Why Do Writers Self-Sabotage?

Whoa. An article we totally agree with. From experience. Our thanks to Tara Mohr.

Is An Inner Argument Holding Back Your Productivity?
by Tara Mohr

?Have you ever received the opportunity of your dreams and sabotaged it by not responding? Maybe you got an email about a possible book deal, or an invitation to play an incredible gig, or an inquiry from a mega-client. The dream invitation came – and to your own surprise, you ignored it. Why do we behave in such a clearly counter-productive manner?I would argue that we often do this because we’ve brought the wrong part of ourselves to the table. As creatives governing our own careers, we have to bring many different skillsets — many different selves, even — to the diverse activities we do on a daily basis. When we bring the wrong self to the table, we can get paralyzed.

That’s what happened to me. After I’d been blogging for a couple of years, literary agents began contacting me to ask, “Was I interested in a book project?” I certainly was.

We’d meet for tea, and they’d ask me a series of questions: “Who is the target customer for this book? How would you say you differ from say, a Martha Beck, or a Deepak Chopra? Are you doing any major corporate speaking?”

I’m embarrassed to admit it, but what happened next was this: I ignored their follow-up emails. I’d wake up in the middle of the night, heart pounding, thinking “Seriously, what kind of writer who wants to do a book doesn’t respond to a literary agent’s enthusiastic note?” I wasn’t sure why I was stuck.
Months later, I saw the problem: My inner artist had gotten spooked. Thinking these meetings were about my writing, I brought my writer-self, my super-sensitive inner artist, to the meetings. And guess what? My inner artist is terrified and paralyzed by conversations about how to market her work.

That’s when I realized that there were other selves, other advocates, that I could bring to the table.

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TVWriter™ Television Writing Resources

Lately, TeamTVWriter has been happy dancing all over the place because the TVWriter™ site revamp has been so successful. Eyeballs! Eyeballs everywhere! (And not an optometrist on-site! Get it? Get it?)

But we digress…

There is, however, one teensy weensy fly in the ointment. An Acme Load O’New Visitors means half an Acme Load O’Peeps Who Probably Don’t Know All That We Have to Offer. Because we’re more than just hipsterish blog posts with spiffy pics of arcane people, places, things, thoughts, and ideas which, if you squint just right (there’s the eyeball thing again) can be related to our general topic of TV writing.

We’re the First All Television Writing All the Time resource on the web. Having been around since the mid-’90s.

Almost 20 years?

Yikes!

We’re also the only television writing site on the web presided over by someone with the zillions (okay, we exaggerate just a little) of writing and producing credits of Our Feckless Leader, Good Ole…um…who? Oh, right, LB. The guy’s been around. Done just about everything. Knows or is known by everyone (okay, so there’s that minimal exaggeration thingie again).

What we’re trying to say is that in addition to what’s in our posts, there also is a mountain of info on our pages, and we hope you’ll avail yourselves of the info and insight available on in the Index to the right of every entry. Including:

And don’t forget this baby:

Check us out. All of us.

John Cleese on Creativity

What? You’ve got someone who knows more?

4 LESSONS IN CREATIVITY FROM JOHN CLEESE
by Rae Ann Fera

There’s a certain generation (or two) that owes its twisted, awkward, scorchingly black sense humor to John Cleese. Famous for his work with the Monty Python films and television series, the BBC comedy Fawlty Towers, as well as feature films like A Fish Called Wanda, the writer, actor, comedian and film producer knows from funny.

But he also knows a thing or two about wrestling the creative beast, which is the topic Cleese was invited to speak about at last week’s Cannes International Festival of Creativity. Addressing a group of attendees from the Havas Media group, Cleese brought a storytelling flair to the topic of the creative process, something he’s been discussing for decades through his educational video company Video Arts, sharing tales of writing mishaps and lessons learned from leading creative and scientific minds.

Through a series of stories, Cleese spoke of the importance of succumbing to the unconscious mind, two key traits possessed by highly successful creative people, the necessity of allowing for contemplative thinking, and why all of these together result in creative breakthroughs. He touched on the points raised in his much-discussed 1991 lecture, but rounded them out and introduced new ones (plus, this piece won’t take you 36 minutes to read). Here are those stories.

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If you think we’re going to argue with this guy, you’re %$#@! nuts wrong. We have neither the courage nor the creativity for that.

Anyone Remember “Confessionals?”

It was a genre, way back in the day. Fallen out of favor now. Replaced by Exploitative Memoirs. But the following, by a Utah man, may bring ’em back…with a vengeance:

Dead man confesses all in self-written obituary
by Sun News

A Utah man took his secrets to the grave – but confessed them in his obituary.

Val Patterson, of Salt Lake City, died of throat cancer on July 10, at the age of 59. The death notice he wrote for himself appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune this past Sunday.

“Now that I have gone to my reward, I have confessions and things I should now say,” Patterson wrote.
He starts out admitting to a crime.

“As it turns out, I AM the guy who stole the safe from the Motor View Drive Inn back in June 1971. I wanted to get it off my chest.”

Then he reveals that the PhD on his wall was mailed to him as the result of a paperwork error. In fact, he never even graduated.

“For all of the electronic engineers I have worked with,
I’m sorry, but you have to admit my designs always worked very well, and were well engineered, and I always made you laugh at work.”

In the lighthearted letter, which runs nearly 900 words long, Patterson describes a fun and fulfilling life, and thanks his friends, family and pets.

Patterson’s wife of 33 years, Mary Jane, told KSL News every word of it is true.

In a final act of contrition, Patterson tells Disneyland and SeaWorld San Diego they can throw away the “banned for life” files they have on him.

“I’m not a problem anymore.”

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Now this is writing! Brilliant. We absolutely are going to do this. We have to.

But not for a very long time.

We hope.

Starting Your Own Series on a Shoestring

Yes, it can be done. Check out this mucho helpful article from CliqueclackTV on various types of interweb video series and how to start them:

Drinking is the new writing…just ask these drinkers writers

Tired of TV? Create your own web series! – Monthly Musings
by An Nicholson

Although I think today’s TV is pretty good, it can improve. If you aren’t satisfied with network/cable shows, create your own! With today’s inexpensive technology and the multiple opportunities available through the internet, public access TV, campus TV, and local radio, you have NO excuse to NOT contribute to the creative TV landscape.

To provide suggestions for the fledgling web creator or student producer, I tapped the awesome Joe Wilson, writer/director of the kickbutt web series Vampire Mob and our own Katie Schenkel, who runs the movie review vlog, Just Plain Something.

Click on page two for Joe’s suggestions for starting your own web series, page three for Katie’s suggestions regarding creating your own vlog, and page four for my five cents on starting your own campus/public access TV show.

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