Why Write?

Every day I wake up and before doing anything I have to spend a few minutes finding inspiration to get out of bed. Sometimes this is more difficult than it sounds. Los Angeles is a wonderful place to visit but a miserable place to live, if it’s not the traffic it’s the sweltering heat (even in October which any Midwesterner knows should be cold) and if it’s not that it’s the high cost of living. This is not to mention the millions of tiny rejections that are the price I pay for choosing this “career.” So, some days it takes a while.

Every day I answer the question “Why.” Why be a writer when there are so many other sure opportunities in life, some that do not involve query after luckless query, connection after missed connection, and word after unforgiving word? And every day I come up with a new reason, “I have always loved to write,” “I never wanted to do anything else in life,” “I couldn’t live with myself if I didn’t try this for a year at least.” Every day there is a new reason and a new motivation to get out of bed.

The recent questioning scares me, to be honest, but I’ve found a community online, other bloggers who have the same problems, offer each other the same support, and who knows, could one day help me and each other out. This brings me to an important point, it’s not enough to want to write, you have to call yourself a writer.

Let me explain. Unlike other professions, there is no wait period, no degree, no professional test that will tell you that you are in fact a certified writer. You pick up a pen, you’re a writer. The writing test is simple: Did you write a few sentences today? If yes, then you are a writer. Maybe you are not a good one, a successful one, or even a published author, but guess what, you are still a practitioner of the mighty trade.

That’s my motivation: I am a writer. There are thousands of people in the Greater LA area who will tell you that you are not, but guess what, there is no point in listening to them. Most of these naysayers are frustrated writers themselves (that’s the reason they became producers in the first place), and they are venting their insecurities on you. As a writer, I have no choice but to go to work writing each day. Just like a teacher who has his classroom or a lawyer who has his courtroom (OK, maybe not that serious), I am a writer who has my pad.

Anyway, that’s my daily inspiration. Tell me what you think in the comments section. Oh, and here’s a flowchart, in case that’s your thing.

why a screenwriter

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6 responses to “Why Write?

  1. Love the flowchart btw.
    I know exactly how you feel and it’s frustrating. It’s one of those things that you can’t believe is the real path to get what you want but is necessary anyway.
    You’re at least writing a blog. That’s a start.

  2. I definitely know that feeling. Still, I love to write, and one of the things that’s motivating me, actually, is that I’m writing about things I want to write about, instead of stuff I’m forced to. It gives me a chance to let my creative juices really flow.

  3. @ Kevin

    That was the problem with school, I think. We never got to write about anything fun! And then when we did (or I did) I took it too far and my teacher sort of looked at me askance for the next couple of weeks.

  4. @Jon
    The best assignment we ever wrote was in the 11th grade… it was an English assignment dealing with film analysis. We watched the final scene of American Beauty and had to finish the ending. I wrote it in script form. My teacher even wrote some big “Wow!” beside it 😉 That was the best we ever wrote : )

  5. Substitute “novel” for “screen” in all your sentences and it’s pretty much the same story. At least we can all wallow and wander along our incredibly/frustratingly unclear paths together!

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