Mark Terry

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Versatility

January 3, 2007
Lee Goldberg has an interview here that also has a link to on his blog. Among other things, he says:

I decided long ago that I was going to be a writer first and a TV writer second. There's no question that I make most of my living in television...but I believe it's important to me professionally, financially, psychologically and creatively not to concentrate on just one field of writing (It probably helps that I started my career as a freelance journalist, then became a novelist, then a non-fiction author, and finally, a TV writer/producer). So I write books, both fiction and non-fiction, I teach TV writing, and occasionally I write articles and short stories... most of the time while I'm simultaneously writing & producing TV shows (though the TV work always takes priority over everything else, except, of course, my family).


Generally speaking, I feel that way, too. Of course, I wouldn't mind being one of those superstars he mentions elsewhere in the interview who can essentially do one thing and make a lot of money doing it and pick and choose their work.

I would like to see a bigger percentage of my income come via novels (and please, no Monkey's Paw thing here--I don't want to suddenly find that my entire income, all $5000 a year of it, comes from fiction!) and quite possibly in my wildest dreams all of it come from fiction with some screenwriting as well. But until that happens, I'm pretty happy writing a big mix of things and making a living doing so.

Anyway, check out the interview. It's pretty interesting.

Cheers,
Mark Terry

4 Comments:

Anonymous Eric Mayer said...

It is true that some writers develop a kind of schtick but that's about all they can do and they just do it endlessly. To make a living writing you usually have to be able to handle words in a lot of different ways. To me, knowing how to write is knowing generally how to handle words, not having one trick. I won't even try to list all the different kinds of writing I've done...because hardly any of it has made any money!

Love the Monkey's Paw crack...

8:40 AM  
Blogger Mark said...

Yeah, I take quite a bit of pride in being a "writer," not just a journalist or an editor or a novelist, although I'm probably most proud of the novelist tag. I started out writing with the intention of being "just" a novelist, but life has a funny way of taking you in unexpected directions.

9:55 AM  
Anonymous spyscribbler said...

You know, one of the best pieces of advice I learned from my teachers in conservatory (and ignored), was that you can't do all one thing, or you'll get burned out.

You can't just create; you can't just teach, and you can't just learn. You've got to mix it up, or you'll get burned out. Variety is stressful, and we always seem to go after one, but ...

Man, I really shoulda listened to that teacher.

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