I came across this terrific quote on Go Into the Story the other day:
“If you just define yourself as a screenwriter, and you have a bad day as a screenwriter, then that’s your whole world. You’re building your life on this very singular pylon. It’s important to remember that you’re a brother or a father or a boyfriend, and also that you have interests and hobbies that feed you and nourish you, and bring ideas in and balance you out. If I have a bad day screenwriting, I can come out to my studio, and I can paint and connect with myself. It’s important to build a broad life that feeds you, that nourishes you, that gives you stability.”
– Joe Forte (Firewall) from “Tales from the Script”
Cut this out, paste it over your laptop, and then take his advice: add a pylon to the career you are building.
And I will do the same.
Stuff happens – deals fall through – computers eat pages – writing sometimes sucks. If you have all your eggs in one basket, you’d better get used to a steady diet of scrambles.
I have to say, I’m very good at the career part of diversifying. I don’t define myself as just a screenwriter – in terms of writing, I’ll try anything. I’ve worked professionally in theater, news, episodic television, and features, and I’m writing my first novel. I’ve had a couple of short stories and essays published, and I co-created a webseries. When it comes to having lots of props for my career, I rock.
It’s the non-writing stuff I need to work on. The soul-nourishing bits. Argh, who has time to be nourished and happy??
Yes. I know. Working on it.
What do you do, either to fulfill yourself outside of writing or to expand your horizons as a writer? I’d love to hear.