Monday, December 30, 2013

TV writer answers the question: "Why write?"


Guest Post  


Stacey Evans Morgan 


   (Today's writing advice comes from Stacey Evans Morgan  co-executive producer/writer for the sitcom "Love That Girl".  She has also written and produced for several other sitcoms including "The Parkers," the "Jamie Foxx Show,"  and "One on One.'  And she is the author of the children's book "Cocoa Princess."   Here, she shares what motivates her to write.) 


Inspiration from TV writer/author Stacey Evans Morgan

Why write? 

     Words are powerful.  They can start wars, heal broken hearts, comfort, confuse, exhort, ignite, liberate… I could go on, but you get the message. There is an old testament scripture in Habakkuk 2:2 that says “Write the vision and make it plain on the tablets” and that has always been a good reminder to me that a vision is set in motion after it is written down. As writers, we possess the power of the pen/keyboard, yet sometimes the first words of that unwritten script, book, proposal, poem, letter, etc., that resides in our head, is often the most difficult.
    Once those first words are written, the journey begins and there’s no turning back. So, perhaps that is why we sometimes procrastinate when it comes to writing those first words: Fade in… It all began… Dear John. We are nervous of the outcome, yet, as long as those words and characters are held captive inside your soul, they become relentless in their pursuit to find their way onto paper. They will nag you during your sleep, meet you in the shower, distract you on the road at every red light, poke and prod at you until you get your butt in motion and simply write the vision.
     Perhaps, we fear the words we write will be looked upon as inferior yet while we procrastinate, some hack writer is out there hacking away at the next installment of their vision, perhaps riddled with type-o’s, lack of story structure and inspiration, yet that person writes because he/she feels as if they’ve got something to say and they’re disciplined and/or motivated (creatively, financially or both) enough to at least free their minds, regardless of whether or not their written word is profound or not. And who said a writer’s goal must be to create a profound masterpiece? If the words you write convey your intended message, you have succeeded in your task. If those words touch lives, even if only a few, mission accomplished!
    There are people who call themselves “aspiring” writers and they use that term because they have not written professionally (e.g., had the thrill of seeing their name on screen, or recognized as a published author). But, once a person realizes a “byline” or screen credit does not define their calling and they can proudly proclaim “I WRITE, THEREFORE I AM A WRITER!” they have liberated themselves and now have to shift gears from neutral to drive top speed in their calling.
    I have been blessed to enjoy a career as a professional writer (television, film, plays, author, poet), and whether it has been a lean or abundant season (financially and/or opportunity wise), I realized a long time ago that writing is not just what I do, it is the essence of who I am and it is that one thing I can truly say I would do for free. As a matter of fact, I have done it for free or in some instances, close to it! Your words will outlive you, and there is a generation that has not even been born, who will connect with your written expression. Perhaps it will be a film, a book, a speech or simply a letter that your great, great grandchildren will gain greater insight on what life was like at the time you wrote it. But, whatever IT is, you have got to write IT!
     As we approach the new year that awaits us with endless possibilities, I encourage all writers to take a moment, close your eyes, give yourself permission to be still and listen to your soul and once you open your eyes, it’s time to write from your heart and enjoy the journey even if the first draft is crappy. That’s what rewrites are for but you’ve got to have something to rewrite so… WRITE THE VISION!

Stacey Evans Morgan is the Co-Executive Producer/Writer for TV One's first scripted series "Love that Girl" now in it's 4th season.  She has written for stage and television including The Parkers, Jamie Foxx Show, One on OneNAACP Image Awards, Meet the Browns and currently has a new television and film project in development slated for production in 2014.  Stacey has also made her debut as a children's book author with her new book/audiobook project "Cocoa Princess" and strives to continue creating projects that will encourage, educate, inspire as well as entertain people of all walks of life.

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