“Screenwriting—Ain’t nuthin to it, but to do it…”
January 25, 2011 § Leave a comment
Simple yet enlightened words from the late American soul, jazz and blues singer Lou Rawls. I had the great pleasure of meeting the legendary singer when we were filming our indy feature “Stingers” starring Seymour Cassel and Udo Kier at a studio in downtown Los Angeles. Lou was also shooting a movie in the same studio when we ran into him between takes and asked if we could get a group photo. The always generous and classy Mr. Rawls simply replied, “Of course fellas, ain’t nuthin’ to it but to do it.” Unfortunately we got busy and never got that photo, but I did take away his simple and enlightened philosophy. I think of his words when I start to avoid filling the blank pages of my script or my life.
Never over think the attempt, but just do it. It was such a perfect philosophy that Nike used the slogan during the 1980s and it defined many athletes. It can also define us writers. The act of writing has never come easy for me, but once I begin and escape into the world that I’m creating — there’s no stopping me. The blank pages are filled and the page count rises and my characters don’t have to wait around and wonder how they’re going to move into the next scene. Do not fear or procrastinate. Dive into the dark void and believe that the universe provides to those who continue to move forward with courage in the face of fear.
Like Lou Rawls said, “Ain’t nuthin’ to it but to do it.”
“… The payoff of playing-the-game-for-money is not the money (which you may never see anyway, even after you turn pro). The payoff is that playing the game for money produces the proper professional attitude. It inculcates the lunch-pail mentality, the hard-core, hard-head, hard-hat state of mind that shows up for work despite rain or snow or dark of night and slugs it out day after day.”—Steven Pressfield, “The War of Art”