Just finished reading Just the Funny Parts, a memoir by veteran and very funny TV writer Nell Scovell.
Between the book’s covers, Scovell generously and entertainingly shares the highlights and lowlights of a vital and storied and current writing career.
Anecdotes (many with boldface names) are delivered with a good sprinkling of punchlines and a marked reverence for her crazy business and many of its talented, gracious writers and stars. Anyone interested in reading about a TV writing career will find this an essential reference. Bonus — anyone looking for thoughts about women between other covers in the workplace will find many insights here to enlighten and ponder. #MeToo.
But my motivation for posting is to act on my own favorite piece of Scovell wisdom, which is (and I think this falls under the category of fair use):
Writing is not what you start. It’s not even what you finish. It’s what you start, finish, and put out there for the world to see. Sometimes we’re afraid to share our work because we know those twin jerks—criticism and rejection—are out there waiting to beat us up. Once the assault begins, there are three possible responses: (1) run away from the jerks; (2) defend yourself against the jerks; (3) assume the position and say, “Thank you, sir, may I have another.” The third choice hurts like hell, but the jerks often have useful feedback.
As someone whose work is mostly long form (novel, scripts) and who in general hesitates to press “publish,” this blog post is a foray, put out there for the world to see…
So Nell Scovell, thank you. And may we have another?