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Archive for the Category "Motivation"

The Three Ps Aug 06

The Three PsThe Glee Project

Is anyone else out there watching The Glee Project? For those who don’t know about it, The Glee Project is a pretty cool little talent show on the Oxygen network that gives the winner a seven episode character arc on the upcoming season of Glee.

Now that’s what I call a prize!

The Three Ps

Anyway, there was a recent episode where Max Adler (who plays the closeted bully, Dave Karofsky) was giving some advice to the contestants, and mentioned the three Ps, as the secret to success.




How excellent is that?! I’d never heard that one before. A great reminder for actors, singers, screenwriters and anyone else pursuing a dream.

Do you have all three?

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(Yup, the rumors are true. It’s the best frikken deal on the web.)
Now! What are you prepared to do? Jul 09

“Now! What are you prepared to do?!”
- Sean Connery as Jim Malone in The Untouchables

Sean Connery

What, you were expecting an Untouchables picture?

I read an article a while back about a high-level mixed martial artist, with a severely damaged toe. He had to make a tough choice — take a year off from training, or have his toe amputated.

He had his toe amputated.

Now *that’s* dedication. It got me thinking about parallels in screenwriting. For most professional screenwriters, success comes only after years of toil and sacrifice.

I know so many people who are dabblers (I used to be one myself). They peck away at a single script, only when writing conditions are perfect, while devoting most of their time to some other endeavor. They would really love to be a working screenwriter, yet for whatever reason, never truly dedicate themselves to mastering the craft.

The Secret to Success

There’s really only one way to achieve your life’s dreams, and it’s a two-step process.

1. Ask yourself if you’re willing to pay the price necessary to succeed.

2. Pay the price.

Do you yearn to be a successful screenwriter, but have something holding you back? Cut off that toe!

Photo: Sean Connery in Zardoz — a pre-Highlander movie about immortals. Looks awesome.

Want me to read your screenplay? Please take a look at my script services.

Photo Quotables: Abraham Lincoln Jan 20

Today’s inspiration from

That some achieve great success, is proof to all that others can achieve it as well. ~ Abraham Lincoln

Regardless of the odds, a bunch of screenwriters are going to sell their spec scripts this year, or break into the industry with paid writing assignments. That is indisputable. There’s no reason you can’t be one of 2011′s success stories.

Photo: Trevor Mayes (Yup, I snapped this pic a few years ago on my favorite hike — the Stawamus Chief in Squamish, B.C.)

Want me to read your screenplay? Please take a look at my script services.

Category: Motivation, Quotes  | 4 Comments
Are talented writers born, not made? Jan 19

Screenwriter Fairy TalesCorey Mandell has an excellent post on what he calls the “dangerous fairy tale.” That is to say, “the fairy tale that talented writers are born, not made.”

The danger of this fairy tale is that it feeds the other seductive notion that naturally talented writers are able to write and sell great scripts pretty much right out of the gate, perhaps even win an Academy Award, just like it happened for (fill in some Diablo Cody-type name here).

Being able to write a first-ever script good enough to sell and get made is a great story.  But we have to keep in mind that the folks in Hollywood are staunch believers in never letting the facts get in the way of a good story.

Without outing anyone, I went to film school with several writers who say they sold their first ever screenplay, which is absolutely, positively one-hundred per cent true… Just as long as we are all willing to pretend that those six or seven less-than-stellar screenplays, written prior to the one that finally sold, don’t actually exist.

Please check out the full inspirational article, and the included video at the bottom of the post by Ira Glass on Storytelling. You’ll be glad you did.

Want me to read your screenplay? Please take a look at my script services.

Making A Commitment To Your Writing Career Sep 24

Making A Commitment To Your Writing Career

by Michele Wallerstein
Author of:
MIND YOUR BUSINESS: A Hollywood Literary Agent’s Guide To Your Writing Career

Are you willing to put yourself on the line?

Writing ain’t easy, and that’s a fact. Anyone who thinks you can simply sit down and write a good book or screenplay is living in the land of delusion. Writing is a learned craft. It takes time, energy, a willingness to devote yourself to something that may never pay off, diligence, ego and humility. Writing is a “calling” not a career or job. If you are a writer, you have very little choice about it. It’s something you simply have to do. You may find that you are financially unable to support yourself on your writing for a very long time. Most writers have a “real” job while they slave away at trying to get their writing career in gear. Does having a job make writing more difficult? Yes, of course it does. Does having a job make writing impossible? No, it doesn’t.

People often bandy about the word commitment, but do you really know what it means and what the cost will be? Probably not. The price of your being a writer is high, but try not to forget that the rewards are great. You will be fulfilling your destiny and hopefully, at some point, you will be making a good living while doing it.

The point of all of this rhetoric is to share with you that you will need to be resolute in your choice and unwavering in your actions. Not only will the cost be emotional but it will also be financial. Make your decision and go for it.

Be determined to write more than one book or script without selling it. Know that it takes time, practice and research to become good enough to eventually get paid for your work. Be amenable to moving on to the next project and the next one after that. Be willing to buy that new computer, go to those writing classes, seminars, conferences and pitch fests and the occasional Film Festival. Make the investment in meeting other writers.

Are you willing to spend the time?

Because this is not an overnight success type of career it will take you quite some time to become really good at your craft. It will also take you a good deal of time to break into your chosen field. It might take years to reach your goal. Once you accept this, you will be free to move ahead.

Don’t forget that you will need the support and understanding of loved ones in pursuing your endeavors. They may not be able to appreciate your desires but hopefully you will find a détente with them. Be patient with them and perhaps they will be patient with you.

Are you ready for the rewards?

As a screenwriter you will discover that success comes in all sorts of sizes and types. Success may be getting a job as a staff writer on a TV sit-com when you hoped to become a writer of major motion pictures. Success may be selling low or medium budget films with minor distribution. Success may be writing a great screenplay that is mis-cast and poorly directed. It’s a crazy business with lots of unpredictable results.

The good news is that you may get exactly what you want and even if it is a little off-kilter, it will be wonderful, exciting, rewarding. You will have beat the odds. You will have proven yourself. Writing is a terrifically stimulating and potentially thrilling career.

There are no half measures in your chosen craft. If you have the tenacity and talent, GO FOR IT!!

Michele Wallerstein is a Screenplay & Novel & Career Consultant and author of “MIND YOUR BUSINESS: A Hollywood Literary Agent’s Guide To Your Writing Career“.

Web site:

Copyright 2010 Michele Wallerstein. Not be used without written permission from Author.

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