Habits that ruin your happiness

Writing is difficult enough in and of itself, so the last thing we need is to sit down at our desks (or coffee shop tables) and feel miserable before we even think of the first word. Here’s some good advice on being positive from…aw, you guessed it, The Positivity Blog.

7 Small Habits That Will Steal Your Happiness
by Henrik Edberg

“Simply put, you believe that things or people make you unhappy, but this is not accurate. You make yourself unhappy.”
Wayne Dyer

“Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking.”
Marcus Aurelius

It is usually pretty easy to become a happier person.

It is also quite easy to rob yourself of your own happiness. To make yourself more miserable and add a big bowl of suffering to your day. It is a common thing, people do it every day all over the world.

So this week I’d like to combine these two things. I want to share 7 happiness stealing habits that I have had quite a bit of trouble with in my own daily life (and I know from the emails I get that many of you do too).

But I’d also like to add what you can do instead if you find yourself being stuck in one of these destructive habits.

1. Going for a daily swim in a sea of negative voices.

This one can be quite subtle.

You just go around in your daily life like you usually do. Hang out with the same people. Listen to the same podcasts or radio shows, watch the same old TV-shows and read the usual blogs, books and magazines.

But what influence do these things have over your thinking and the limits you set for yourself and what you feel you deserve in life?

What to do instead:

Make a list of the 5 people you hang out with the most and the 5 media sources you spend most time on during your week.

Then ask yourself this for each of these 10 things/people: is this one dragging me down or lifting me up in life?

Consider spending less time with the ones that drag you down (or cut them out completely) and to spend more of your time with the people and sources that lift you up and make you feel good, motivated etc.

If you have trouble getting started with this one, then go smaller. Take a few minutes to think about what one person or source that has the biggest negative impact on you. And how you can start to spend less time with it/him/her this week….

Read it all at positivityblog.com

Building Your Creative Confidence

All of us are creative, but not all of us have enough confidence to let those powerful inner juices flow. Here’s some advice to put you on the right path:

The TED Channel strikes again! (“Talks” again? Which is more, um, creative?)

More about good ole reliable TED is HERE


It’s Humanitas Prize Time!

Our  second favorite favorite TV and film writing contest. (You all know what the first placer is, right, wink, wink?) The only drawback to the Humanitas Prize Awards is that they’re for produced material only.

Have at it, all you deserving pros!

from TVWriter™ Press Service
via Writers Guild of America West

HUMANITAS is pleased to announce a Call for Entries for the 44th annual HUMANITAS Prize Awards. The winners will be announced at the HUMANITAS Prize Awards held in February 2019 in Beverly Hills, California.

Submissions open: September 1, 2018
Deadline: October 15, 2018
*Teleplay or film must air or be released between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018.
*Episodes that air AFTER submission period are eligible for consideration and will be kept confidential.

The winners receive both a trophy and a cash prize at our annual HUMANITAS Prize Awards. Winners designate a non-profit engaged in nurturing the next generation of storytellers to receive their prize money. Past beneficiaries have included Young Storytellers, The Writers Guild Foundation, Rosie’s Theatre Kids, Film2Future, ARC, The Remix Project, P.S. Arts, IDA, Reporter’s Committee for Freedom of the Press, Sundance Institute, Inside Out Writers, We for She and The Heidelberg Project.

Eligible categories

  • Comedy Feature Film
  • Drama Feature Film
  • Family Feature Film
  • Independent Feature Film (New for 2018)    
  • Feature Documentary
  • 60-minute Drama
  • 30-minute Comedy
  • Children’s Teleplay (animated or live action)

Submission Guidelines

  • Teleplay or film must air or be released between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018.
  • Teleplay or film must be written in the English language. If original script is written in a foreign language, English-translated version will be accepted.
  • Teleplay must have had a national release on television (Broadcast, Cable, Internet or Satellite).
  • Feature films must have had a U.S. theatrical release.
  • Independent Feature films must have had a festival release.
  • Documentary entrants must submit digital content through web-based award judging portal.
  • Credits must be redacted from script.
  • $100 entry fee per submission.
  • No limit to the number of submissions.

For over four decades, the HUMANITAS Prize has empowered writers to tell stories which are both entertaining and uplifting. HUMANITAS encourages writers who create contemporary media to use their immense power to:

  • Encourage viewers to truly explore what it means to be a human being.
  • Challenge viewers to take charge of their lives and use their freedom in a responsible way.
  • Motivate viewers to reach out in respect and compassion to all their brothers and sisters in the human family.

“HUMANITAS exists to recognize, encourage and empower writers who teach us how to embrace our common humanity by way of their unique and powerful voices. These storytellers help us to consider our place in the world, and examine our own moral compasses. In this day and age, now more than ever, it is a noble mission.”
-Cathleen Young, HUMANITAS Executive Director

Submissions will be accepted on our website www.humanitasprize.org starting September 1, 2018.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us at info@humanitasprize.org or 310-454-8769.

Larry Gelbart on Writing Television Comedy

Yesterday we posted comedy writer Ken Levine’s tribute to the irreplaceable Neil Simon, the comedy paradigm-changing playwright who for all practical purposes set the bar for Broadway comedy (and perhaps drama as well).

We were never satisfied with any of the available interviews with “Doc” Simon, but late last night we came across an 8 part video interview with another comedy writing legend, Larry Gelbart, who worked on many of the same TV shows as Simon.  Gelbart died in 2009, but his work lives on…and so do his words of writing wisdom, thanks to this video – and 7 others – in the archives of the Television Academy.

More about – and from – Mr. Gelbart HERE


Larry Brody: Anybody Remember ‘Tomb of Dracula?’

by Larry Brody

Back in pre-history, AKA in the third quarter of the 20th century, one of my favorite comics was Tomb of Dracula, created by my writer-producer bud Gerry Conway and Gene Colan, one of comics best artists, whom, unfortunately, I never got to know. (He died in 2011. Oh, and he also was part of the team that created the vampire-hunting character Blade)

As a writer who often has found himself at odds with collaborating directors and artists (and the occasional actor as well), I’m always fascinated by the way the more visual collaborators like Gene think. More so now, at a time when comic book heroes and the horror genre have become so big on TV.

In this interview, we get a glimpse of how amazingly cinematic Gene. Colan’s personal universe was:

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