“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, 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?
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.
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