Ignore the working out aspect of this quote (unless you’re also into that) and think on what the words mean. Where do you spend this kind of energy?
Is it on your writing (or other form of art)?
I know I don’t always put such passion into my work, as any artist knows, not all days encourage such intensity of emotion, but most days, we should have it.
As a “yet to be professional” screenwriter, I’m passionate about everything I write because they are the stories I want to tell. It’s my hope, in time, I will have the opportunity to feel this same intensity on a professional level. Because if we’re not passionate about our art, then why are we doing it?
It’s a thankless path for the most part, well, at least until we “make it”. It’s hard and it’s lonely and nobody cares about our struggles – their concern is for the final result, so we have to have passion.
I spoke with a fellow writer once who wanted to give up. They hadn’t had any success and just didn’t feel the drive to continue. My advice was to take a break and see if they missed it. Like a relationship, which is pretty much what it is, a little perspective via distance can help a great deal. Hopefully, a little time away will reignite the fire, but if not, they won’t waste any more precious time on something that doesn’t spark such emotion.
Because I believe that this is something we all want to find – something that drives us, something that we’re willing to give up sleep for, and let our minds wander off to…
So tell me. What are you passionate about write now? 😉
I’ve been reading a lot of articles lately and this one word keeps popping up — saleable (which means fit or able to be sold). This absurd sounding word is actually resounding throughout Hollywood right now, according to numerous sources, because your work should be saleable. No kidding. Isn’t that, in part, why we’re doing this? As artists/writers, we write, and write, and write, sometimes for many years without any acknowledgment, let alone any monetary reward, but that is the goal. So when I hear this word it sort of makes me laugh, because what they really mean is that they want something marketable, something that will bring in a large return. Apparently production companies are a little nervous, and sales have been dropping. I love hearing that and then seeing the weekend box office of films slated for release. So many continue to come out that I can’t believe found funding; remakes, endless sequels, and reinventions. It’s hard to be a writer with interesting stories gathering dust while a slew of “mediocrity” (this is not meant entirely as an insult, because who doesn’t love a bad movie from time to time?) finds its place in the world.
So what does “saleable” have to do in relation to your work? My honest opinion is nothing. If you believe in yourself and your art, if you’re passionate about what you’re writing, then someone will take notice. I remember this great piece of advice I got once — Don’t chase trends. Why? Because by the time you get your work in front of someone that might be able to do something with it (like get it published or sold to a production studio) that trend will be over. Write what you’re passionate about. If it happens to be a story in a genre popular right now, that’s fine, because in a few years that trend will come back around and you’ll already have something ready. Obviously, if your story is different than all that other stuff out there, all the rules go right out the window. But, remember this, when you’re starting out, write about those things you love. It’s your time, your energy, your lack of sleep, going blind staring at the computer, praying that someone will notice your work, starving because you don’t want to work at that crap job anymore — so why would you want to waste all that on something you don’t even care about? You should love your characters. You should love your story. I hope it makes you laugh out loud, or well up with tears, because it is that kind of passion that will help you sell it.
Best of luck to you all!