I recently finished reading legendary writer/producer/director Garry Marshall’s excellent memoir My Happy Days in Hollywood. Can’t recommend the book enough, particularly the audio version to hear Marshall personally describe his own life.
After describing his role in discovering people like Robin Williams, Julia Roberts, and Anne Hathaway, he says the question he is most asked is how someone becomes a star and explains how he has no clue what the secret is. But he is able to pull from decades of experience in television and movies to offer some helpful hints.
As I considered these tips all I could think of was writing and how much universal wisdom here applied to the challenging career many of us choose–to become a successful writer.
Here is a modified version of Marshall’s list, adapted for writers like me who want to be wiser about breaking into the business.
1. Go to school, any school, write for someone, and study writing.
Actors start off with walk on roles in community plays. Writers start off by getting articles published in small community publications that do not pay. I would add blogging as an easy way to hone craft and learn to consistently produce content. Regardless of where you find continuing education, you don’t have to be in high school or college to be a lifelong student of your passion.
2. It’s just as hard to be a working writer as it is to be a star.
Don’t think that writing gets easy once you’ve achieved whatever major goals you’ve set. Legendary writers still work hard, very hard, sometimes struggling through every word. Continue Reading…