Today’s piece is written by Maurice Hurley, who has written/produced a dozen series, including “24,” “Star Trek TNG,” “Baywatch,” “The Equalizer,” and “Miami Vice.” He has never owned a dog.
I write because it’s like when I was a kid and I’d hurry to the playground knowing that I would be chosen to play, not because of my athletic ability of which I have none, but because I had the ball. I got the ball… nothing starts ‘til I show up. Then, just like now, I was always the weakest player on whatever team. Baseball, basketball didn’t matter. I got to play because I had the ball. I love playing team sports. Episodic television is a great team sport – the best. Preproduction, the meetings, the fights with the studio and the network, the set, watching the magic of post, it just about the most fun you can have. So, I write because, once again, it’s the only way I’m ever going allowed to participate.
Like most of us, I tried other ways to get into the game. I spend the first part of my life in production. I was a mediocre cameraman, a barely adequate soundman on three dozen or so documentaries, one that was actually nominated for an Academy Award, but again, I wasn’t good enough to make it a career. I directed a feature; no one’s ever asked me to direct another.
So, I write and I keep on writing not because I have anything profound or interesting to say, but because my script, like that old baseball I’d bring to the playground, just might be good enough to get me in the game.
WHY WE WRITE is a series of essays by prominent – and not so prominent – TV and Film writers. Conceived by Charlie Craig and Thania St. John, the campaign hopes to inspire and inform all writers. If you’d like to comment, or tell us why you write, visit the Why We Write WordPress site or contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.