On Writing


DANA SCHMALENBERG is a screenwriter living in Los Angeles, California. She has sold TV shows to NBC, FOX and The CW, as well as feature films to Disney, Warner Brothers and New Regency. She has recently adapted “Sex and the City” author Candace Bushnell’s novel, “Trading Up” for Lifetime Television. She is thankful that in Hollywood the writer is paid whether or not the screenplay is ever produced. She is also thankful the people who do the paying don’t seem to care about her horrible grammar and questionable punctuation.

For me, writing is a form of meditation. Not because it’s relaxing, but because it takes some time to get to that place in your mind where you can tap into your reserves– things like your subconscious, your imagination and your sense memory. Thankfully creation has tucked them away deep inside you, safe and protected from things like Fox News and the unsettling screech of MTV’s The Jersey Shore.

The journey to reach my reserves so I can begin writing usually looks something like this: I return E-mails, read my favorite blogs, stare into the refrigerator, make a snack, take my dog outside, pick my nails, organize my desk drawer, read over what I’ve written the day before, stare out the window, stretch, Google the correct words to song lyrics I can’t make out or physical symptoms to a disease I’m probably dying of, have another cup of coffee, talk to the dog, make a grocery list, read a script I’ve been putting off, watch an old episode of Sex and the City, have another snack, engage in some freestyle writing where I think of the story I’m working on and just start typing whatever comes into my head, and then… I’m usually there. If interrupted I have to start the entire process all over again… usually after killing whoever interrupted me.

Dana Schmalenberg 2011

Published: June 15th, 2011

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  1. Adam Dolin wrote:

    Yes but what do you eat????

  2. Leigh wrote:

    You look great Dana!

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