Aaron Sorkin: “When you feel good you do the best writing.”

I’m currently taking an online masterclass where Aaron Sorkin, the legendary writer behind The West Wing, A Few Good Men, The Social Network and many others, teaches screen writing.

In one lesson, he underscored the importance of feeling happy while writing:

Remember, writing and painting a fence are two different things. Painting a fence may be back breaking work. But first of all, you know what youíre supposed to do. You dip the brush in the paint, and you paint.

But mostly, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel. That light may be a long way away, it may be a really long fence. But you can see where it ends.

What you donít need when youíre painting is to be in a good mood. You can be in any mood you want and the fence is going to turn out roughly the same.

When youíre writing, you need to be in a good mood. You need to have energy. You need to feel entertaining. You need to feel good. And thatís when youíre going to do the best writing.

So any little emotional helpers, like crossing things off and seeing that youíre making progress. Anything thatís going to make you feel good is good.

I think that’s a brilliant point.

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