Despite working in Hollywood, an industry that loves to create culture via the medium of checking boxes—screenwriter Charlie Kaufman has made a career out of avoiding those boxes completely. Being John Malkovich; Adaptation; Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind; Synecdoche, New York.
After reading a Twitter thread from Casey Johnston, I went down a Kaufman rabbit hole and found this 2011 speech in which he talks about screenwriting.
But really it’s just about creating, full stop.
Be yourself, he says, even when it’s hard or you don’t understand it. Because, really, nobody will ever understand what drives you to make things. But if you can scratch that itch, that unknowable thing inside of you, perhaps you may be.
One line got me particularly.
“That’s two hours I’ll never get back.”
It’s a favorite thing for an angry person to say about a movie he hates.
But the thing is: every two hours are two hours he’ll never get back. You cannot hoard your two hours.