Writing Lab: Rod Serling on the birth of ideas.

 

“You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension: a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You’re moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas. You’ve just crossed over into… the Twilight Zone.”  

One of the most brilliant and loved American screenwriters and names on television, best known for his 1950s, science fiction anthology TV series, The Twilight Zone, 6-time Emmy award winner Rod Serling answers the burning question:

Where do ideas come from?

Clip from Conversations with Rod Serling—Writing for Television.

 

It was Ernest Hemingway, actually:

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”  

 

But you have to make a living at some point or there will be nothing left of you to bleed.

“Writing is a demanding profession and a selfish one. And because it is selfish and demanding, because it is compulsive and exacting, I didn’t embrace it, I succumbed to it.

 

In the beginning, there was a period of about eight months when nothing happened. My diet consisted chiefly of black coffee and fingernails. I collected forty rejection slips in a row.

 

On a writer’s way up, he meets a lot of people and in some rare cases there’s a person along the way, who happens to be around just when they’re needed. Perhaps just a moment of professional advice, or a boost to the ego when it’s been bent, cracked and pushed into the ground.

 

Blanche Gaines was that person for me. I signed with her agency in 1950. Blanche kept me on a year, before I made my first sale. The sale came with trumpets and cheers. I don’t think that feeling will ever come again. The first sale—that’s the one that comes with magic.”

~ Rod Serling 

 

Have you already collected all available ideas from the air, people and nature, plus forty rejection slips in a row? ‘Cause see, you’re in this for the long run.

 

*****

 

More writing advice for Creative, Troubled Writers:

>> NaNoWriMo: (Inter) National Novel Writing Month 2012 ~ You in?

>> The Writer’s Way: Week One — Morning Pages.

>> 11 tips & tricks for troubled writers.

>> Kurt Vonnegut’s eight essentials for a good short story.

>> Jack Kerouac’s 30 keys to life & writing.

>> “I start trembling at the risk.” ~ Susan Sontag’s Notes to Self.

>> Henry Miller’s 11 commandments for the everyday writer.

 

 

 {Don’t just think it. Bleed it.}

 

 

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Andrea Balt
Co-Founder/Editor-in-Chief of Rebelle Society, Wellness Alchemist at Rebelle Wellness & Professional Dream Chaser at Creative Rehab. Unfinished book with a love for greens, bikes and poetry; raised by wolves & adopted by people; not trying to make art but to Be Art. Holds a BA in Journalism & Mass Communication, an MFA in Creative Writing & a Holistic Health Coach degree from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition®. In her work she tries to reflect the wholeness of the human experience by combining Art & Health + Brains & Beauty + Darkness & Brilliance into a more alive, unabridged and unlimited edition of ourselves. She is also on a quest to reinstate Creativity as one of our essential Human Rights to (hopefully and soon) be included in the UN Declaration. Connect with her in the Social Media Jungle via Facebook, Twitter & Instagram and sign up for her FREE Almost-Weekly Muse-letter..
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