Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Larry Arnstein Breaks the Pledge

Larry Arnstein, a seasoned writer for television, including a stint at Saturday Night Live, claims that his work isn't really that hard. He says the writers who complain of how daunting writing is, comparing it to manual labor, are really part of a conspiracy orchestrated by the Writer's Guild of America. This is one of the funniest send-ups I've read on a blog. A sample:
You know how they say it's 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration? I hate to tell you this, but nobody ever got a writing job in movies or TV by perspiring. The air conditioning in most offices you work in is excellent. You get hired by luck, like having a close relative or maybe a college roommate who happens to be doing the hiring. There is some talent involved: if you're real good at parties, that's helpful. But you don't have to be good at parties. If your writing partner is good at parties, that's just as good.

Another thing about writing. It's not actually "work." If you happen to get a job writing for TV, you go to an office, and if you live at some distance from that office in the Southern California area where most are located, you have to fight through traffic to get there, which is a little like work, but you don't really have to show up much before 10 AM. When you get there, you find a lot of people are working. In fact, everybody on a TV show works, except the writers. The writers just write. If you're the partner who's good at parties, you don't even have to write, just go to parties, and maybe network a little.

One more thing is that writing is just like talking only not as loud. In fact, if you like, you can talk to your computer, and the computer does the writing. But even if you insist on "writing" to save your voice for talking later on, it's just not at all like digging a ditch.
Read the whole thing.

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