Variety’s new weekly series, “Hollywood How-To,” will tackle all things writing, with broader conversations about everything from crafting characters to navigating the writer’s room. The first chapter — “Conquering Writer’s Block” — aims at scaling the “wall” of lack of motivation of inspiration. Each video is paired with a longer, standalone conversation with creators diving deeper into their craft, this installment Damon Lindelof explains how he defied the “write what you know” myth on “Watchmen.”
Has the sudden boost of alone time rekindled your desire to stare down the blank page? Have you always been curious about writing, but never had the right tools? Are you simply fascinated by the process behind some of your favorite on-screen moments? Variety has gathered top screenwriters in the industry to offer real-life experience and practical solutions to cracking your story.
Inaugural writers, including Lindelof (“Watchmen”), Janet Mock (“Pose”), Julio Torres (“Los Espookys”), Robin Thede (“A Black Lady Sketch Show”), Jennifer Kaytin Robinson (“Someone Great”), Rob McElhenney (“Always Sunny” and “Mythic Quest”) Sarah Kucserka (“High Fidelity”) detail their process of triumphing over writer’s block in the hopes of bettering your manifesto.
“When I don’t know where I’m going, it’s like getting in a car and realizing you have no destination,” Kaytin Robinson explained. “There are times where I truly can’t get around it, and I feel bad. I just remind myself that I have gotten around it before… it’s going to come. I don’t know when it’s going to come, but just have faith that it’s going to come.”
Hopefully these videos will help inspire during these longer days, but in the words of “A Black Lady Sketch Show” creator Thede, the first priority is to be kind to yourself. “We have a lot of pressure, especially at this time currently, for a lot of people to say, ‘This is the time I need to finish my masterpiece.'” she said. “Honestly, that may not be your calling, and that’s OK. Living the experience is just as worthy as writing it.”
Thede adds, “God knows we don’t need everybody’s quarantine experience in a project when we come out of this, but maybe there’s time to do some other soul searching or some other healing or some other meditation or just some relaxing.”