Why is writing important to you and why do you think it's an important medium for the world?
I have been writing my entire adult life and I have been fortunate to have made a living from it. It was all I ever wanted to do since I had any awareness of myself. It is important to me because I do believe being an artist is my identity. I write poetry, fiction, plays, movies and TV. I taught myself how to do each of these.I have also learned and studied how to act and direct as well. I do believe writers are born. Then they spend the rest of their lives learning how to write. I am still learning. I believe writers are the heroes of our time. I have written about this before. Writers who tackle social issues, relevant ideas and even those who write about the ordinary lives, their own or others, contribute to what it means to be a human being and we can all learn from what they write. Besides the pleasure I get from writing I also manage to make mark my place in the world and in life by my writing. It is a mission in many ways. I want people to think and feel when they seem my plays or read my novels. If they do then I have been successful. I believe writers are heroes because they help us reflect on who we are people.
What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer's block? Fortunately I have never had writers block. When a kid in high school writing for their literary magazine and eventually becoming Editor-In-Chief I was called prolific. I didn't know what the word meant and I thought it was an insult. But then when I found out what it meant I felt better about it. I am still called prolific. I think for a long time before I write a word in a project. Ideas are always coming to me. I then spend time thinking of the story. I find a title. I find a metaphor. Sometimes a story takes decades to be ready to be written. Sometimes only weeks. I think of the character and the structure of the story. I am always thinking of the story all day and sometimes all night. When I run or swim or even when in a conversation the story comes to me. I manage to function very well and the story and its characters don't interfere with my day to day life but they are there always. While writing, either for money or for myself, the characters emerge from the shadows looking sometimes obscure and hidden. But as soon as I sit down to write they emerge fully and become who they are suppose to be. But most importantly I need to re-write and re-write and re-write and chisel each line over and over again until it is what it should be.
What is your favorite time to write?
Anytime really. I have written in the morning and in the late evening and in the afternoon. I love my work space up high with a nice big window but I have written movies in Rome, Paris and London in hotels and that was fine as well. I do love quiet though. I can't listen to music or the TV or anything when I write. I hate distractions and a good night's sleep is necessary but not mandatory it seems.
What's the best piece of writing advice you've ever received and would like to impart to other writers?
I have gotten so much good insight since I was a young writer. Here are some I can share. 1) Love where you write or live since as a writer you will be spending most of your life in that space. 2) Your characters should vibrate with insecurities. 3) Listen to and be open to the thoughts of intelligent friends when they comment on your work. You will be amazed how much insight they have. They might see your work with more objectivity than you do. 4) When working closely with directors and producers be wary of notes they want to give you. Intelligent people have great ideas that can destroy subtly the fabric of your work. 5) Minor characters in your story should be there for a reason. They should be there to highlight aspects of your lead character. 6) You need to get paid for your ideas. Don't ever undervalue your work. 7) Defend your work. I have found that people can attack a script because it is not a person forgetting that the person who wrote the piece is flesh and blood.
What excites you most about being a writer in today's age?
I am my own boss. I am fortunate to be able to pay my way with my writing without ever having a massive bestseller or hit play. I do get a lot of respect for what I do and it is sometimes surprising since it comes from people from all walks of life. e are warriors it seems to them who were able to must the courage to pursue our vision to be artists and not only survive but endure. It is exciting and rewarding to be that person.
Richard Vetere's I, Human is out this month with Amazin' Whodunit Press.