An Influential Gift

Got a nice gift from a friend. I can tell, even from a cursory flip-through, this this gift, a book called The 101 Habits of Highly Successful Screenwriters, written by Karl Iglesias, is going to be influential to this blog, at least, but likely even influential to my career.

It will influence this blog because it’s a treasure trove of inspiring and thought-provoking quotations from well-known screenwriters or from others whose words are relevant to the career and efforts of writers. Since I have a large and growing collection of quotations for screenwriters broken down by topics (such as quotations on screenplay structure, scene structure, story characters and characterizationwriter motivation and inspiration, narrative and storytelling, and the lighter side of writing and being a writer), I hope to expand that collection as I read this books, adding selected quotes that provide me with direction and inspiration.

It will also influence my career because of the instructional value of the material, which Iglesias has grouped topically. Some of the topics are on the challenge of staying motivated, while others are about getting your script seen and sold, or about understanding the competitive landscape. Example topics:

  • Being Committed to a Career, Not Just One Screenplay
  • Being Comfortable with Solitude
  • Believing You’re Talented Enough
  • Becoming Possessed by the Story
  • Making Deadlines Your Motivator
  • Avoiding Distractions
  • Rehearsing Your Pitch until It’s Flawless
  • Not Being Paranoid about your Ideas Being Stolen

As you see: very practicable topics to a career-minded writer.

From the book, here’s a useful thought from Garrison Keillor for writers on the topic of avoiding distractions. “Close the door. Unplug the phone. Cheat, lie, disappoint your pals, if necessary, but get your work done.”

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