Tag Archives: writing life

Stephenie Meyer vs. Just a Writer

Everybody’s still obsessed with celebrity. In an era when you can follow on twitter your next-door neighbor and probably have a better chance of reaching him or her, we still fall for the trap of idolizing people just because they are famous. Maybe it’s an LA thing, but I find myself and others more obsessed with becoming famous than writing anything good. It’s a trap, and it’s scary.

I think every writer needs to take a step back from their career and ask, “Why am I doing this?” It’s not enough that you want a book contract. It’s not enough that you want fans on Facebook. I know, everyone is in it to win it, but why win something, like a fan base, if you can’t justify it? There’s no satisfaction in just being famous; besides the money, the adoration, and the free swag, who cares, right? OK, fine, a lot of people care. But there are deeper rewards and they exist outside the arena of celebrity.

The belief in writing has to be stronger than the desire for fame. Your words making a difference on the page have to be of greater concern than the swag at the back of an awards show. I forget who wrote this, but somebody much smarter than me wrote that books are like daughters, you want them to be regarded by a couple of people, not the whole town. I’m sure I butchered that quote, but you get the point. It’s better to have good fans versus many fans (although the latter is probably more lucrative, cf. Stephenie Meyer). But hopefully by the time you do get famous, you will have earned it, you know? That’s good fame. Nobody I know is there yet, but as long as you’re on that path, and you’re honest, and you’re writing, what else do you really need?

Besides swag goodie bags…

Edward Is Too Famous!

Up in the Air (Not the New George Clooney Movie)

You ever feel like life is up in the air? Screenwriters spend a lot of time working with their imaginations—not in the way you would expect, either. Sure, we are always thinking up characters, events, assorted MacGuffins, etc. to put on the page, but we spend even more time dealing with the “what ifs” of the script. What if that query letter is accepted? What if the web series is made? What if the web series is popular? What if the screenplay is a hit? What if an agent is interested? Who knows? I know it is bad luck, it is air, it is daydreams, but as a screenwriter, to be motivated, I have to imagine at least the possibility of success every single day, every moment I work.

And that’s all it has been this week. I heard back about one of my plays. The reader seemed interested. It almost sounded like a lock. I responded. I haven’t heard back. I know I’m talented, some people are even acknowledging that talent, but I haven’t made it to the next step. And between one step and the next is nothing, just a possibility of a step. I take it on faith that that step exists, but I have yet to make it up there. So right now, it’s all air, one foot on the ground, the other in transit; life as a screenwriter is up in the air.