Sunday, December 12, 2010


I look at some of my showrunner peers with awe.  The men and women who create and run more than one show at a time.  It's amazing to me.  I just don't understand how they can spread themselves over several projects and run them successfully... but some do.  I would imagine the only way to do it is to extensively delegate.  To surround yourself with a staff that can expedite your exact vision without a degradation in quality.  In essence, the writer becomes a writing corporation whose primary product is content.  That content is then mass produced by a proven formula and process.

I'm not sure that I could do that.  It's just not how I'm wired.  The inability speaks to my obsessive nature.  I joke about my control issues but the truth is, I am so proprietary over my show, I couldn't imagine not devoting 100% of my energy to it.  It's not that I can't delegate or don't trust my staff, I do, it's just that I am so compulsive about details that I doubt I could obsessively focus on more than one thing at a time.

I'll always do something over my hiatus.  I need to creatively cleanse my palate.  This year I'm selling a reality project and I'm writing a movie which will overlap with the beginning of my SOA season a bit, but will be finished before I have to really dig into the show.  I guess if I had to model my career after someone it would be the three Davids -- Simon, Chase and Milch.  These guys are my creative heroes.  Visionaries.  Guys who plugged into one show, made them brilliantly and stayed with them to the end.  Then found the next passion story and began all over again.  In Simon's case, man, to have The Wire and Treme on your resume... fuck, how extraordinary is that?  That's the career I want.  

As much as my ego and competitive nature would love to setup and produce a dozen shows at several networks, it's just antithetical to my process.  I didn't become a writer to make money.  I know that sounds like bullshit, but it's the truth.  I spent almost twenty years figuring out who I was as a man and an artist.  It was a painful, circuitous path filled with lethargic hopelessness, self-loathing, addiction and hundreds of broken relationships.  When the bleeding stopped and the black smoke cleared, the path pointed to writing.  Becoming a writer wasn't a career choice, it was a survival choice.  It's all I have.  It defines me.  It's why I hate downtime.  I don't know who I am without a script at my keyboard.  That probably just sounds like heady bullshit... and I don't know, maybe it is, but it's what I believe today.  Which is why the thought of writing enmasse for power and profit just seems counter-intuitive to me.  

I think some writers get lured in by the money.  Some are misguided by greedy agents and managers.  Some get caught in the wake of their own success and can't stop the tide.  And some really love the game of winning.  More money, more power, more headlines, more, more, more... I just wonder how many feel fulfilled.  Truly, creatively satisfied.  That sense that they're doing something that really matters.  Something that honors the profession of writing.  Maybe they all do.  This is not a judgment, it's a query.  A fascination, really.  Probably driven by envy, perhaps pity.  I'm not sure.  Like all my posts, this is my stream of consciousness today.  Tomorrow I may have a completely different opinion.  

Anyway, what I come away with -- which wasn't the purpose of this entry, but nonetheless true -- I come away with gratitude.  Beyond all my conjecture and bombastic opinions, I am so fucking grateful to have found my voice.  A voice I get to share with others.  A voice that affords me a comfortable life for myself and my family.  A voice of one writer.

I thank fucking god... I am not SutterInk.