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.
We have created a poster with inspiring quotes about leadership – you can download the pdf for free right here.
“My father used to have an expression. He’d say, Joey, a job is about a lot more than a paycheck. It’s about your dignity. It’s about respect. It’s about your place in your community.”
– Joe Biden
I love this. I also love Biden’s passionate plea for his staff to not neglect their home lives.
The economist Milton Friedman famously once said that “The business of business is business.”
We respectfully disagree.
If you can not honestly say that your job is overall making life better for someone somewhere in some way that is meaningful to you, then you should be doing something else.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
– Theodore Roosevelt
I’ve been writing recently about†making mistakes. One irrefutable fact about doing awesome things is that sometimes you’ll get it wrong and some people may criticize you for that.
And that’s where the above quote comes in :)