Advice for aspiring writers from Stephen J. Cannell

Word count: 225 words + video

Reading/watching time: Just over 3 minutes

Here is a bonus column with some excellent writing advice from TV legend Stephen J. Cannell….

I hadn’t intended to send out a column this week. Normally, I take a week’s holiday between Christmas and New Year. But last week I stumbled across a terrific video interview with late TV writer and producer Stephen J. Cannell that I wanted to share with you.

My tastes don’t run along the same lines as Cannell’s. He wrote episodes of shows like the Rockford Files, the A-team and Wiseguy, none of which ever appealed to me. But you don’t have to agree with someone’s view of “art” in order to respect them!

I especially love that Cannell was dyslexic (as is my son) and managed to become a writer and successful producer. The video is only 4:33 but if you want to get the key message, you need only watch til 2:28.

He offers excellent advice for aspiring writers. I particularly appreciate his observation that many writers get tied in the knot of wanting to be “brilliant.” His suggestion? Make your writing as good as you can and stop trying to sound like Shakespeare!

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