People much busier than us find the time to write. Computers, from desktops to smartphones, make it incredibly easy to write & publish. If you don't, you don't want to.
You spend all your time trying to write for television (or spend all your time doing X) because you have no effing life. You're the proverbial All Work Jack.
Author is a good example. All that sacrifice to write for E!, Fox, and reality shows. To what end?
People complain that TV is formulaic but what do you expect if all of the writers spend close on 24 hours a day reading and writing the same TV scripts and only ever meet the same people.
This is where someone usually says, “Look, this may work
for some people, and that’s great. But that’s not the kind
of life I want to lead.”
To which I reply… “Okay—then I guess you don’t want it
And then they get upset. They think I’m attacking them
personally, calling them frauds or failures. Because they
“think” they want it that bad. They’re talented writers…
passionate consumers of pop culture… intelligent readers
and viewers… and they “think” they want to be a
professional writer. But the truth is: they don’t.
Because I used to think that software engineering was unique in that you could stare at a screen and intently tap keys to create works of great value to others. No natural resources required. But of course writing books and especially writing screenplays is similar.
Yet the political outlooks of your modal Hollywood screenwriter and your modal Silicon Valley startup engineer could not be more different. The former is usually quite liberal, while the latter probably leans libertarian on average.
Perhaps this is because software engineering is more about "right answers" than screenwriting. The empirical test in screenwriting is whether the screenplay gets optioned, and whether it makes any money at the box office. These would be analogous to investment and ultimately profits in a startup. Absent, though, is any obvious analog to compiler errors or smaller scale empirical tests for a screenplay. There is spellcheck, but it's at the level of syntax highlighting, not a REPL.
If screenwriters could write in emacs or vim and predict the sentiment response to regions of text by highlighting the region and sending it to a subprocess, that would be interesting. I suppose this is technically possible today if you piped the text to Mechanical Turk or ran some sort of automated sentiment analysis on it. Hmmm. It would be sort of interesting to backtest this on existing screenplays to see if MTurk or automated analysis could find predictors of box office hits. With the right featurization, would be surprising if there was no signal there at all.
Anyone can do it, you've just got to be prepared to throw the blood sweat and tears in. (Obviously my comments do not apply to those juggling families! You guys deserve medals of your own!)
“Look, this may work for some people, and that’s great. But that’s not the kind of life I want to lead.”
“Okay—then I guess you don’t want it that bad.”