fightingthecage: (Gene - LoM Team)
[personal profile] fightingthecage
...(on which I blame the photo of elephants with wigs on, omgIaminpainfromlaughing), I bring all us aspiring pro- writers out there some words of encouragement, courtesy of Paul Abbott. That might not mean anything to people outside of the UK, but anyone who's seen State of Play, or Shameless (long-running series over here) - yeah, he wrote them.

This was from a Q&A he did, being asked questions from a big noise in the Commissioning Drama department of the BBC. And I love it. Because every time I read what a top writer has to say, I love it when they come out with (and they all do): If you're good enough, you'll make it.

PA: Well, one of the writers who is sitting in the audience I have mentored for 2 and half years. The whole thing
about mentoring is it isn’t about teaching someone how to write, you can’t do that. Too many people think they can
write, with you having to write it for them. That hard bit is actually getting out of your spleen and finding out where
you find stuff that you believe in to talk about, and it doesn’t matter what that is or what philosophy that contains.
The minute you do that, the minute you speak for yourself in all earnestness, I swear that you can’t not find work.
The writer in the audience has got a script he’s written, which two people I know don’t want to make but they’ve
offered him an open commission on two projects and I’ve never heard of that in my life. This script is written to the
highest of his ability and you can’t take that away from him. You want to write for stuff you want to do. That’s all
you have to do and one writer I’m working with has a project that he wrote seven years ago that hasn’t been made
yet. He earns a lot of money and it doesn’t matter that the project didn’t get made because it got him the work and
that about him speaking with his own voice. He didn’t write a script for Doctors or The Bill or Holby and a lot of
courses teach people to do that. You should be encouraged to write with your own voice first, because your voice
will get you all the Doctors scripts in the world, all the Cracker scripts, or your own series, that’s what, happens. If
you aim at the highest drawer you could get to at the time you are writing your script, you can’t not get work.

'...the minute you speak for yourself in all earnestness, I swear that you can’t not find work.'

Love it.

ETA: Also, this. I love this.

'Honestly, we need about seventy percent more writers than we’ve got in this country, because it’s getting
boring now and the ones who wrote really well are still writing way they wrote twenty years ago and that’s just
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