I watched that new glassblowing show on Netflix. Good stuff, I thought. Nice and entertaining. It helped me turn off my brain.
To turn it back on again, I went to YouTube and found this video: How Aaron Sorkin Wrote The Social Network.
Great stuff, I thought. Lots of wise writing advice in this one.
This quote from Aaron is my favorite…
He was explaining his writing process, specifically around how he started The Social Network script:
“I spent a lot of time pacing around, climbing the walls, trying to figure out how to start. And once I knew what I wanted to do and I kind of had a beat on the scene, I then wrote it in roughly the amount of time it takes to type it.
You know you don’t know what you’re doing if the lines are coming out like honey dripping from a jar — a line here, then you gotta wait half an hour for the next line...
STOP. Put it down. You don’t know what you’re doing yet.”
I like it because it rejects the typical “tortured writer” narrative:
Embrace the block.
Keep your ass in the chair until it’s done.
That’s not necessarily the wrong way…
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But it’s not how Aaron Sorkin writes.
Aaron doesn’t take it line-by-line. He writes when it’s easy. And that ease, apparently, comes after he’s done plenty of research.
And that reminds me of copywriting, a discipline that requires so much upfront market analysis and product exploration that it should actually be called copy-researching.
In fact, I think copywriting is 80% research — eight-zero — and only 5% writing, if that. The rest is editing.
Because whether you’re writing an email, an article, or a movie scene, if you’ve done your due diligence, the words should flow.