Can You Make It as a Writer?

This is a question I’ve often asked myself, and I would imagine most writers who have looked seriously at their craft have also wondered, “Do I have what it takes?” I’m going to hand the microphone (metaphorically) over to one of the most successful screenwriters of all time, Terry Rossio. He wrote, co-wrote, or headed the writer’s room, for the scripts for Disney’s Aladdin and Shrek, along with several of the Pirates of the Caribbean films, and Godzilla vs. Kong, plus a number of other movies.

Several years ago, he wrote an open letter about the business of writing on his Wordplay website. It is directed specifically to screenwriters, and is brutal in its honesty about the business of writing films. Much (maybe all) of what he has to say could also apply to writing novels (with the possible exception that novelists have publication options available to them that screenwriters don’t. At any rate, Rossio’s advice is worth reading despite its harshness. See if you can make it all the way to the end.

After reading it, let me know what you think. Does it apply to writing novels? Do you agree or disagree with him?


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