today's film and television industries it seems like there are far
fewer writers willing to take risks for originality's sake. What advice
do you have for aspiring writers who are passionate about a particular
story, even if it risks not being given a chance by today's audiences?
-- Josh G.
As clichéd as it sounds, if you have an original
voice and an original idea, then no matter what anybody says, you have
to find a way to tell that story. My only advice would be you have to
exercise patience. I think the freshman mistake is you feel such
passion for something that you need to tell it now, as opposed to
saying, "Let me establish myself, and five years from now when I'm a
little bit older, a little bit wiser, a little bit more experienced,
maybe that's the time to tell that story."
Sometimes you get a
present for somebody a month before their birthday and you just want to
give it to them immediately. But timing is everything. So I would say
it might feel like your idea is a hard sell now, but maybe in a couple
years the timing will be right. Whatever you do, don't give up.
Whenever someone asks for my autograph in my book, I usually add my 2 biggest pieces of advice:
Be passionate. Be persistent.
Perhaps persistence is a type of patience. Persistence adds a level of push, of proactiveness, of energy. The wrong kind of patience will lull you right into complacency and inactivity (and waiting to be "discovered").
Yet: Some people are so pig-headed in their persistence that they can't discern when it's time to change course or adapt to changing times.
I recently read about the importance of context, which applies to writing and publishing more than ever. Some writers remain blind to issues of context and can't grow.
Passion & persistence best serve people who know how to grow, which Lindelof advises: get wiser and more experienced. I couldn't agree more.
AND—it crushes my heart to witness: A person with unlimited passion who lacks the focus or discipline to do the hard work of realizing the Big Dream she has.
Sometimes, it's all about who is working hardest, and can devote the most time and energy to their endeavor, and knock on more doors. Not who's most talented.
For those who are talented and never gain appropriate recognition, you can blame it on bad luck, bad timing, and unfairness, but I'd ask myself: Am I working harder than everyone else?