Posted by: steveonfilm | May 3, 2012

When Failure IS an Option

I’ve mentioned a lot of times on here that I enjoy listening to Craig Mazin and John August’s ScriptNotes podcast. One of the recent subjects from their conversations is how screenwriting development is sort of the studio’s R&D department. Or at least historically it served the same purpose.

Low cost. Cheap experimentation. You could play around with ideas, really, forever. And while much of what’s started won’t hit the screen, ideas are combined, matured, improved, and can deliver some fantastic films. John and Craig do a much better job explaining it than I do.

But, my point is, the same thing is true with your own writing. Taking risks and failing is part of the game. Playing around with random ideas is part of the game. Jotting down random thoughts is part of the game. Because you never know when some of that stuff might come back and be “plug and play” parts of your new scripts.

I’ve been able to pull into my current project several things that was just stuff I’d messed around with in the past. It was stuff I spent a few hours, days, weeks, exploring and searching for a story. There just wasn’t enough there for a script. Now, be it character ideas, set pieces, of plot twists, many of them have come back from the dead. And it’s all because I wasn’t scared to walk down a road that might lead to no where.

Failure was an option. It’s always an option. It’s reality. You are going to fail. Whether it’s screenwriting or real life. It doesn’t matter. You can’t be scared of it, you just have to accept it. Because there is ALWAYS something you can learn from failing. And it’s the learning that helps us grow. It might now make you a pro, but it will make you a better writer.

Anyway, I’m blathering now, but you get my point.

Keep writing,



  1. Point well taken my man.

  2. […] My Other Career is a totally awesome blog, especially when it gives advice like this. It really resonated with me, because I believe in failing spectacularly. (And I wasted lots more […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: