I started out writing short stories.
It’s like walking around a small room, exploring every corner. It’s one of the hardest kind of writing there is. To make a small thing profound is a daunting task. I started out writing dozens of short stories and collecting a bulletin board full of rejection slips from mystery magazines. I never got an acceptance. But I learned a lot.
I’ve written plays.
It’s like wandering around a room, blind-folded. After awhile you have the whole area mapped out in your brain. Then you can work and fill it with characters and incidents. Glorious.
I’ve written half-hour comedy
It’s like taking a walk around the block. Within a short space of time and place, you examine the whole world. In the “haiku” of a joke, you examine all of life. In the confines of the ‘writers room’ you take on all of civilization. The most glorious kind of writing.
I’ve written screenplays.
Two have been produced. Many more have been lost in development hell. One or two of them still show signs of life.
Writing a screenplay is like taking a long trip. While you’re on it, you’re in command, deciding every twist and turn. Once you’re done with it, you relinquish control completely. The director, the producer, any one at all decides about everything. Another writer comes on board and tries to change as much as possible so he can get credit. The way it is now, it’s a fool’s errand, bound for heartbreak.
I’ve written hour drama.
It’s like taking a weekend trip. You have to remember where to turn and where to stop, but you can keep the whole trip in your head at one time. You have the trip mapped out before you go. When you’re back, you get together with others and rehash the trip again, changing in here and there to make it more exciting. It’s a confusing journey, but a very gratifying one.
I’ve written novels.
“Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way. “ — E. L. Doctorow.
It’s a long, lonely journey and at times you’ll get lost and have to retrace your steps. But if you stick with it, it’s the most rewarding voyage you’ll ever take.