If you have to force yourself to find time to write, it’s not going to work out. If you don’t feel like writing, it’s never going to work out, I guarantee it. Hemingway did a lot of crazy shit. He was catching marlins, and punching people, and going to bull-fights. He still wrote like a motherfucker. So you should feel that compulsion. Even if you’re going to write terrible schlock like me.
Blackbook did a interview with the wonderful Thomas Lennon in advance of the release of Bad Teacher, in which he has a small role. He gives some advice to young writers and comedians looking to get their break, and it’s very good. First, on being a full-time comedy writer:
And his advice to someone who just moved to NYC and wants to break into the comedy scene:
One, I would take some classes at the UCB. Two, the secret to the success of The State was we never waited for anyone to ask us to do anything, or for anyone’s approval to do anything. We just fucking did stuff. We were shooting all the time, writing all the time. We would put up a live show every couple of months. We were aggressive. If you wait around for an opportunity to come up, it’s not coming. It isn’t, ever. Opportunities are not coming. The only opportunities that are coming are the ones you create. Otherwise you are just waiting around.
It’s tough to argue with any of that. There will be more advice, albeit probably less serious advice, in his upcoming book with Ben Garant.