And believe us when we say that understanding the No word and all its ramifications – and dealing with it appropriately – can make all the difference in anybody’s TV (or film) writing career:
by David S. Simon
I am in a war of words and I’m fighting it all by myself, day by day, battle by battle, against an insidious enemy that isn’t anywhere but is everywhere I look.
Judging by that opening paragraph it looks like I’m also in the riddle business and in some ways I am.
In this case the riddle is my life that seems to be born out of an incredibly evasive, complex code that requires an Alan Turing to break.
It really comes down to trying to cope with and make sense out of the word “No.”
Long ago George Harrison sang that the more he traveled, the less he knew and man can I identify with that.
The fact is here in the deep end of my soul pool, I find myself more prolific than I ever have been in my entire life.
It feels like my input and output have been on gush level. Ideas and stories are endlessly lined up on the Tarmac of my imagination and the hardest part of my life is getting to all of them so I can get my inner tower to clear them for takeoff.
Ah that word.
But is just the facilitating bitch of no.
The thing is, the more I write, the more opportunities I seem to be creating for yet another Trump sized wall to be built to keep me contained, constrained and ultimately defeated.
Now when I teach at the occasional rogue college or university, I always start my day one class by writing the word NOTHING on the board because the THING about NO is it means nothing.
That is theoretically true. In Hollywood a YES is a commitment of epic proportions. If, for example, if an exec buys something from you, both their neck and Marie Antoinette’s are basically on the very same chopping block level because someone has to take the fall if a project fails publicly.
Hollywood, which is a city that preens and poses like their symbol of quality Kim Kardashian (who always seems awestruck by her own potential fabulousness) simply does not like to look bad.
Failure is the HIV of Los Angeles.
But here is the reality of the world that I live in:
MOST things fail. Most TV shows, movies, books, albums and plays FAIL often spectacularly.
But Hollywood’s way of dealing with all that is to go out an buy an even more expensive outfit so it can rip it off and pose naked as soon as possible so it feels EMPOWERED.
Empowerment is the cheapest gas in LA. It’s even more available that legal pot and any monkey knows how to pump it….