interview with John August

When people say, “Oh, I just loving writing!” I know they’re full of crap.

I’m glad he said it first 🙂

This is from An interview with John August at Cecil Vortex. John August wrote the screenplays for Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and the Charlie’s Angels movies, among others.

It’s refreshing to know that writing is supposed to be hard work. And I’m not talking about the process of writing itself, like fingertips clicking away at the keyboard writing – but the journey to the chair, the shutting down your web browser and actually opening a Word document journey. It helps me feel like a little less of a failure to know that real writers are allowed to feel like writing is a chore, because the world does not give that impression sometimes.

This just about sums it up:

I really don’t like writing. That’s a terrible thing to say of course, because one is supposed to love one’s art. But I’d rather do just about anything than sit down and start writing.

The thing is, I love having written. I love going back and looking at the scene I wrote. So “writing” is a necessary, painful process I go through in order to get to “having written.”

When people say, “Oh, I just loving writing!” I know they’re full of crap. They’re probably lousy writers who are regurgitating their daily thoughts in a journal. Actual writing is hard work.

And this one is for Lee, if she’s reading, on the subject of getting unblocked:

In terms of getting blocked, or unblocked, I never force myself to write in sequence. I’ll happily skip anywhere in the script to write the scene that interests me. I can almost always find something that I’m willing to write.

(found via After The MFA)