Thursday, December 30, 2010

Are you a paycheck player?

I was watching Jerry Maguire on TV for the millionth time recently. It's a great movie with instantly-quotable dialogue (that sort of stuff is HARD to write, so respect, Mr. Crowe). Not to mention, Tom Cruise gives probably the best performance he's ever going to produce.

Anyway, there's a bit where dissatisfied football player Ron Tidwell is moaning, as is his wont, to his agent Maguire. Why aren't the press interested in talking to him? Where's his ten million dollar deal? And Jerry Maguire finally cracks and lets him have it, like so:

"Here's why you don't have your ten million dollars yet. You are a paycheck player. You play with your head. Not your heart. In your personal life? Heart. But when you get on the field - you're a businessman. It's wide-angle lenses and who fucked you over and who owes you for it. That's not what inspires people. I'm sorry, but that's the truth, can you handle it?"

And my point of all this is, can we all handle it? It's very easy to get up in the morning and go to work and collect a salary at the end of the month and not give a damn along the way. Many, many people do a job they dislike or don't care about, because it pays well.

It's also very easy to carry out a task with no enthusiasm, with your eyes only on some eventual pot of gold. Are you writing because you want to make a million dollars from your script or novel? Here's the thing - you are less likely to write a hit if you're only thinking of the moolah! Your lack of passion will show, and sooner or later, it will start to bite. And even if you do hit the jackpot, will the victory be as sweet?

Here's my New Year's resolution and my advice to anyone out there: whatever you do, do it with passion. Give it your all and the results will surprise even you....

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