All the writers I know that have been successful are the ones that have been completely committed to just the art of writing and who write, or are constantly turning scripts out. So no matter what’s happening with these scripts, the second they finish one, they try and get that script to progress from a business point of view, but they also begin working on their next script.
I also have found people that have overcome adversity and overcome the setbacks quickly are the ones that succeed in the long term. And the people that drown themselves in the failures—because in the entertainment industry it’s sort of like baseball, you know, where in baseball the best players strike out one out of every three to four times—well, in the entertainment industry you’re riddled in failure over and over again.
And the people who get bogged down by that failure, which is very easy to do, are the ones that I think succeed less. And I think part of that letting themselves get bogged down in their setbacks comes from a fear from having to create again. Because it’s easier to be self-pitying and to view yourself as a victim as opposed to sitting down and trying to create something, which can be very complicated to do and very challenging and very difficult.
But it’s the ones who time after time after time do, as Woody Allen said, showing up is ninety percent of the battle. I think that is absolutely true in the arts. The people who show up, do their work, are the ones that will ultimately succeed.
In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think’s studio.
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