Category Archives: Staying Motivated

Being a creative is hard work. How do you stay on track and keep writing and innovating? First, buy response essay or other types of papers at and learn about the rules and guidelines. Second, experience: that's why we provide information below that will definitely improve your skills.

10 Tips to Write the Hollywood Blockbuster

Tony Gilroy is one of my all time favorite Hollywood screenwriters. Responsible for the scripts for no less than four of the Bourne Identity films, Gilroy also penned one of my favorite films, Michael Clayton, starring George Clooney – in which a character says “People are incomprehensible.” – a bit of wisdom that I have never forgotten.

In this interview with the BBC from 2013, Gilroy gives ten tips for both screenwriters and creatives that are very valuable. From trusting your instinct to living your life to living where you need to live to feel creatively fulfilled. It’s good stuff.

6 Things Hollywood Can Teach Start Up Nation

We talked about the lessons that Start Up Nation has for Hollywood but it definitely works both ways.  Tinsel Town has some lessons for just about everybody, in fact. It is a great place to really practice the art of persistence.


It’s not personal. Your story, your idea, ergo your pitch, your innovation, yeah it’s great? But whether or not somebody else likes it is not personal. It simply the case that being on the receiving end of new ideas gets old. Your idea is not as new as you think. Trust me on this. So – don’t take it personally.

Show me the money. Show me the money, show me the money, show me the money. This is what you are after in your meeting. Show. Me. The. Money. Nothing short of that is a deal or a promise or even a hope. Be mercenary.

Give the people what they want. If this doesn’t make sense to you, you are in the wrong business – whether it’s the business of show, or the business of SELL. What do people WANT to see at the theater? What do people NEED in their lives? If you fancy yourself in any way above this way of looking at it, especially in your earlier, hungrier years – you are in the wrong business.

People want the same but different. Audiences love action films, as one example. They love them. So give them an action picture. With everything they expect – but with different details. If there’s already an app for texting? Give them another app for texting – that is different. 

But – do not be ordinary. Steve Jobs gave the people what they wanted but he was far from ordinary. He raised the bar on personal computing – forever. Do not settle for being average. Understand average and then raise the bar for yourself.

No is a beautiful thing. Why? Because it makes you more determined to do even better. If “no” makes you quit? You were not cut out for a competitive business in the first place. Make every “no” count. Use it to make you stronger, smarter, more inventive, more determined. You only need one “yes”.


Tony Robbins on the Defining Factor in Your Success

This Ted talk is fantastic and I guarantee you will feel 200% more inspired after you watch it. Performance, change, and the way emotions impact your business life. Decision is the ultimate power. The defining factor is resourcefulness, something Israelis know a little something about.

דיבורים טד זה פנטסטי ואני מבטיח לך להרגיש 200% יותר השראה אחרי שאתה צופה בו. רגשות ביצועים, שינוי, ואת הדרך שישפיעו על החיים של העסק שלך. החלטה היא הכוח האולטימטיבי.הגורם המגדיר הוא תושייה, ישראלים משהו יודעים משהו קטן עליו.

Another Israeli Innovation: SMS as shopping list

Gil Avrahami was at the shopping mall, looking for a gift for his mother’s birthday. Entrusted with making sure he got the right gift, he was texting back and forth with is sister constantly. This one? This purse? That perfume? These shoes? What do you think?

You can imagine it’s already tough to get an Israeli – or ANY – man into a mall, much less be texting every few minutes about what color purse or type of perfume mom would like more.

Necessity is the mother of invention.

Then it came to Gil – wait – what if he could text several pictures and choices at once, and he and his sister could save a ton of time and just choose the right item, with the right price and be done with it?

Two years later, Gil is the co-founder and co-creator of Buzzzter, an sms application that raises the bar on Whatsapp, because it lets users post polls, pictures and lists in a single text. Planning a party? Easy. Need to figure out the right gift? Having trouble deciding which apartment is the better one? Enter – Buzzzter.

But it gets better – Gil had a surprise coming – the app, as it turns out, is wildly successful among retailers with inventory needs. buzzzter

A moment of frustration brought about a moment of inspiration and after a lot of hard work, challenges and commitment, Gil and his partner Shahar Zer unveiled Buzzzter. Who knows, maybe a billion dollar buy out is in their future too!

Persistence & Discipline Are Universal Ideals

I have known my friend Steve Martinez ever since a barbecue in my back yard about 5 years ago, in my former home in Los Angeles. We’ve been through ups and downs together, we’ve laughed until very late in the night. We joke about a tattoo he’s probably never going to get. (“Pray Rain”. It’s a long story).

Every day, Steve gets up very early to write. For five years, he does this. After he writes, he takes some time to walk and clear his head and then around 9am, he reports to his day job. He’s a self-employed attorney. Each day, after about 2pm, you’ll find Steve at his favorite Peet’s Coffee in Santa Monica. Writing. Can he Skype for a few minutes? He’d love to. But he’s writing. Later, he says. And we do.

A few months ago, Steve asked me to write him a letter of recommendation about his writing. I did. He was applying to a Universal/NBC fellowship. Universal contacted me and wanted to know more about Steve’s writing. In my role as a script consultant, I knew a lot about Steve’s style, goals and discipline. universal

Now, after 5+ years of writing, of living in Los Angeles, of both enjoying and forsaking the sun and the pleasures of LA, after years of 6am bleary-eyed writing, Steve is a Universal Fellow. That means he’s employed at Universal/NBC for a year, with a salary, with mentoring, with massive opportunities.

Steve’s talent got him there, no doubt. But his talent would never have had the chance to shine without his discipline. Even when other people were succeeding – and failing all around him – Steve just kept writing. He’s stubborn that way.

You can never win or lose if you don’t play the game.

Will your discipline pay off, your day and night working on your script, or TV pilot, or great start up initiative? Maybe. It doesn’t happen for everyone, this brass ring.

But here’s a truth: it sure as hell won’t if you don’t. Guaranteed.

I am an undying advocate of having fun with what you do and of enjoying your life. I will never shift that belief because I believe when you are having fun, when you are excited about what you are doing? It shows in your work.

And a part of that is discipline. Seeing results. Finishing pages, making those phone calls, doing your research. stevem

Maybe you don’t want to get up at a crazy hour to write (I sure don’t!) the way Steve, the first guy from the left does. But there is a way, I promise you, that you can add more discipline to your life of work and creativity. People like Steve remind us that good things DO happen to good people, and that you can live a good, fun life and also put in those 10,000 hours.

Steve Martinez did. And he continues to, as he reaches for the next brass ring and the next.  Selfishly? I’m glad a person with Steve’s intelligence, wit, curiosity and sense of humor, with his deep empathy for the human condition, is poised to become one of Hollywood’s next major story tellers.


What Can Start Up Nation Teach Hollywood?

I have compared writers and creatives to entrepreneurs. We are visionaries, we are rebels, we want to see our ideas WORK.  We work in a sometimes seemingly hostile, risk averse environment and we have to be business savvy and yet also preserve that part of us that creates, whether we are creating stories or apps or new technology. persondesert

But our creation won’t see the light of day unless we get the money, the producers, the investors to make it real. And these are business people who are afraid of risks. So how do you create in that environment? How do you continue to not only feel hopeful and inspired but to surmount obstacles to your creativity like competition, scarce funds and constantly hearing the word “no” or “maybe”?

First of all the scarcity thing just isn’t true. There is more demand than ever for content, entertainment and for technology. We are living in a golden age for creatives. Even if it doesn’t seem like it sometimes.

I have written a lot about staying inspired about creating for the sheer pleasure of it. And I still absolutely stand by this line of thinking. If you aren’t having fun with your writing or your visionary idea, then something elemental and important is missing.

But how DO you navigate the inevitable disappointments and minefields of being a creative in a very competitive environment? Does Start Up Nation have anything to teach writers and creatives across the pond?

If you haven’t read Start Up Nation, you should. It the story of the “economic miracle” of Israel. A country surrounded by enemies, with no natural resources, but with more start ups per capita than much larger, more peaceful nations. How do we do it?

Start Up Nation

Start Up Nation

When the going gets tough – and it’s always tough – Israelis don’t take no for an answer. They just find another way.

Don’t take no for an answer. Your script didn’t take off? How’s your novel going? Stuck on that for awhile? How about that great blog you started last year, how’s the readership on that? Have you pitched an essay to an online publication you admire?

There are many trails up the mountain, but in time, they all reach the top.

~ Anya Seyton

Perhaps instead of waiting for the Hollywood system, which is risk averse and mysteriously, seemingly rigged, you make your own system and make an indie film or publish your own book or start your own blog.  Perhaps your amazing app, which didn’t take off so well, is actually going to take off hugely in another niche. It happens. 

Let “no” invigorate you. Nature abhors a vacuum. If you are creating and telling stories and adding to the human narrative with your vision – there IS someone who wants what you’ve got.

Writers and entrepreneurs have a lot to teach each other – a sort of symbiosis soup of creativity, flexibility and persistence. But Start Up Nation can teach writers something even more – don’t wait for conditions to be just right – MAKE the right conditions.

Do you need help with your script, novel or business presentation? In Israel, call Julie Gray at 052-748-0934 or click here to see my full site. 


What Stops You From Writing?

lilyThe other day at the Tel Aviv Writer’s Salon, a member was very distressed because she just couldn’t handle the pressure of writing.

We talked about it for awhile until she was finally able to let herself off the hook and just WRITE.

Turns out, she was being very hard on herself and expecting that her output had to be perfect.

But there is no room in writing for perfectionism – at first.

If wanting your writing to be absolutely perfect is stopping you from writing at all, Houston, you have a problem.

Here is one way I help writers to get over this self-inflicted pressure and it may sound kind of weird – I set a timer. I say you have fifteen minutes to write and I don’t care whether it’s the most detailed shopping list in the world, but it’s ticking right now so GO!

I have been delighted that to a one, writers that have this timed, pressurized experience, wind up actually writing and doing much less thinking.

Thinking about writing more than writing is a common problem for writers.

If you can set aside a time and a place to write, and then time yourself and know that whatever you write is FINE – you may find that your muscle will begin to grow stronger – you CAN write and it does NOT have to be perfect!