Be Yourself

There is an old saw which goes something along the lines of “write about what you know” which people interpret to mean if you’re a fishmonger write a novel about fishmongers. That actually might be fun, but I digress. I’ve always thought that phrase meant something more like “write about what you care about”. If you work as a fishmonger but don’t love it then writing about it just because you know a little bit about it would make for a very boring book.

In creativity terms you have to create what you feel passion for, which means not only the stuff you write about but also the medium you write about it in. If you feel nothing about books then writing a book might be fruitless. If you are only writing a screenplay because you think screenwriters earn a lot of money then your screenplay will be lacklustre and you will earn exactly nothing.

You can’t pretend to be passionate about something, it’s a contradiction in terms.

So in order to be successful at any creative act, be it writing, music or visual arts, you have to know yourself, be passionate about something, care about your art and the medium.

Be yourself.


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6 thoughts on “Be Yourself

  1. I actually wrote a screenplay on order from my mother and then fell in love with the medium. But I want to be more involved. I would have loved to be a co-director as well as co-writer during the making of the movie too. I still have a looooong way to go but I’m glad I tried it otherwise I would never have discovered how I felt about it. But I must confess, I wrote a little ‘play’ at age 11 (just like a lot of other writers I gather) and performed it with background music πŸ˜‰ And later on I wrote a play, which was performed in our church and had an incredible impact on the audience. That gave me the courage to try a screenplay.
    Earlier I thought I’d love to be a journalist but discovered that I wanted to be more creative.
    Then when I tried magazine journalism I found out how difficult it is to get it just right. I did a course in copy-writing to make some money and gave it a serious go but hated it. In all of this I first had to try and fail to know it wasn’t my cup of tea.
    Then I was granted a course for creative writing and prose and found my calling.
    Although I don’t expect money to roll in or make a career out of screenwriting it is incredible to do it and I look forward to see it become a movie.
    In the meantime I try to write articles just the same to make at least some income but it’s hard and it’s not my favourite medium.

    1. Hi Yolanda,

      yeah the hardest thing is to make a living writing. I did it for 20 years and it was at times very easy but other times really difficult. Mainly because you have to write so darned MUCH to earn a living. The secret is to work in-house rather than be a freelance, because at least you get paid regularly. Best way to make money though is to like what you write about and write fast.

      good luck with the screenwriting! (and I haven’t forgot I’ll send you a report on your manuscript very shortly)


  2. Wow! Thanks Phil! A whole report! This exceeds my greatest expectations. I was hoping for a line or two. You are too good for me πŸ˜‰

    Thanks for your e-book! After reading it I realised what a lot of mistakes I have made in the screenplay – sorry. The e-book is awesome! It’s also giving me direction on all my other writings. A million thanks to you for the time and effort you put into it and for making it available to all of us!

  3. Oh, and I would have loved to have an in-house job but no-one seems to be interested in someone who doesn’t have a degree…

    1. Yeah which is certainly a phrase I would have used in my comment if I’d reread my own post first. πŸ™‚ glad you like it. Tell all your friends! thanks for stopping by

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