“Your Idea Will Never Be Ready”

A short lesson in productivity and the attitude you need to, you know, be productive. This TVWriter™ minion got a lot out of this…and the great image that accompanies it:

Image by David Mulder Found on LifeHacker

by Patrick Allan

A large source of my creative procrastination comes from this notion that my idea “just isn’t ready yet,” like it’s fruit ripening on a tree. But you know what? That’s bullshit.

I do creative writing in my free time—short stories, screenplays, TV pilots, poems, songs—but honestly, most of that writing is actually just me jotting down ideas of things I want to write in the future, “when I have time.” I tell myself that those ideas still need to get “fleshed out,” that they’re “percolating,” but really I’m hoping that I’ll have some sort of epiphany that will make the hard work easier.

The truth is, that epiphany rarely comes….

Read it all at Lifehacker

How to Get Accepted at an Artist Residency

Some visitors to TVWriter™ may be surprised to hear that many artists in all disciplines don’t make a whole lotta money. Which means they – okay, let’s be honest – we sometimes – oops – often need help finding creative space or just plain making ends meet. Here are some tips getting yourself a very special kind of help:

by Alanna Schubach

Last August, I made a brief visit to paradise. I woke up early and took a quick walk down a flower-lined path and over a river to breakfast. Once caffeinated, I headed to my studio, a cozy room with a bookshelf, desk, and armchair for reading, with a window overlooking that river, whose burbling underscored several hours of writing. I went to lunch at 12, then spent some time lounging in an Adirondack chair in the sun, reading. After that, maybe I went for a hike, or to a yoga class, or back to my studio. Then dinner, followed by more writing, then a reading or artist lecture, then out for some drinks in town.

This was my version of heaven: A stretch of uninterrupted time to work on my novel, read other people’s novels, wander in a gorgeous rural setting thinking about writing, and hang out with people who have the same strange predilections as I do. I called it art camp, but it was actually an artist residency at the Vermont Studio Center (VSC), one of the largest of such programs in the country.

According to the Alliance of Artists’ Communities, there are about 500 programs in the United States that offer writers, visual artists, dancers, musicians, and other creative people a retreat from the distractions and noise of daily life to focus on their work. Look at the bios of most successful artists and you’ll find they’ve paid a visit to at least one of these, a testament to how effective they can be in helping you develop a project. So how do you make it happen? Read on for tips on finding the right residency for you, applying, and making the most of it.

Identifying the best residency for you

With so many residencies to choose from, you’ll want to narrow down the options into a manageable list. Glendaliz Camacho, a short story writer and essayist who has attended multiple residencies, suggests you start your search by reflecting on your real-world obligations….

Read it all at Lifehacker

What If Your Writing Is No Good?

Look what we discovered!

A passel of videos by writer Tom Southern about writing.

Well, five of ’em anyway. Of which the video above is the first one we’re posting here on good ole TVWriter™. More to come.

And speaking of more. Don’t stop now, Tom. More, more, more!

40 or over & starting a Hollywood career? Here’s what you need to know.

What’s that? You’ve heard about H’wood’s, erm, “ageism problem?” So although at 40+ you’re feeling at the top of your intellectual writing game, you’re worried that you might not stand a chance. Here’s some genuinely helpful advice:

Yes, this is a plug for Carole Kirschner’s new book, Hollywood Game Plan. But we’re thinking it’s worth reading. And maybe even buying too – even if you’re younger. Honest!

MORE VIDEOS WITH CAROLE KIRSCHNER

http://bit.ly/2jxXvb4

CONNECT WITH CAROLE KIRSCHNER

http://parkonthelot.com https://www.facebook.com/Carole-Kirsc… https://twitter.com/carolekirsch https://www.linkedin.com/in/carole-ki…

Portrait of the Cartoonist as Philosopher – Grant Snider

Yes, it’s true, we have a little something extra today…an article about Grant Snider, as opposed to our most recent presentation of his brilliant work, just a little earlier this morning. So glad we found this one:

by Jeffrey Kindley

GRANT SNIDER’S first book, The Shape of Ideas: An Illustrated Exploration of Creativity, a compilation of cartoons from his website Incidental Comics, has just been published by Abrams ComicArts. “What do ideas look like? Where do they come from?” asks the jacket copy. Surprisingly, Snider’s beautifully composed cartoons have cogent answers to those questions — or if they don’t, he’s at least an urgent asker. He’s created something unique: a synthesis of comics, philosophy, and poetry: a thoughtful new way of packaging eternal ideas in cartoon boxes.

Snider grew up in Derby, Kansas, outside of Wichita, reading newspaper comics like Calvin and Hobbes and The Far Side and drawing with his twin brother Gavin. “Our parents gave us an easel,” Gavin remembers. “Grant would have one side and I’d have the other. We’d tear a big roll of paper and stick it on there and get markers and create these imaginary worlds.” They drew pirates, asteroids, aliens, and Bigfoot, and used the drawings to tell stories to each other.

“I kept drawing past when most people stop,” Snider says, “but I didn’t start seriously cartooning until late in college at the University of Kansas.” Then, while he was in dental school at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, he won the Charles M. Schulz Award for college cartoonists, which came with a $10,000 prize and a trip to the National Press Club in Washington, DC. That caught the attention of the Kansas City Star, which started running his strip Delayed Karma.

In 2009, Snider launched Incidental Comics, which gave him the freedom to draw whatever he wanted. “When I first started putting it on the internet,” he says, “nobody was reading it, so it didn’t really matter.” Soon, however, thousands of people were reading it and finding new favorites every week. He began drawing smart, fanciful, hilarious literary cartoons forThe New York Times Book Review as well.

I spoke to Grant Snider a few days after the publication of The Shape of Ideas.

JEFFREY KINDLEY: You’ve described your work as “self-help for myself,” but another word for it might be “philosophical.” In creating “An Illustrated Exploration of Creativity,” you’re providing endless images for the mind’s activity — even one called “The Internal Decathlon.” I can’t think of anyone who’s done this before: ideational cartooning.

GRANT SNIDER: I love that term, “ideational cartooning.” It reflects the goal of much of my work: capturing my mental state in graphic form. I’m also trying (and sometimes failing) to find a closer connection between comics and poetry. Both contain condensed language, strong imagery, and ideally leave the reader with a new insight. Lately I’ve been obsessed with Billy Collins’s poems; I’ve tried to emulate his approach of following a line of thought wherever it takes him. He also has a lot of poetry about the writing process, which appeals to me as a writer, but also in the unusual connections he draws between writing and life.

That said, I try not to think of these things as I’m drawing each individual comic. I’ve found that having grand ambitions for my work (planning multiple comics on one theme or plotting the creative arc of my future projects) takes away from the discovery and exploration that should be present in each new piece. Maybe this is the reason I tend to work in small, short bursts of inspiration: I prefer to craft a single page that stands alone, rather than a comic essay or graphic novel. As a reader, I prefer the haiku to the long poem. My mind is impatient.

Many of the cartoonists you admire — Matt Groening, B. Kliban, Roz Chast, Tom Gauld, Chris Ware, Dan Clowes — have a somewhat jaundiced take on things, whereas your perspective is uniquely open and celebratory. Do you feel like an outsider in the world of cartooning?

No, I very much relate to the stereotypical cartoonist persona: grumbling, introverted, slightly misanthropic. It’s my default mode of seeing the world. Maybe it’s due to the lonely hours spent at the drawing table? The celebration that comes through in my drawings is me trying to transcend my normal way of looking at things.

And much of the celebration and joy in my comics follows panels of building frustration. Usually it’s frustration with the creative process. There’s one called “Hitting a Wall” where every introductory panel is some creative wall, and in the following panel I find a way over that wall, including charging at it on horseback and vaulting over it with a spear. In those moments of frustration, I’m always looking for the way out.

I want my comics to be motivational but honest. It’s a fine line; inspirational stuff can easily become sentimental. Sometimes I find the right balance, other times I don’t. Cynicism is easier than sincerity, but for me sincerity is more powerful.

It may come as a surprise to some that you’re an orthodontist in Wichita with a wife and three kids. People tend to imagine artists devoting themselves to their work 24/7. You have a brilliant cartoon, “Day Jobs of the Poets,” which features, among others, William Carlos Williams, pediatrician; Wallace Stevens, insurance executive; Robert Frost, failed agrarian; and T. S. Eliot, bank clerk. Why is it, do you think, that we expect artists to be above the workaday?

A lot of that stems from a misunderstanding about how art is made….

Read it all at L.A. Review of Books

Distractions aren’t the Enemy. WE are!

Know all those distractions that seem to band together to clobber us when we sit down to write? Ever wonder what kind of monstrous villain would create such bullies to keep us from realizing our potential? Try this on for size: Our foe is us.

by Patrick Allan

Welcome back to Mid-Week Meditations, Lifehacker’s weekly dip into the pool of stoic wisdom, and how you can use its waters to reflect on and improve your life.

This week’s selection comes from Marcus Aurelius’ and his Meditations. He has some thoughts on the things which distract us from our goals in our day to day lives:

The external things whose pursuit or avoidance troubles you do not force themselves on you, but in a way you yourself go out to them. However that may be, keep your judgement of them calm and they too will stay still – then you will not be seen either to pursue or to avoid. – Meditations, 11.11

What It Means

One of the main ideas Aurelius focuses on in his stoic writings is the notion that the mind is immune to all external things. For example, you can’t control a situation’s circumstances, but since they do not affect your mind, you can control how you react to them. The same goes for all of the “external things” you pursue or try to avoid when you’re trying to get work done.

You do not pursue distractions because they command you to do so; you pursue them because your mind chooses to. You do not avoid distractions because of their nature; you avoid them because you believe you can’t control yourself around them. Basically, something is a distraction because you allow it to be, because you judge it so. All distractions require your input for them to exist—otherwise they are just a thing that exists in the world.

But if you adjust your input, if you choose to see those external things as just that, as things, they lose their draw. When you’re not pursuing or avoiding something, it’s simply there. Out of judgement, out of mind.

This concept can be hard to grasp at first, so perhaps a real-world example is the best way to explain its practicality. Say, you have a video game that’s eating up all of your free time. You know you have side projects to work on, errands to run, and relationships to maintain, but this game is keeping your from getting anything of value done…

Read it all at Lifehacker

Larry Brody: TVWriter University Fall 2017 Update

by Larry Brody

It rained last night, the slow, easy, beautiful rain that’s a big part of what makes the Pacific Northwest so wonderful. This is the first real sign of Fall here at TVWriter™ Central and a sign that it’s time to plunge right into action with new classes.

So here’s what’s happening:

LARRY BRODY’S MASTER CLASS

The 33rd Master Class, AKA The Class for Pro Level Writers Who Firmly Believe They Don’t Need No Steenkin’ Classes begins next week, AKA Thursday, Sept. 28th.

The Master Class is held entirely online. It’s the one where we start off by reading the completed first draft of your current passion (or paid) project and then take it through 4 weeks of revisions to give you all the help we can to make this your career best.

The absolute max number of students for the Master Class is 3, and 2 places are still open. If you think you qualify and will have a finished first draft of your latest literary child for us to work with by Sept. 28th, let me know, ASAP, via email HERE.

For more info about the Master Class the place to visit is HERE

TVWRITER™ ONLINE TV & FILM WRITING WORKSHOP

Our 167th Online Workshop will start Wednesday, Sept. 27th.

Most students in this, our most popular offering, return time after time, but as of this writing 2 places remain in this class of 5.

The Online Workshop is the one tailored specifically for each member. If you’re new to TV or film writing we bring you through the basics via weekly assignments until you’re ready to run with a full teleplay or screenplay of your own. If you know your way around the format, then the class is all about uploading 10 pages a week for your classmates and me read and discuss and give you insight into what can make the delicious goodness of your work even tastier.

More info about the Advanced Workshop is HERE

It’s always a joy for me to work with fresh, eager new writers. I’m more than happy to answer any Online Workshop questions HERE

LYMI, LB