This should be the keyword of the modern writer, adaptation. It’s the coolest, creepiest and most useful feature of all kickass organisms and it should definitely be a default skill of the modern writer, because it means you “figure out how to thrive in the world” and you push through ahead of anyone who doesn’t.
Seriously. Adaptation isn’t easy and sure as hell isn’t painless, but it’s absolutely necessary, and once you accept it and learn to surf the wave masterfully, your life will be made of awesome.
And it beats the hell out of self-righteous loathing of one’s unfair environment for its resistance to heed one’s sense of entitlement. Excuse the slap, but I just need to say this since it’s really started to get on my nerves lately. Here’s to all the bitter, frustrated writers spitting bile into the world—if you lovely guys and gals don’t up your game instead of just turning up your volume, you’re gonna get left behind to throw your little tantrums alone in the dust. True story. Please snap out of it, and quit your bitching. Give yourself and us something new and meaningful instead.
What kicked the word adaptation back to the front of my mind is also the fact that I’ve recently watched the movie Adaptation, and it’s one of the most brilliant movies I’ve seen. It’s a witty incursion into the writer’s struggles and the convolutions of his mind, with all its quirks, fears and creative geysers. It’s also a beautiful portrayal of how important it is to be true to yourself and what you’re putting out there as your art, and to move away from fixations in order to thrive.
Turned into a screenplay by Charlie Kaufman after Susan Orlean’s book The Orchid Thief and directed by Spike Jonze, the movie features Nicholas Cage in a double role as a Hollywood screenwriter, facing Meryl Streep and the amazing Chris Cooper, as well as a wide cameo cast.
The movie is just bursting with awesome moments, and even if some of them might seem trite if they’re experienced from the “safety” of an overpass, the way they’re embedded into the story and the weirdness of its flow is just beautiful. Add to it a lotta funny things about the toils of being a writer suffering from writer’s block and you’ve got yourself a piece of great entertainment. There even are some lessons in there, too.
I’ve seen quite a few good movies about writers, like Anonymous, Bright Star, Capote, Deconstructing Harry, Limitless, Running With Scissors, Stranger Than Fiction, and no two of them are alike. They’re all great to watch, and in some ways revelatory. Make me feel less like a freak with all these things in my head.
Can you add any other movie? Which one’s your favorite?