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Thursday, February 22, 2018

'Being' a Full-Time Writer

“I think I'm a writer, and it's my job. People in other professions are expected to do their jobs all the time. Why shouldn't I?” – Richard Greenberg

Born on this date in 1958, Greenberg is a playwright and television writer who has written more than three-dozen plays, including the multiple award-winning Take Me Out and the highly acclaimed Dazzle, a finalist for The Pulitzer Prize.

A native of East Meadow, NY, Greenberg studied under Joyce Carol Oates at Princeton and went on to the Yale School of Drama’s playwriting program and early on wondered aloud about his choice of careers.  “When you're writing plays, it's possible to believe you don't have any real world skill,” he said.  “When you're adapting, it is really all about the mechanics, so you feel closer to, I don't know, an accountant or someone who has a body of information. It's not all about temperament.”
Noted for his intellectual and witty use of language,          he was the first winner of the PEN/Laura Pels Award for a playwright in mid-career (in 1998).  His writing style might be considered unorthodox but it definitely has paid big dividends for him. 

“I don't write a play from beginning to end. I don't write an outline,” he said.  “I write scenes and moments as they occur to me. And I still write on a typewriter. It's not all in ether. It's on pages. I sequence them in a way that tends to make sense. Then I write what's missing, and that's my first draft.”

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