Ok, I’m secure enough to admit this, I don’t know everything. Utterly shocking, I know. I feel that the older I get the less I know, which you would think would be the opposite. What I may lack in knowledge I think I make up with passion. I don’t think I have to know everything to be a writer. I think knowing everything takes the fun out of research (uh huh, you read that right I’m one of those geeks). Discovering what it would be like to be a motivational speaker, a kid with weight issues or a stripper is part of development for my scripts/novel. And, yeah, research is fun especially when you’re surrounded by strippers.
So, we’ve established that I don’t know everything, but that I have passion. And how far does passion get you? Well, I have written a lot of scripts, had a lot of short films produced, and I’m rewriting my second book, so I guess passion fuels my work. But when does passion fail? I think passion fails when you don’t do the legwork and refuse to gain knowledge (research, interviews, etc.). I’ve found that when I was a T.A. in grad school and, later, as a Reader for a production company that a lot of the scripts that I read failed due to a lack of knowledge and lazy research.
The thing is that the reverse can happen, too. I can’t tell you how many ideas I’ve thrown down on paper only to realize that I may have accrued the knowledge, but that I didn’t have passion to continue the story beyond an idea. And that’s okay. Personally, I learn more with my failures than my successes.