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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I HAVE IT ALL, I HATE IT ALL

In the spring, maybe summer of 2001, I read this in-depth article about television and film writers in one of the trades or maybe the LA Times.  I'm not sure what the focus of the piece was, but what I remember was the palpable bitterness and disillusionment of the writers interviewed.  At the time I was living a hand-to-mouth existence; a starving writer, working on spec scripts and living off of the charity of my friend at Bravo who got me a gig writing one-minute bumpers.  The article made a deep impression on me.  I was stunned by the level of discontent experienced by these very successful men and women.  From what I recall the core of their anger was about creative control and respect.  They were pissed off because the studio system always put commerce before creative integrity; they saw their work being compromised and dumbed-down time and time again.  They wanted more power, more respect, more recognition.  They were the A-listers and they all sounded fucking miserable.  And I remember thinking -- What the fuck?  Really?  You have these amazing gigs, you get paid a shitload of money to do the thing you love and all you can do is bitch about what you don't have?  They're behavior seemed completely irrational and I have a very vivid memory of saying to myself -- "Man, if I ever get a gig like that, I'm never gonna be that fucking ungrateful."

Over the past few months I’ve been experiencing a growing sense of disconnect from my creative passion.  More and more the thing that I love to do is becoming just “a job”.  Without knowing it, I’m turning into one of those writers who I swore I’d never be -- I have it all and I hate it all.  I’m a fairly self-aware cat, so when I get to these places, I am forced to ask myself, “How the fuck did I get here?”  In my inventory process I was surprised by how little I had to dig to reveal the truth.  It’s quite obvious what turns passion into dissatisfaction - money.  

Every writer has their own process, but for me, creating an imaginary world, characters, conflict, mythology is almost a spiritual exercise.  I know that sounds goofy, but it’s the only way I know how to describe it.  You see, I didn’t become a writer -- ten years ago, I was given the opportunity to realize that I have always been a writer.  Telling story is my gift, it’s the thing the universe demands that I do.  That discovery was a grueling and painful process for me.  But that’s why I love to write, it’s why I’m driven to obsessive perfection -- I’m making up for a decade of lost time.  I see every word on the page as divine direction.  Really, I do.  Hence, the Messiah Complex.

Which leads me back to the path of disillusionment...

Good writers begin with a deeply personal process that generates inspiration that we hope ultimately lands on the pages of a script.  After that experience, we take that work to market, with the desire to impress and engage others with our art.  If so, that body of work is purchased and transformed into a commodity.  In that instant, our creation is no longer a personal extension of ourselves, it is now a tool of commerce that serves a greater entity.  Here in lies the painful paradox as I see it -- from that point on we are still expected to generate deeply inspired work even though our baby is enslaved to a different master.  So we sweat, bleed and toil for the thing we love without nearly the same level of gratification.  It doesn’t matter who you work for or the nature of your project, the guy in the suit can tell you he’s all about the creative process, he understands artists, this is a safe forum... it’s ultimately all slick shit.  Once you generate something that has commercial value, creativity falls low on the list.  You are owned and money will always be the directive.  Yes, that’s an extreme generalization, but the point is, especially with TV, the medium was solely created to generate income.  The stuff that happens in-between commercials is secondary.  Always was, always will be.

I guess that inevitability is catching up to me on Sons.  I was under the false impression that the more successful the show became, the more room I would get to do it.  But the opposite has occurred, the better the show becomes, the more corporate scrutiny I experience.  This reality is chipping away at my spirit.  At the end of my 80 and 90 hour weeks I start to ask myself, “Why am I doing this?”  Lately, my answers aren’t that convincing.  And when “money” is my only response, it’s time to walk away.  

The solution?  I’m not sure.  I’m not a quitter and my ego is too big to entrust the show to anyone else.  I’ve contemplated setting myself on fire at Pico and Motor, but that seemed a bit extreme, even for me.  So I guess I press on and continue to make the emotional and creative adjustments.  In recovery, we talk about how expectations are future resentments.  That’s very true in this case.  I guess I need to stop going to the butcher shop for candy.  I show up wanting something sweet and tasty and always end up with a slab of bloody entrails.  

I love what I do and need to find a way to bring back that love.  My life is always about finding the balance between
love and fear.  Perhaps that’s the bigger lesson here -- learning to stay focused on the love while I'm being bombarded with everyone else's fear.  Easier wished than employed.  Guess I have some tuning up to do this hiatus.  I know I didn't work this hard to be miserable.  

58 comments:

WyzWmn© said...

here's hopin this is more about you being exhausted than throwing in the towel...

I love to watch SOA - but you need to be happy to write what it is that makes all of us happy...

we all know yer the real deal...do you?

Anonymous said...

You're not just doing it for the money Kurt, you're doing it for the fans. We love you. We love Sons. Don't you feel this love coming back to you?

Lisa Magee said...

I'm not fortunate enough to be a writer on a creative level like yours. I'm a technical writer. Everyday I toil over words that inevitably becaome fluff and glossy sales pitch. It's hard and most days the creativity is whipped out of my sails by the end of the day.

I'm not sure this is inspriation-worthy in your world but for what it's worth - I effin' LOVE your show. It's well written, it's got plots that go somewhere. You have characters that I love to hate and characters that I know we're only seeing the slightest glimpse of the great strength they will hopefully grow to channel and somehow still reign in.
I wish every day was Tuesday so at the end of the day, I could go home and kick back and escape to Charming and watch the tangled webs our heroes are weaving in your world. So for what it's worth, thank you for putting up with the Corporate greed. I hope you find a way to keep on keepin' on.

DD said...

You have to find a way to separate it. Too bad you can't pay someone else to deal with the "suits" and the bullshit. Just remember, you don't do it for them, you do it for yourself and for the fans who appreciate and respect it. I for one thank you for what you create. It is one of the highlights of my week. Rarely do I get excited about a television show. Much love.

mare523 said...

I understand, but thanks for writing this for all of us to read and hopefully understand.

This is "the human condition" and unfortunately you're working too hard.

But we sure don't want to lose you and the SOA show. We love it.
Thanks so much for all your hard work.
Mare

Anonymous said...

I understand that the passion for what you do is dwindling. I think we've all reached that point in our lives where we forget why we do what we do, even when it's something we love. All I can do is wish you the best, Kurt, and hope you find that spark again.

As a huge fan of the show and of you, I'll support whatever you end up doing. You've created such a fantastic world and I hope you find it within yourself to complete the vision you set for these characters... and for yourself.

barbara said...

As a writer i can feel your frustration. I hope you can find whatever the money machine has damned and bring back the joy in what you create. It is brilliant and enlightening to some of us on the other side of the box. Fuck the eternal revenue machine and bring back the heart. Barbara

Anonymous said...

Damn. Wish I was a writer with something profound to offer but, alas, I got nothin'.
All I can say is that I, like a lot of others, love your work and hope that you can find a way to continue with the brilliance that you have shown in the first two + seasons of sons.
God be with you in this struggle.

Dana Kaminski said...

It's why I quit acting.

Chris H said...

I can relate to that feeling of having your 'baby' being driven in the wrong direction by its 'master', I'm a professional wrestler and sometimes we want our character to be used one way and it just doesn't happen. But I want you to know that the people that watch Sons will always watch for the art, nothing less. If we wanted commercial bullshit, we'd watch MTV. Don't give up.

-Chris

Dolly Duric said...

Started watching SOA based on your previous work on the Shield. You did not disappoint! Thinking this funk you're in is probably a natural occurrence that many a Showrunner experiences when heading up a successful show for a few years. Hope the hiatus is productive. Getting away from the corporation usually helps. It took nearly a year for me to realize that being part of the machine can strangle your creativity so I started writing. Not gonna look back...

Shirley Franklin said...

Mr. Sutter, I am sorry for your angst, but I think you do a wonderful job! I absolutely love you story lines, creativity, and obvious love for what you do. Don't let the 'rectums' get you down, and remember when all is said and done, we, the fans, love and appreciate what you do for US! So from one ardent fan, keep fighting the money grubbers and please, keep loving what you do and doing what you love.

debkriska72 said...

Ebbs and flows sir. Everyone has a time when they become disillusioned with their lives, being a creative person means your life is in your work whether you want it there or not. The constant criticism you must face as a writer, a creator of something so amazing must be disheartening. As bad ass as you are, it's still gotta sting when someone doesn't like or get your creation. Must be like someone not getting or liking your kid. I hope that's why shows go on hiatus. So the "man behind the curtain" can be just a man, not the great and powerful Oz everyone expects him to be when engaged in his craft. Your show is powerful, and entertaining. It's the third season, it needs background and back stories or the fourth season would be the last. Can't all be gang rapes, naked asses and dead hookers (that's what adult channels are for). That's just my take. Take some time, enjoy life and the wife and kids. We'll still be here when you get back, and you'll still be Bad-ass!

Maria said...

What you describe sounds pretty much like everything else in life. And like everything else you need to find a way to keep it fresh for yourself.

Does it help to know that your work is appreciated? That each week we all wake up Tuesday with a little more bounce because YOUR show is on?

You may feel like a rat in a cage but maybe that's just exhaustion talking.

Marian Cummings said...

This article speaks to why you are a great writer. It's raw and we feel your frustration. How do we change the engine though? Barbara Bush said, "when frustrated, she reminds herself to count her blessings". My husband always says when everyone is stressed, "don't worry, no one has died". I hope you don't read these as platitudes, 'cause their not. These are the two quotes I use for myself, all the time.

Keith said...

Maybe it's time to do what many shows don't- stop while at the top of their game instead of plodding on even after the will to go on isn't there any more. You don't seem like someone who'll just do it for the paycheck.

Jill Parrish said...

I am so sorry to hear this. I think you are a great writer and I love the show. I hope all works out and you keep writing! If you don't you will be missed (and so will Sons) Good luck on your journey!!!

Marta from Poland said...

It's amazing how wise and clear point of view you have. When "money" is the only response, you have to quit. It's a pity most of people don't do it. That's the reason why we have so much shit in television nowadays. But even if commercialism will be trying to push over Sons I believe you will be still standing on. You're not a kind of person people can buy, I'm sure you're not. Your wisdom and experience won't let you to be bribed. So please go on with Sons as you do it now and make it even better! We won't let you fall down :)

Chris Bowskill said...

I feel for you, the pain and disillusionment you are so obviously feeling as your passion and love for Sons is gradually being crushed under the weight of corporate scrutiny and expectation shines through so clearly. I can only offer my small portion of encouragement as one who avidly watches your creation as it is revealed to me on a weekly basis. It inspires me, reminds me of why I live the lifestyle I do and gives me hope that there are still artists such as yourself who retain their integrity and do their utmost to remain true to their own vision despite the ever increasing pressures that you find yourself under.
Keep the faith bro... long may you prevail.

Chris "Gypsy Wolf" Bowskill
Bradford UK

Jesse Blume said...

Dear Kurt,

I admire you in more ways than one. Posting your feelings of disillusionment here is most definitely a ballsy move, but it's also refreshing that you decided to be this honest with your fans and readers. I can't think of very many creators who would do so.
The other primary reason that I admire is more professional. I'm an aspiring writer, and you should know that I've been taking notes on "What to Do," on SoA and some of your old episodes of "The Shield."
I'm a college student right now, which makes finding time to really write difficult, but I always make time to catch SoA to get my weekly lesson with my best friend and writing partner Derick. (By the way, Season 3 is doing great!)
I recently entered a submission into a Creative Writing contest called the Last 72, which was an essay about what we would do if we found out that we only had 72 hours left to live. After a while, I decided that if I did only have so little time to live, I would make sure that both everybody I know and love, and those that I've been inspired by would know exactly what they have done for me. I'd do this by writing letters to them.
I am not dying, (Thank God!) but I've decided that I definitely do need to do the letters thing anyway. The reason you're reading this know is that you're very high on the list of people who inspire me the most.
I've been a fan of SAMCRO since the first time I met them all those months ago, and I can quite honestly say that I have never this kind of relationship with a TV show in my life. I am in consistent awe of this intelligent, eternally surprising, masterfully constructed and performed series. You, your wife, your cast and crew all do your jobs extremely well.
On the feeling of disillusion, I offer this bit of advice. If you can find no other reason why you're doing what you're doing, just know that you are both influencing and instructing two future creators in Texas.
Thanks again to you, Katey, Charlie, Ron and every single other person that is involved with the show!
Yours Truly,

Jesse Blume

P.S. I think maybe you should have a chat with Uncle Stephen King. He may be able to give you some words of wisdom on your situation.

Tahoe Thom said...

Kurt, It sounds as if your "at war" with a process you can neither control nor regulate.

Consider this Zen quote:

"A man of peace is not a pacifist; a man of peace is simply a pool of silence.
The man of peace is creative. He is not against war, because to be against anything is to be at war.
He is not against war, he simply understands why war exists."

~ Zen: The Path of Paradox ~

Understanding why the war exists may help you to detach yourself from the "suits" to engage yourself fully in the creative aspect you excel in.

Steady on, friend.

The success of Sons is due to great story lines presented in a no BS fashion. Simple.

Tim Turkkan said...

Kurt - I only recently discovered Sons in spite of the great word of mouth I heard about the show. I started with Season 3 and ended up buying Seasons 1 and 2 so I could get all the back story. One of the things I admire so much about the writing is that you don't always lay everything out neatly for the audience. Sometimes we have to THINK about what just happened or a line of dialogue and I'm glad the writing isn't spoon feeding it to us like so much of the other options out there.
Everything you said in this post rings true as money makes the world go around but I've been priviliged to have watched some great drama both on the big screen and the small and in the end, the good stuff always shines through.
Keep on getting pissed off about shit like this and channel it into the great writing I've found on this show. Don't let the bastards grind you down.
Sometimes you win by letting them think they've won. Oh, and Katey's really great!
Tim in Houston

Andrew said...

By no means am I a professional or expert in entertainment, but as someone who was rasied on the idiot box and the box office, I have to say this latest blog post scares me. I've been a fan since day one, and since that day I've been a huge promoter of your work! (Are you looking for a PR person? HA!) The reason this post scares me so is because it's your passion that makes this series in particular so amazing. It's because of your drive and love for story telling (and your amazing ability to do so) that keeps myself, and the rest of the viewing public tuning in. I, like many others out there, would rather see you end the show abruptly, than have you half heartedly "punch in" everyday for the paycheck.

Laurie Hefner said...

Hey Kurt,
Don't ever compromise yourself. It's not worth it. You have leverage. Just breathe and trust in you. :)

wfz said...

Kurt, I recommend you read some Robert Twigger! You can find his blog stuff at robertwtigger.com and search his name on Amazon (or Google). I know writers are not always keen on reading other writers beyond a certain point, but I think Twigger might be some nice medicine for yah at this point. All the best, will (William F. Zachmann)

Mark said...

Jeezus H man!! Do I need to call the Waaambulance? Could you not whine so loud! Boo-hoo, you had a revelation that your creative product has been turned into a commericial enterprise. Puh-leeze, man, wipe the snot from your nose. You are able to live a life with your gift. How many others would sacrifice their left arm for your opportunity??!! Did you really think you were that relevant in the "creative" world?? You created a great show for television and you got paid for it. Now you are feeling sorry for yourself because why? Because your not the modern day Paddy Chayefsky?? Brother, I hate to be the one to have to slap you so hard considering I enjoy watching the show but it ain't all about you. Wanna be relevant and meaningful and creative and all that other mamby pamby bullshit you were sniveling about? Go live in a cave, be a hermit, write all the creative masterpieces you want and don't let anyone read em or enjoy em and never publish any of it till after your dead and even if then. Oh, and by the way, don't forget to change your name to Kurt Salinger when you do!!! Now, get back to work!!! --Mark Weiss

Sterling said...

Sir,
I truly appreciate the predicament that you are in as I am at the same crossroads in my chosen profession. It really puts the "suck" in "success." To quote from one of my favorite movies: "A man has an idea, like-minded men join him, the idea becomes an institution....What was the idea?" When it is no longer fun to do something there are only two raods to go: Either find a way to make it fun again or find something else to do. Good luck to you and I hope it works out.

Howdy said...

Reading this was a bit painful since I love your show so and it makes me uneasy to consider that you might not feel the same way. What flashed for me was the point Robert Pirsig made in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance about how art and function are really one. Perhaps if you could re-frame the money as being part of function and take his theory for a ride, it might help you feel less divided. It stands to reason that a brilliant philosophical work that uses different approaches to motorcycle maintenance to illustrate its points must have some relevance for a guy writing a show about a biker gang. With respect, Laura M.

Bryan said...

Wow Kurt, How you even find time to write this is beyond me! You got your due and now its all turned around, It would be a sad thing to see you lose your passion for something that truly is your calling.with that said however doing something that you now have resevations about and discontent is even sadder, I for one dont have a whole hell of a lot to show for my life, But do have happiness true happiness in my life. If your loosing that your already lost my friend, I'm a nobody in most eyes and dont really care, maybe in a way its better that way, and i will sign my name because I'm proud of what I've done in my life and you should be too. dont sell out to the suits, Your pride is all you have. P.S. You can tell I'm not a writer! good luck and best wishes , Bryan P. Curtin. Greeneville Tn.

Jennifer said...

"You must want to enough. Enough to take all the rejections, enough to pay the price of disappointment and discouragement while you are learning. Like any other artist you must learn your craft—then you can add all the genius you like."
Phyllis A. Whitney


Love SOA!!! #1 Show on television!
Love your "craft" Kurt! Keep up the good work!

Thomas said...

Keep the faith brother.
they always say If you can get paid to do what you love, you will have the best job ever or some nonsense like that. All I can say is what I know,continue to write this awesome show but give yourself time apart from it to write for yourself.

We consider the Sons to be 1%, who do the sons consider to be 1% of 1%
just a thought.

Tom

the Hickman Family said...

Kurt, I understand what you are saying creativity/money interests...I truely hope you find that balance you are looking for. I need you to know Sons is an exceptional show...I haven't been this excited about a show in my memory..we have a housefull on Tuesday nights..its a party waiting for this show because it it's got plots that entrigue me. You have characters that are multidimensional good and bad and I know we're only seeing the slightest glimpse of their complexities. In short this is the entire family and friends favorite show..not for this year..but in my 46 year old memory. I've never loved a show more than yours and it must come from your love and creativity...I hope you find your way...we love and support you and your AMAZing show...

Danny said...

Hey, it could be worse.
You could be working your ___ off to produce your the kind of art that you love making and not be making any money at all doing it. (as is the case with me)

Danny

ps Love the show.

Dana Kaminski said...

Here's the rest of my comment-doing this from phone, not letting me write after a period! 

There's almost a diametrical opposition to:
Creationary process from the sweetspot chanelling bliss
   --vs--
Creative for hire, Creative in Hwood, maybe even Creative-according-to-show-bible or Creative-cranking-out-acc-to-schedule.

The more authentic a "Creative" is, the wider the chasm.

I never was addicted to drugs or alcohol, my reasoning was always that I am in love with creating, and I believe them to be similar; in patterns of and effect on the person.

It's a hell of a love affair with dopamine. I think I read where you said , in other words, that it's not like the thrill of the first time and you keep trying to get it back, and ya don't know why.

You poke fun of yourself by the last line in the paragraph where you describe what it feels like for you, when you are truly authentically creating; but I think all creatives, all true ones, know that natural high when we are in our creative mode, that sweet, sweet place.

It's what separates those who are creatives and choose careers with no security, whatsoever; but instead a promise to "work" in the sweet spot of their creative mode! (Everyday, all day, who needs pay.)

Yesterday a study was in the news where scientists found that male alcoholics, especially, had a greater dopamine dump in their brains after drinking. The report said that that's why there are more men then women alcoholics.

My theory is that it is the same for Creative Artistic Types. 

The network suits are the baby laxative that it gets cut with. Too much directive, directed, planned creativity also may affect the true thrill (dopamine release?) of the creative work because it puts a rudder in. Cuts out some of the free flow, channelling-like-part.  That may be where the thrill is. Or much of it.

Maybe you need another project, in addition. One that gets you jazzed, especially bc u will be creating from new. (sa--weeeet)

Then, you can still work on SOA bc audience loves it. Maybe once you take the (dopamine) performance pressure off of it, your creative charge may even return.

(What the ef do I know? )

Dana Kaminski 


PS My earlier comment, which I refer to, said "That's why I quit acting."

    

Cat H. said...

Eh..F*ck 'em. Do what you do. Let THEM work out the rest.

WB Philp said...

God damnit Kurt. I wish I had the luxury of "walking away." Only those with money can complain about it being the root of their problems. Quit feeling sorry for yourself and continue to entertain me with the best show on the tube. You're one talented mother fucker and the show helps us working humps get through the week. Hopefully you can find some motivation in that.

Sometimes even writing becomes an assembly line job. Just work through it and let the next inspiration happen!

Bill Philp
Tampa, FL

Janet said...

Write a book. Write about all the industry shitheads and nonsense that goes on. "Fiction" of course. ;) Please don't stop writing great TV though.

NitroJoe said...

Absolutely Love what you're doing Kurt. Hope you fight on and keep writing. not just for the show but for all things. Of course with that
being said I definitely Love SOA it's really the only reason I watch TV anymore period, except for a few, and I mean a few other shows. SOA Rules!

Connie said...

Kurt,

It's easy as a fan to sit here and tell you that you are a tremendous writer, and that you should, and need to continue doing what you do best. I am completely hooked on SOA, I've even planed my classes around the show...I know its sick. However, if you are doing it for the money and not for the love of it, is it really worth it? I definitely do not want to see the show end but only you know when the time is right. Look within yourself and to your beautiful and wonderfully talented wife for the answers you seek. I wish you nothing but the best and perhaps if we the fans are lucky here's to many more seasons of SAMCRO!

Debi said...

Whatever you decide is best for you, we've got your back. For our own selfish reasons, we hope you find your spark and continue on. If you can't, it's been a helluva ride, thanks for that. Go play with the baby, that will always make you smile.

Mike Clark said...

Would really like to know why i cant get this awsome fucking show in Colombia, South America??? Really Why the Fuck Not........ I have followed your damn show from the begining and now, Not a fucking chance not even on the computer... Whats up KURT

sunny Inland Empire So Cal said...

I suggest you get on your bike and ride like hell for a couple of days...then turn around and head home to your family. You'll feel like a new person. I teach high school and that's what I do when I want to quit...Ride safe...Love your work.
Sunny from the Inland Empire So Cal

Brian said...

I feel for you man. It sucks when the thing that makes you get up and go in the morning suddenly turns into to a heart wrenching exercise. But as a fan of (GOOD)TV writing, I want to thank you for all that you have already done. If you were to quit tomorrow I would not blame you. (Please don't quit tomorrow... LOL)

All this is to say, one episode of great TV writing is worth 10 seasons of ANY "REALITY" show. I could care less about any of the sponsors that make the show possible except that they are the reason you are able to get paid.

I usually DVR the show every week and delay the start of it for about 25 minutes so that I can skip the commercialism....

Anyway, don't lose heart. This is great writing, and you ARE a great writer. And I would visit Charming even if it moved to the form of novels....

FREE BIG OTTO!!!!

Electronic Sole said...

Mr. Sutter,

Sons touches something deep within millions of people, millions. I see your struggles in your characters and I identify. Right now my life is pretty much shit, unemployed, broke and living from the kindness of friends and family. Life can a field of shit sometimes. It may seem endless but it is not. I know there is an end that will lead to good times. For now I ask you to find a metaphorical shovel. Lean on people you care about, take a Caribbean vacation, or get laid. Whatever you do, find a shovel, because even if you cannot see the end of the field of shit, you can use your shovel(s) to get through the shit and reach the better stuff more efficiently.

Charles Bukowski said this more eloquently than me here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=va1t6a0zCkQ

Things will get better, because men like us don't quit.

Jack - The Ananchronists - Nowhere (and tomorrow)

El Hooligan Jorge said...

Dear Mr. Sutter, I have never been compelled to write a comment until now. I worry that the ever-present "man" is trying to hold you down and/or you are in dire need of a couple of hundred mile ride around Cali. I have learned that sometimes we do what we have to in order to get away with doing what we want. Our legacy will always be defined by the work, memories, and experiences we leave behind. Writers especially. As a biker and Mexican-American, I usually start my legacy 2 notches down in society. It is through my actions, character, and work that I demonstrate to not only be the opposite of the negative stereotypes that I am cast in, but also provided with an opportunity to provide a big F--- Off to the society that pegs me as such. Keep writing what you want, saying what you need, and doing what you love. Success will always find you when you remain true to your ideals. Sometimes success is measured in financial wealth, physical health, or in public recognition. However the greatest success is the personal satisfaction that you not only lived as you wanted, but you defended that right to the end be it bitter or sweet. I am a fan of your work and hope you keep cranking out work that is more "yours" than "theirs". Don't let the suits get you down and always remember that we are fans of the ideas you created not the boxes they decide to put it in. Write more, fight more, ride more, and let the chips fall where they may. If not...well I guess there's always youtube...even I can get on that.

Your friendly neighborhood hooligan

Jorge

Michelle said...

Quit and I'll totally go all kinds of Annie Wilkes on your ass.

Linda Nelson said...

Gratitude and Acceptance. Sometimes I have to put up a sign to remind myself how bad it could be again. Hope you can stay inspired for seven seasons. Since I sold my bike I have to get my fix from SOA.

Anonymous said...

I'm being extremely selfish here, but I hope you'll continue.

I love the show, although I've only seen up to season two, episode ten as season three hasn't yet been scheduled in Australia, so I'm holding off on watching those last two precious episodes of season two for a day when I just can't wait any more! I have a background that includes an association to a similar club, and although I've left the lifestyle way in the past now, it still holds a fascination for me, and to have the vicarious experience you provide in the show, is a little like going back there.

I've been reading your interviews with various members of the press, and from these I understand that you have a plan for the club, and in particular for the character of Jax (which I selfishly would love to follow on the show), I hope that when you have those really crappy days, when you feel as though the creativity is being squeezed out of you, that the plans you have for the characters will keep you going.

With all the support I can muster,

TJ
Australia

the beth of the beth said...

there is a lot of evidence that suggests when we are rewarded for doing something that we enjoy we are less likely to do that thing at a later time without said reward.
what you do is also your job, so i understand that it is not exactly the same thing. however, it could be that what you are experiencing is because you want to create your BEST product while battling higher powers who want you to do this, that, or the other thing without being able to see or understand your vision.
i admire the fact that you are willing to open yourself up about these feelings and want you to know that i LOVE sons and i think you are doing an amazing job! since i am a fan i guess it's not exactly a surprise, and i am only one person.
i hope you are able to get over the hump and love what you're doing again!! but even if it is hard for you, i still think that your work is fantastic!

J Luka said...

Mr. Sutter,

i hope you would consider that: in the collective immaginary of people, after Easy Riders, there's SOA. It means that you're a gifted man. An Amazing storytellers! Your creation is a truly inspiration for anyone, even for unknown musician like me. i know, sometimes it's hard to swallow that kind of situation. But out there there is a huge folks supporting your amazing piece of work. We'll always stand by you, proudly. DON'T EVER THINK TO GIVE UP!

Andrew said...

I'm new to the SOA world. Living on the road right now but recording all of Season 3 at home. Just finished watching Seasons 1 and 2 last night.

Amazing story Kurt. You are an inspiration to me - to give up working for a paycheck and become what the universe calls me to be.

If only I'd be so brave.

That being said, SOA is yours. Fuck um, fight for what you want and do what your called to do.

In terms that would get one laughed out of the SOA universe, "Find your happy place" and hopefully that means you continue creating this wonderful and amazing story.

Be true to you and your story.

The rest doesn't matter.


-AP Allen

thegraceland said...

Kurt - Please please don't stop writing or writing SOA for that matter. You are a genius writer with an immense gift. I along with everyone who wrote you on the blog feel that what you've created is something special. Something rare. I discovered SOA after season 1 and before season 2 aired. I watched Season 1 back to back. I couldn't stop watching and i've been obsessed since.

I work in TV Production in LA and see what it does to people and their creative spirit. I get it I really do. This industry will suck the life out of you and leave you wondering why. You give me a world to escape to every week that I have grown to love. Characters (your bad ass wife for one) who floor me every week. You should be proud of what you put out there and know we as fans only see the good so thank you for taking it up the ass by corporate.

Taradise said...

Kurt Kurt Kurt. I wish I could wrap my arms around you and Squeeze. Sounds like You need a Huge Hug & A long bike Ride my Friend. As a rider I know things always look better after you ride out a couple tanks of gas!! As far as the Money. I have the Solution for you. I will be GLAD to take the money of your hands since no Real estate is Selling & my income is non existent lol. I could use a new Motorcycle too. Hell buy us two & I will meet ya halfway to better times! I'm sorry but You CANNOT quit what you started, I can't let you- I have a confession to make. Hello My name is Tara my biker friends call me Taradise & I am a Jax Teller Addict(LMAO) I cannot go without my Jax Fix Kurt. You don't want to see us girls Suffer in pain do you? No I don't think so.(Anytime you might want to give Jax a additional Tara I am a click away"wink") In all seriousness Kurt you have a gift. Don't let the bullshit get in the way of the process or let it ruin such a beautiful thing as the show you have created. Breathe new life into it anyway you can. Ask more crazy Bikers like me & Fans for Show ideas or what they think would be "The Shit" for SOA. Just maybe the fans love & passion we have for the show will bleed back on to you & give you that excitement you had when You first created SAMCRO. I know a man with your extraordinary talent, the fans behind you, & balls the size of Georgia (Anybody that will tell the Hell's angels to kiss his ass) Will Not let your dreams die off for no Bullshit. You WILL find a way to get the Passion to write back & we will be there handing you the Pen. Good luck Kurt & we love ya & SOA. You are NOT alone!!

Tara Healan

Richard Evans said...

You ever want to try something else, maybe writing comicbooks, drop me a line. Trust me, nobody fucks with your comic stories, I guarantee that.
As long as you don't sell the rights to Hollywood.
My contact info should be with my profile here.

R.

Lady Writer said...

I've been there. I feel you. And, I say to you: I'm sending you love and support. I believe in paying it forward, and another filmmaker (writer-director) sent this article to me. I love her for it. Thank you for sharing, and keep pushing. We must maintain a community to be there for each other when the shit hits the fan. And, I'm sure the shit will hit the fan often. Stay strong, and fight for your creative integrity even if it's a guerilla warfare, or viral attack. :)

Anonymous said...

Interesting that you slam Weiner for fighting for the very thing you claim to have lost control of.
Interesting.
Interesting also that for a person who writes a show ostensibly about outcasts, anarchy, and outlaws, you have consistently taken managment's position in other people's contract negotiations, as well as against your fellow writer's during the strike.
Interesting.
I hope that this is the "first step" in a long journey of realization that judging others exeriences without understanding the nuances of the argument is a one-way ticket to hypocrisy.
Good Luck.

Anonymous said...

Kurt, I would like to preface this comment by stating that I am a young, uneducated fan of your work. I wanted to leave you feedback because I was touched by what you wrote and inspired by your work. I think it is a beautiful thing that you had the courage and tenacity to post your true thoughts, regardless of who would be reading it. I understand what you are saying about creative expressions becoming a profitable medium. It's disgusting and revolting, a representation of our selfish and greedy society but unfortunately it's a part of what our society is as a whole. I applaud you for having grit to share your thoughtS on this. This alone shows that you are crazy and it's the crazy ones that make a difference in this world. This comment is starting to get a little deeper than I intended it to but I guess what I'm trying to say is listen to yourself, walk in only your shoes. It's the product of you doing this that has inspired so many "non-suit-and-tie" people. I hope you find personal fulfillment in whatever you do but don't ever forget to listen to your inner voice, it's usually knows what you truly want.

Anonymous said...

Christ, does anybody read these posts?
Kurt came from the biz, seen the biz, in LA and is wondering why he has limited creative control? Really?
It's a corporate world baby.
It's a soap on bikes. Grandma watched
All my children, I watch Sons. We both like it. New day same formula.
It's TV.