. This is kind of why we didn’t publish for six days last week. A break was needed, and subtle reorganization was needed. That, and the fact that this site is blowing up in ways nobody planned for.

Yeah, life got in the way a whole lot, and that’s just how it goes. Especially when you are moving forward after a motherfuckingly awful breakup, having three different jobs, hauling ass to the other side of town frequently to go see sick relatives, and almost going totally insane, not to mention taking one of those thousand-mile roadtrips that is supposed to ultimately propel you forward but really doesn’t. So I was looking for anything else to do besides to wallow in my own misery.

So that’s what we’ve been up to, and taking the bumps as they came, the patience and collaborative passion won over, and now we have ourselves a feature-length, hard-R comedy on our hands…the very movie that we set out to write based on two pages of scribbled notes and other such nonsense. It’s the first movie that I believe has a chance of selling, and one that I’m really proud to now have completed in my portfolio of things that I’ve accomplished.

Now we need to find representation for someone that will believe in our script equally or even more than we do. Talk about a difficult task.

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Part 6 of Afterwards is only six days away!   »Part 1   »Part 2   »Part 3   »Part 4   »Part 5

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