I recently discovered Brain Koppelman’s #sixsecondscreenwriting series on Vine, and holy cow — this guy has some serious wisdom to share! Koppelman, a screenwriter and director best known for his film Ocean’s Thirteen, gives some of the most honest, straightforward writing advice I’ve ever heard, despite the six-second time limit.
His advice isn’t limited to screenwriters; he’s given me confidence and inspiration both as a writer and as an everyday person who wants to succeed. Even if you don’t consider yourself an artist, his underlying advice applies to anyone seeking the motivation to achieve their dreams.
Here are ten of my favorites, but I highly recommend scrolling through his Vine page if you are looking for inspiration!
1. In what I thought was the beginning of a serious heartfelt convo, I told my dad I wanted to be a writer. He looked at me and said “You wanna write? Write.” Still the best advice.
2. ‘Write what you know’ works, but it’s limiting. Write what fascinates you. Write what you can’t stop thinking about.
3. What are you reading lately? What movies are you watching? What music are you listening to? I hope a whole bunch of stuff came to your mind. Artists are always searching that stuff out.
4. I don’t know any professional writers who’ll tell you it’s easy. It’s worth remembering that. It’s hard for all of us.
5. With writing gurus it’s all about the HOW. How do I write this. What writers should think about is WHY. Why do I need to write this now.
6. The best writers I know are led by their curiosity. And they follow it until they find the story they want to tell.
7. But how do I know if I’m just wasting my time? How do I even know what I’m doing is even any good? Nobody ever knows. Do it anyway.
8. There is no secret. Writing is all about hard work, persistence and discovery. Anyone who says different is selling something.
9. Think of how much joy your favourite artists have brought you. Now imagine if your work can do that for even one other person and get to it.
10. I bet sometimes in the middle of a project you convince yourself it’s horrible. You could be right; but you won’t know until you finish, revise, and finish again. So keep going!
And a bonus one, because why not?