Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Getting the hell out of the way

with 3 comments

Stephen Adley Guirgis

A big part of being a writer is about just listening to the different voices in your head and writing down what they need to say. I know that might sound a little mysterious, but, really, it’s not that mysterious when you think about it. What does a baseball player do? See the ball, hit the ball. A quarterback reads and reacts. A fisherman casts his line and hopefully reels something in. That’s what writers do…But the process is always the same, and if the process is successful, it’s usually because we left “thinking about it” out of the equation. The thinking part comes before and after. But the actual act of writing is about something else. It’s about getting the hell out of the way. And the reason I suggest that the writing process isn’t so mysterious as it sounds is because, I mean, “getting the hell out of the way” applies to, like, almost everything we do or try to do, like, all the time. Like, if you got up the nerve to kiss the girl, and then you kissed her, and she didn’t belt you in the mouth, then what happened really? I know for me that what probably happened is that I succeeded in getting the hell out of the way. That’s what a writer’s gotta do—which is probably why I spend so much time avoiding it.

Stephen Adley Guirgis, in an interview with L.A. Theatre Works

Written by nevalalee

December 20, 2015 at 7:30 am

3 Responses

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  1. I’m going to try that. I have a lot of dialog in my head, but it is too crazy. Just going to write it down. :-)


    December 20, 2015 at 9:59 am

  2. This is so true, although for me I just write it all down and sometimes it forms something complete and other times it finds its way into the “waiting to make sense file” Great post thank you


    December 21, 2015 at 12:57 am

  3. @samratkel: The “waiting to make sense” file is a good one to have. And never throw anything away!


    December 22, 2015 at 7:43 pm

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