Today's Video Link

If you're a writer — or better still, if you want to be a writer — take an hour and a half of your life and watch this conversation with William Goldman. I think he's a terrific novelist and a screenwriter of wildly-varying quality…but the way he approaches his work is fascinating.

One lesson not to be learned from his story is that if you have an endless series of rejections and no one thinks you have any talent, you should keep on pluggin' away at it and eventually you'll be a best-selling novelist and/or an Academy Award winning screenwriter. It went like that for Mr. Goldman but 98% of the time, it doesn't — which is, of course, one of the things that's so much fun about show business. Occasionally, you can do everything wrong and succeed, just as you can do everything right and fail. The outliers are fascinating but you shouldn't bet your life that you'll be one of them.

But he approaches his writing with a professional intensity. It's not just a matter of hard work but of the right hard work and the right attitude towards the work, including a healthy sense of one's own fallibility. I think he's way too humble (verging on self-loathing) about his output but that may be necessary for him to create it. Anyway, spend an hour and a half and listen to the guy…