Take my advice

You know what I hate most about writing advice?

All of it.

Okay, so that’s not actually true; but statistically, given most people spewing advice onto the Internet (like the contents of a stomach filled with rancid butter, live snails and facial hair) have no idea what they’re talking about, it’s as close to all of it as makes no odds.

I get a little fucking annoyed at reading how this person says you should always do that or that person says pro-writers do the other … when this person is wrong and that person is a fucking idiot and neither of them have ever written, sold or in any way had produced a script of any description what-so-fucking-ever.

And no, I’m not saying you have to be able to do in order to teach. Of course that’s bullshit and doing and teaching aren’t the same thing … but so much of this shit is just plain wrong.

The worst part, for me, is the UK ‘gurus’ spout stuff they’ve found in someone else’s blog, book or seminar which only applies to America. It certainly isn’t fucking true in the UK and will do NOTHING to help you in your career.

The UK isn’t America. They have different flags, anthems and views on being polite to strangers. Americans have customer service, the UK has disdain. We are different. The rules you’ve heard regurgitated time and time again by people who have NEVER WORKED IN EITHER FUCKING INDUSTRY are just plain wrong.

Or at best, unnecessary.

I mentioned this to a friend recently and he felt it was some kind of Darwinian Gauntlet new writers had to run. If they can safely navigate the utter pointlessness of the bullshit bandied around by people who have NO FUCKING CLUE HOW THE INDUSTRY THEY DON’T FUCKING WORK IN works, then they deserve a career for having common fucking sense.

I’m not sure I agree with that.

I’m not convinced I shouldn’t point some fingers and jump up and down.

The problem is, some of these people, the ones who have NO FUCKING INDUSTRY EXPERIENCE WHATSOEVER, also have a large and rabid following built around some kind of weird brand-of-bullshit loyalty. I feel like maybe naming and shaming is tantamount to sitting down with the deeply religious and explaining how evolution really works.

Yes, the truth might break on them like the glorious dawn of an age of rationality … but more likely it will just leave them sobbing in disillusionment and wondering what life holds for them now.

So I (probably) won’t.

Instead, I’ll just say this:

Believe half of what you read and none of THE SHIT WHICH POURS OUT OF THE FINGERS OF PEOPLE WHO’VE NEVER, EVER BEEN ANYWHERE NEAR ANYONE WITH ANY INDUSTRY CONNECTIONS OF ANY DESCRIPTION EVER IN THEIR ENTIRE FUCKING LIVES AND ARE COMPLETE FUCKWADS WITH NO CLUE, HOPE OR REASON TO EXIST.

Just, you know … be sceptical out there, people.

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Categories: Rants, Someone Else's Way | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “Take my advice

  1. Good advice, sir!

    The best screenplay book I’ve read is ‘The Writer’s Tale’ 😀 Everything else I’ve gleaned from reading UK scripts.

  2. Dave Anderson

    Unless you tell us, Phil, how will we know who to avoid?

  3. This is what I think too.

  4. I’m with Phill on this. You have to work it out for yourself. It’s a Zen thing.

    Mu.

  5. Latte Blower

    Refreshing to read, Phil.

    Please could I also add another group to this list?

    Coffee-shop culture, endlessly gabbling hippies in love with the romantic notion and outward impression of writing but not ACTUALLY DOING ANY WRITING. They often take every opportunity (which is, under normal M.O, every breath) to remind you that they are a writer and that writers are *special people who should probably be in a club or something for gifted writey people*. In the process of constructing an arts n’ crafts fantasy ID for themselves, they again forget to TRY SOME WRITING.

    They’re there with fluffy, metaphysical platitudes about creativity, or intangible ‘advice’ that comes from nowhere but their own, non-industry connected experiences. I’ve also seen them rally against people on social networks that actually DO know what they’re on about. This normally happens when said professionals point out a harsh truth and it blows the foam off their little mocha-soy-lite-hazel-cino.

    They’ll NOT take help or advice from, you know, working professionals, and will insist their own ‘passion’ and lack of experience is all the compass they need. That’s right, keep banging that nail in with a sausage.

    I personally think it’s cocking vital to get help and advice from the *right* people – and I agree with the others, you only get to know those people by silently lurking for a few years and getting perspective on it.

    Happy Friday!

  6. Beautifully put, sir and/or madam!

  7. Pingback: 2012 « The Jobbing Scriptwriter

  8. Pingback: 2012 | The Jobbing Scriptwriter

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