“When I dwelt in the East…I had my opinion of writing for the screen. I regarded it–all right, sue me–with a sort of benevolent contempt, as one looks at the raggedy printing of a backward six-year-old. I thought it had just that much relationship to literature. I thought, ‘Why, I could do that with one hand tied behind me and the other on Irving Thalberg’s pulse.’
Well, I found out, and I found out hard, I found out forever. Through the sweat and the tears I shed over my first script, I saw a great truth–one of those eternal, universal truths that serve to make you feel much worse than you did when you started. And that is that no writer, whether he writes from love or from money, can condescend to what he writes. What makes it harder in screenwriting…is the money he gets.
You see, it brings out that uncomfortable little thing called conscience. You aren’t writing for the love of it or the art of it or whatever; you are doing a chore assigned to you by your employer and whether or not he might fire you if you did it slackly makes no matter. You’ve got yourself to face, and you have to live with yourself. You don’t–or at least, only in highly exceptional circumstances–have to live with your producer.”
— Dorothy Parker