You’ve probably heard that Sylvester Stallone wrote the script for Rocky in three days.
Guess who started that story? Stallone.
Why? Because he’s a writer—he’s one of us and we lie. Professionally.
Saying that the script was written in three days is a fantastic story and audiences eat it up. Fans want to believe in magic. They want to believe that the heavens opened up and gifted Stallone with this incredible tale of a man who rises from the depths, faces a powerful foe and reclaims his dignity.
But if you’re paying attention, you’ll hear Stallone admit that the first draft was written in three days. He revised for ages, and only 10% of the original manuscript remains in the story. And by the way, Rocky was his eighth script. The first seven were duds.
The truth isn’t as much fun, is it? The truth sounds an awful lot like work.
If you want to be a pro, you’ve got to be prepared to work for years on a project … but you can always tell your fans you did it in a weekend.