Please Don’t Feed The Writers

by Kevin

in Copywriting

A few years back in Chicago I took a screenwriting course called “Story” by Robert McKee.

Three days of story-crafting altitude halfway up the Sears Tower. Great book, Story… if you write anything you should read it. But I only bring it up here because I’m reminded of a funny story McKee told about comedy writers.

A woman he knows was hosting an important dinner party and the guest list was stacked with rigid personalities. She was afraid the party would get dull quick, so she had her husband – a TV exec – invite a group of comedy writers to “liven things up.”

If you’ve ever known a comedy writer, you’re already laughing at this poor woman’s naivete.

Surely, she was expecting Rob, Buddy, and Sally from the Dick Van Dyke Show… what she got was a cruel irony: Comedy writers are about the most miserable sons-of-bitches walking the planet. (Think Larry David)

She’d have been better off rounding out the guest list with Amway reps. At least they have some manners. Comedy writers are neurotic and paranoid by rule… most endured loveless childhoods (humor masking the pain and all), they’re only as good as their last script, and their jobs hang on the whims of people who regard talent as an expense.

Anyway, copywriters are a more affable bunch than comedy writers (I’ve been both). Even though most ended up falling into the craft by way of some other writing ambition that didn’t pan. So they bring the same type of sarcastic wit and twisted worldview you’d expect from writers.

They’re also generous with the good stuff. If you’re interested in hearing what copywriters chat, gripe and fantasize about when they need a break from the grind, check out www.copywritingboard.com. It’s a great community of writers, designers and marketers sharing ideas and divulging the secrets of selling on the ‘net. Stop by and don’t be afraid to jump in and join the action. You can even have your copy critiqued by top level writers free. Just remember to bring your spine.

See you there.

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