I’ve met plenty of executives who are sure they could write if they weren’t busy executizing after all it’s just typing the little wage pixies should be thankful for our continued benevolence.
Not to mention the plenty of everybody who thinks they could write, which ends up being another piece of this puzzle.
Jeez, does everyone really think writing is easy? I mean I’ve been paid for my writing before and I thought it was incredibly difficult. Maybe I’m too focused on getting it exactly right?
The Venn diagram of “think they can write” and “have terminal levels of Dunning-Kruger” has a lot of overlap.
I’ve written, edited, and taught writing at various times and I learned that people who can write even coherently—to say nothing of entertainingly—are a vanishingly small minority.
I could totally write comedy. My friends laugh politely at many of my remarks and even my mom once said “Good joke, honey!”
I still teach writing and the people who will just actually put pen to paper are a vanishing minority.
If there are ten people in an improv class, you’ve just described nine of them.
I think I should be paid to STOP writing.
On the subject of money and television, I just finished watching a series called Irvine Welsh’s Crime, based on the novel by the guy best known for Trainspotting. That had the National Lottery symbol at the end, indicating there had been a lottery grant to help make it.
This was on ITV, one of the biggest British networks. Not exactly short a few bob, considering how much they must be paying Ant and Dec… but they’re having major ad revenue issues right now.
Many smaller projects are dependent on grants or investors willing to pony up the cash.
Take something like Space Mutiny? Why did the filmmakers “play Sun City” and film in apartheid South Africa? The tax break, basically - and the lower labour costs.
Much of their salary often comes in the form of share options, based on performance. It’s also entirely possible for them to lose their position if the flop is big enough; Rich Ross went from Disney after John Carter of Mars.
Sorry, I meant “top” from a tax bracket perspective.
That is true, but I don’t think it counters my point. Good/bad performance has little to do with the disparity in pay, and if top execs are paid in shares rather than cash, then reducing salary could mean reducing shares.
Well I am the highest paid employee in my company
I remember when I was the highest-paid employee in my company. And I’m paid garbage and still make more now than I did then. Sigh.
Hey, I’ve read… er, well, purchased… a copy of Save the Cat! so I should get a seat in the writers room.
Bah, in my day, it was Adventures in the Screen Trade.
Jeez, the amount of agony that it takes me to send an email each month saying “the most recent results are attached. Results continue to be good”…
I would never be able to be a professional writer.
What amazes me is the number of people who are able to crank out novels, no matter how god-awful. Just out of college, I worked at a self-publishing company designing book covers and people were able to write 250 pages about a claims adjuster in Sandusky and his meek and sexless love affair with the woman in Apartment 4F by the dozens. Autobiographies even more so. It’s amazing how much people can write about themselves.
I wish I had a novel in me. I really do. I’ve tried. I honestly think I’m a decent enough writer in terms of ideas, dialogue, etc. that if I were able to keep it up for hundreds of pages, the book would at least be readable.
I don’t know how those people did it. How did they do something badly so much better than I can do it at all?
Part of it for me is being able to type, which I cannot do. It seems like a small thing, but if you can actually get into a flow when writing, it’s amazing how close the finish line gets.
Another part of it is that I think other people are able to work without a real-time editor/critic in their heads telling them that even if they had a good idea, which they manifestly do not, they can’t even spell manifestly correct;y.
I can write short stories. When it comes to trying to write a novel, I always manage to talk myself out of it on the grounds that I can’t think of any stories that would sustain a work of that length, and that if I did it would be a re-hash of something that’s been done before, probably thousands of times.
Writing a novel requires more tools than writing a short story, and I’m not sure I have all those tools.