Chapter 18 Bonus: Interview with Jurgen Wolff
Jurgen Wolff is a writer, teacher, hypnotherapist and creativity expert. His books include Your Writing Coach, Do Something Different, Top Secrets: Screenwriting and Successful Sitcom Writing. He has written for many publications including the Los Angeles Times, the San Francisco Chronicle, Broadcast magazine, and a life coach column for the Times Educational Supplement.
He wrote for sitcoms including Benson, Family Ties, and The Love Boat. He wrote the feature film, The Real Howard Spitz, starring Kelsey Grammer. He has also written a number of TV movies, and been a script doctor for feature and TV films, including Mannequin. His play, Killing Mother, was produced at the Gorky Theatre in Berlin, and he’s also had plays produced in New York, Los Angeles, and London.
Six Good Ideas about…The Writing Life
1. While it takes a lot of work and focus to have a successful writing career, it’s important to keep a balance so that fitness, nutrition, family, friends, and relaxation also play their parts in a writer’s life.
2. All writers have ups and downs in their careers, so it’s necessary to have financial and emotional reserves for the times when things are not going as well as desired.
3. One of the biggest challenges of the writer’s life is not to take rejections too personally and to remember that every bad review and every rejection is just someone’s opinion. (The same is true of the raves and awards you get!)
4. Never get too fixated on any one project. Sometimes a project that isn’t working now will work later (it took 13 years before my screenplay, The Real Howard Spitz,, was turned into a movie). If a project isn’t happening, put it aside for a time, but don’t give up.
5. Especially in the field of screenwriting, what is producted may end up being very different from what you wrote. Learn to take joy in the creative process, not just in the product.
6. Writing may not look very taxing to the outsider, but we know it’s hard work, and it does deplete your mental resources. Feed your head with breaks and stimulation by visiting new places, meeting new people, and learning new things.
“With compassion, wit and the wisdom from a long successful writing career, Jurgen Wolff guides you step by step, on the inner and outer journey to writing success.”
— Robert Cochran, co-creator and Executive Producer, ’24’
“Highly recommended. Your Writing Coach pays as much attention to writers as to what they write and should help seasoned pros as much as it will help beginners.”
— Julian Friedmann, agent and editor, Scriptwriter Magazine.