Susannah Grant on Writing

Susannah_Grant_BAFTA_SLS1“Here’s the most important thing I’ve learned in my short time in the business.

You must write what you want to write.

Don’t listen to people who tell you you shouldn’t write something. Or if you do write something, it will never get made.

I’ve been told that a movie about toxic waste would never get made.

I’ve been told that a movie about someone in rehab would never get made.

I was told that if that someone was a woman, it would definitely never get made.

And I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been told that a movie with a female lead will never get made.

There are no rules. Write what you want.

Write what moves you. Write something beautiful and unique to you.

Write something that no one else could write.”

From Success Feels Better, But Doesn’t Necessarily Make You Better

Our Dialogue Series, created by Aleks Horvat, the owner of theOffice, has a great in depth interview with Susannah Grant if you’d like to hear more from her.

Jason Segel on Playing David Foster Wallace

An excerpt from the NY Times piece: Jason Segel Makes a Career U-Turn as David Foster Wallace in ‘The End of the Tour’:

“To play Wallace, he [Jason Segel] said he worked to strip away any vanity or hint of pretense or self-satisfaction, and strived, moment by moment, to be as honest and empathetic as he could be. ‘Infinite Jest,’ he said, ended up being the biggest influence on how he played the role.

images‘It felt like an S.O.S., saying, ‘Does anyone else feel this way?’ ‘ Mr. Segel said, ‘That there’s something about the American promise that x, y and z are going to satisfy this itch that you’re not enough, that a whole generation found to be a false promise. No achievement or pleasure or entertainment or consuming is going to be the thing that makes you feel like everything’s O.K. And it really hit home with me. Because you really are still you when you go back home at night. No matter what award you’ve gotten or how much money is in your bank account, you feel the same going to sleep.’ “

Writing Advice from Cheryl Strayed

“The unifying theme is resilience and faith. The unifying theme is being a warrior and a motherf**ker. It is not fragility. It’s strength. It’s nerve. And ‘if your Nerve, deny you—,’ as Emily Dickinson wrote, ‘go above your Nerve.’ Writing is hard for every last one of us — straight white men included. Coal mining is harder. Do you think miners stand around all day talking about how hard it is to mine for coal? They do not. They simply dig.”

Cheryl Strayed

Tom Rachman Quote

Tom Rachman Quote“Among new children, she always spotted the outcasts first, and had read enough novels to prefer them. Sometimes this let her down- certain kids deserved social banishment. But hidden among the losers, she suspected, were her kind. What she longed for was a person who’d say, as none ever had, ‘This is all so fake, isn’t it? Wink at me sometimes and it’ll be our sign.'”

From his novel The Rise & Fall of Great Powers

(also, check out his amazing debut The Imperfectionists)

Quote of the Day: The Last Color I Saw

Maria Popova of Brain Pickings selected a few of her favorite quotes from the Paris Review’s huge archive of interviews. Here’s one that stood out:

tumblr_lkc6wrgPh01qbycdbo1_1280When I began to lose my sight, the last color I saw, or the last color, rather, that stood out, because of course now I know that your coat is not the same color as this table or of the woodwork behind you—the last color to stand out was yellow because it is the most vivid of colors. That’s why you have the Yellow Cab Company in the United States. At first they thought of making the cars scarlet. Then somebody found out that at night or when there was a fog that yellow stood out in a more vivid way than scarlet. So you have yellow cabs because anybody can pick them out. Now when I began to lose my eyesight, when the world began to fade away from me, there was a time among my friends… well they made, they poked fun at me because I was always wearing yellow neckties. Then they thought I really liked yellow, although it really was too glaring. I said, ‘Yes, to you, but not to me, because it is the only color I can see, practically!’ I live in a gray world, rather like the silver-screen world. But yellow stands out.” ~ Jorge Luis Borges

I can’t resist linking to this.