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A short one today.

Have you heard of Kelly Marcel? If not yet, you soon will. You’ll probably, if you’re like me, be deeply and painfully jealous. And she might teach us something.

Kelly is a British writer and actress whose first screenwriting sale has hit the big time. She wrote a TV series which has been bought by Steven Spielberg. Terra Nova, said by the Sunday Times to be the most expensive TV series, per episode, ever made, comes out this Autumn and has already been shortlisted in the Most Exciting New Series category at the Critics’ Choice Television Awards.

Envious yet?

It is, as I say, her first ever writing success. Indeed her first sale. But here’s the important thing.

I heard Kelly say recently that after many tries at screenwriting success Terra Nova was “like nothing else I had ever written.”

Think about that.

How often do you write something that is “like nothing else” you’ve ever written?

Most writers keep writing the same thing, in the hope that somehow the world will change and recognise their greatness.

After struggling to sell scripts whose genius went somehow unappreciated by the industry, some years ago I decided to do something totally different. I set out to write my next script in an entirely different way. Not just the story but my entire approach.

I examined everything I normally did, and did the opposite. I also studied how other writers worked and learned from them.

That screenplay was the first script I sold and indeed went straight to Hollywood to be packaged by a major agency and offered to a major director.

I hope you had a great time during the holidays, and whether you did or didn’t are raring to get writing again. Or maybe you never stopped. Either way, is your writing helping you succeed?

Or is it time to write something like nothing else you have ever written?

Have fun!