TV Writer Matt Witten On The 5 Things You Need To Be A Successful Author or Writer
… The cliché “Writing is rewriting” is true. Don’t get down on yourself if you don’t get it perfect the first time.
Some writers and authors have a knack for using language that can really move people. Some writers and authors have been able to influence millions with their words alone. What does it take to become an effective and successful author or writer?
In this interview series, called “5 Things You Need To Be A Successful Author or Writer” we are talking to successful authors and writers who can share lessons from their experience.
As part of this series I had the pleasure of interviewing Matt Witten. Matt is a TV writer, novelist, playwright and screenwriter. He has written for shows including House, Pretty Little Liars, and Law & Order. His TV scripts have been nominated for an Emmy and two Edgars, and he has written four mystery novels, winning a Malice Domestic award for best debut novel. He has also written stage plays and for national magazines. The Necklace is optioned for film by Leonardo DiCaprio’s Appian Way and Cartel Pictures.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
I started writing poetry in first grade. Mostly my poems were about how great the Baltimore Orioles baseball team was, and how terrible the New York Yankees were.
I had a crush on my tenth-grade drama teacher, Karen Kramer. She suggested I write a play, so I did. It was an abstract, surrealistic one-act called Mort-Free, about how humanity doesn’t need to be unhappy. I have gotten much less profound since then. Mort-Free was performed at the women’s club of a local church, and I was hooked.
When I was seventeen I got an undiagnosed illness and vowed that if I ever got healthy again, I would remember that writing is central to who I am and I should never give it up. Fortunately I did get healthy again, and even though I had some almost penniless years as a writer, I held tight to my dream. Except for that one time when I applied to law…