Off the List


At one point in my life, perhaps a smidge too late, I considered a career in screenwriting. I took courses in college, bought books, did a lot of research. In fact I even arranged to speak with Keith Sharon, writer of the Showtime screenplay, who also happened to work at one of the local newspapers. I was inspired by his story and the fact that he wrote the screenplay in a small office behind a McDonald’s not too far from where I lived at the time.

We made contact. Hell, I even still have the e-mails. But despite my best efforts, the meeting never happened.

So I continued to push myself into writing “the next big screenplay” and tried to summon my muse in order to get the thing going. In the meantime I studied character arcs, spec scripts, treatments, pitches, and the business in general. I convinced myself that what I could come up with would be some of the funniest shit anybody had ever seen, and that selling my first script would change my world forever.

And for good measure, I even tried to get into the WGA’s now-defunct Writers Training Program. Out of all the inquiries I sent out (to shows like King of the Hill, The Simpsons, and The King of Queens), I got one response from the producers of MadTV telling me that, unfortunately, they were no longer part of the program. (I still have the letter somewhere.)

Years later, and not surprising to anybody, my muse has yet to arrive. And each glance out across the smoggy L.A. sky from the Green Line station to that seemingly small “HOLLYWOOD” sign in the hills is a constant reminder that no, what I planned on doing has never come to pass and, taking my age into consideration, probably never will.

So it’s with deep regret that I now mark “Writing a Screenplay” off my “Things to Do Before I Die” list. The idea is now officially dead, buried and covered with squirmy maggots.

That said, I’ll look deep into my archives to see if I can find any samples and post them here. Why care about it now, right? I wrote many scenes in college and on my own but who the hell knows where they are now.

But when I do find one or two, they’ll be here.


2 thoughts on “Off the List

  1. I find this a rather sad post. I mean heck, if you want to write screenplays and that’s what floats your boat then why agree with the world and work against yourself? Do it, if it makes you happy. If you aren’t dead yet, there is always a chance. Also, write other stuff. It helps with your writing chops and keeps you fresh. William Goldman’s book is a good one to read if you want to understand the movie business.

    I guess my point is this, if you are a writer, then write. Write a novel, write short stories, just write – someday, somehow, if you keep at it, then you will publish and one of those may well become a movie or a television series. It’s easy to take all the rejection personally, but the truth is, like any other business, it’s a numbers game – if you don’t keep pushing and marketing, nobody will know who you are. At least that’s my two cents.

    Good luck.


  2. First, thanks for the input!

    Now, don’t get me wrong. I do write other things including, but not limited to, lyrics to songs I can’t play because I don’t have the talent to play an instrument. And don’t get me started on those dreams in which I create an entire song and forget it all when I wake up. Frustrating.

    I do try my best to stay sharp as writing has been something that has come natural to me for as long as I can remember. Hell, I’ve been consistently blogging since 2004 and wrote for a magazine for three years. But placing an emphasis on the whole screenwriting thing is what this post was leaning toward.

    True, it may still happen. But until then I’m stuck here at my job marking up proofs with a red pen.

    And I suppose I’ll always have this blog to tend to.


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