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Love the Process, Not the Dream

Most clients (or prospective clients, family friends, former coworkers, etc.) think their story could be a TV or movie because it has at least as much drama, comedy, and irony as the worst shows and movies out there. This is why I always agree, yes, it could be a real show or movie.

However, that can't be why we're getting into this. Getting famous or making a million dollars from your (life) story aren't good enough reasons to start writing a script. It barely matters how good the story or idea is, 99% of them don't get made.

Fortunately, writing can be fun. The process can be fun. Indeed, it must be fun on some fundamental level to be worth the work.

When working with non-writers on their ideas, I understand I'll be doing most of the literal writing, however my clients can't disappear after a couple emails and then expect a final product co-starring Victor Garber on their on screens. There is work even after hiring a writer and that work has to be at least fun enough to justify the cost in money and time.

The end result of the experience (and a guaranteed, industry-standard screenplay) must be enough because expecting more is simply a bad bet.

I'm sure my brutal assessment will lose me business. First-time writers hitting it big happens, sure, but it's not something to count on. I prefer to be upfront with people and weed out the unserious dreamers with Hollywood expectations that border on offensive.

I love writing. I love the process and the work. When something gets produced, that's just extra guac on my taco. However, I've found that most people don't like the writing process, even when they have fun, cool, interesting stories to tell. I try to bridge that gap. While I find myself repeating the same truisms over and over again, that's ok, because I love the process.

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