Rod Serling on Writing and Creativity

To sleep. Perchance to dream. To dream. Perchance to imagine. To imagine. Perchance to create. To create. Perchance to write; perchance to make a difference. Mr. Rod Serling definitely made a difference and impacted society with his unique form and brand of creativity in his writing.

One could not watch an episode of either the Twilight Zone or Night Gallery and not be moved in some way. His genius and commentary were not limited to “inside” the story lines, but could also be found in his opening and closing narration.

Take the following, for example:

Then there’s this gem on creativity (circa 1971):

Quoting from the book “As I knew Him: My Dad, Rod Serling,” by Anne Serling, (wonderful read, by the way) “In what was to be my father’s final interview, he was asked what he wanted people to say about him a hundred years from then. He responded, ‘I don’t care that they’re not able to quote any single line that I’ve written. But just that they can say, ‘Oh, he was a writer.’ That’s sufficiently an honored position for me.'”

As creativity goes, he was a master. As a writer, he was unsurpassed in this genre of storytelling. Oh sure, you have Mark Twain, Hemingway, Poe, Dickens, and Stephen King to name a few. But they were different; they each had their own style. Serling was also of another generation.

I often wonder what great works he would have produced should he have lived beyond 50 years. If King was or is the master of horror, then Serling, surely, was the master of the macabre for his generation, just as Edgar Allan Poe was for his. Not surprisingly, Poe was a great influence on Serling.

One thing to keep in mind, no matter who is or has influenced you as a creative person or a writer in particular, don’t be afraid to extend your limits, your boundaries. If you don’t think you can design it, write it or overcome it, try creating it anyway. Get to work even if you’re doing it in small, baby steps.

Even Hemingway wrote in a one sentence at a time mindset. Serling, being aware of his capacities, didn’t limit himself to actual writing of words. His generation of technology at least afforded him the dicta-phone so he could keep pace with his mind.

Write on, Rod!

They’re Baaaaaaaaaaackkkkkk! Quotes, That Is!

I think Calvin’s been watching The Twilight Zone.

It is by logic that we prove, but by intuition that we discover. To know how to criticize is good, to know how to create is better. – Poincaré

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less. – Marie Curie

Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things, I am tempted to think there are no little things. – Bruce Barton, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

A good ad should be like a good sermon: It must not only comfort the afflicted, it also must afflict the comfortable. Bernice Fitz-Gibbon, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

I have learned that trying to guess what the boss or the client wants is the most debilitating of all influences in the creation of good advertising. – Leo Burnett, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

Nobody counts the number of ads you run; they just remember the impression you make. – William Bernbach, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

Fun without sell gets nowhere, but sell without fun tends to become obnoxious. – Leo Burnett, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

Imagination is the beginning of creation. You imagine what you desire, you will what you imagine, and at last, you create what you will. – George Bernard Shaw

Hopefully making a ruckus, one blog post at a time!

Be sure to check out my other blog, Joe’s Journey, for personal insights on life and its detours.

A Few Last Quotes for Awhile

Well, as with any blog post, one tends to change one’s mind once in awhile. I had planned to begin a series of posts dealing with depression, among other topics, as it pertains to creativity. As I find myself not ready to do that yet, I went back to my vault of various quotes. Since I have only enough for one more post at this point in time, that’s what I’m posting this time out. Stay tuned.

Apparently on screen I look tall, ageless, close to  omniscient-delivering jeopardy-laden warnings through gritted teeth, but when people see me on the street, they say ‘this kid is 5 foot 5, he’s got a broken nose, and looks  as foreboding as a bank teller…’ Rod Serling.

The place to start in advertising is the basic selling appeal. An appeal that fulfills some existing need in the prospect’s mind, an appeal that can be readily understood and believed. – Morris Hite, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew. Marshall McLuhan, philosopher 

I have learned that any fool can write a bad ad, but that it takes a real genius to keep his hands off a good one. Leo Burnett, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

Be brave enough to live life creatively. The creative place where no one else has ever been. – Alan Alda

It is difficult to say what is impossible, for the dream of yesterday is the hope of today and the reality of tomorrow. – Robert H. Goddard

Creativity is the power to connect the seemingly unconnected. – William Palmer

Sometimes when I consider what tremendous consequences come from little things, I am tempted to think there are no little things.  Bruce Barton, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

It’s kind of a strange, backslapping ritual that we go through in this town where you get awards for almost everything. For surviving the day you’re going to get awards. So I can’t suggest that those things represent any pinnacle of achievement. – Serling from #Oscars #AcademyAwards

Curious, Memorable, Unsettling, Quirky, Quixotic and Quotable Quotes

My Quotes blog posts have proven quite popular and, thus, I offer up another version. I also offer up a side note to say that some future posts will cover some rather serious posts on psychological aspects of creativity and where the industry may be heading amidst the pandemic in which we still are engaged. As MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow often says, “watch this space.”

Creativity is so delicate a flower that praise tends to make it bloom while discouragement often nips it at the bud.  Alex Osborn, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

All of us who professionally use the mass media are the shapers of society. We can vulgarize that society. We can brutalize it. Or we can help lift it onto a higher level. William Bernbach, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

Stabbing little thoughts gouge my brain. Ugly, frightened thoughts. Projections of tomorrow and the next day. Twilight Zone’s “The Hitch-Hiker” by Rod Serling stars Inger Stevens

Rules are for people who don’t know what to do. Keith Reinhard, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

I don’t like closed doors. Creativity flourishes best in an environment of open doors and open minds. Keith Reinhard, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

Advertising is what you do when you can’t go see somebody. That’s all it is. Fairfax Cone, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

We don’t grow unless we take risks. Any successful company is riddled with failures. James E. Burke, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

Anyone who thinks that people can be fooled or pushed around has an inaccurate and pretty low estimate of people — and he won’t do very well in advertising. Leo Burnett, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

Most writers, you go up to them and say you’ve got an idea, they reply, ‘You do the acting, kid, and we’ll do the writing.’ Not Rod. You go up to him with a suggestion, he gets the pencil out and starts writing.  — Earl Holliman, star of Twilight Zone’s “Where is Everybody?”

Quotes From The Twilight Zone and Other Time Portals

Back again with a number of different quotes but this time, unintentionally, I’ve included several from Rod Serling. These even include a submission by his daughter, Anne. Interestingly, some reflect our current times and are not, simply, torn from a script of The Twilight Zone, though they could be quite applicable.

Offered up for contemplation and reminding, that some things never change. However, it’s still up to us to bring about that change no matter how painful and uncomfortable the process is.

Creative imagination — the lamp that lit the world — can light our lives. – Alex F. Osborn, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it. – Aristotle

If your advertising goes unnoticed, everything else is academic. – William Bernbach, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

When we are too timid to risk failure, we reduce the opportunities to succeed. And we eliminate the chance to learn. – Keith Reinhard, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

A sickness known as hate. Not a virus, not a microbe, not a germ but a sickness nonetheless, highly contagious, deadly in its effects. Don’t look for it in #TheTwilightZone, look for it in a mirror. Look for it before the light goes out altogether. – Rod Serling (March 27, 1964)

Imagination leads to curiosity leads to creativity leads to innovation. In everything you write, write something that is brave enough to be hopeful. – Amanda Gorman, poet, first National Youth Poet Laureate 

Human beings must involve themselves in the anguish of other human beings. This, I submit to you, is not a political thesis at all. It is simply an expression of what I would hope might be ultimately a simple humanity for humanity’s sake. ― Rod Serling

Variety of Quotes, Variety of Thought.

Just when you thought I had run out of quotes, I found some more. I tend to come across these every week from a variety of different sources, some of which are quite surprising as are the quotes. In any case, enjoy, and don’t be surprised when you’re surprised.

There are two kinds of men who don’t amount to much: those who can’t do what they are told and those who can do nothing else.  Cyrus H. K. Curtis, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

When you reach for the stars you may not quite get one, but you won’t come up with a handful of mud either.  Leo Burnett, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside of them was superior to circumstance. Bruce Barton, Advertising Hall of Fame

Creativity is so delicate a flower that praise tends to make it bloom while discouragement often nips it at the bud.  Alex Osborn, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

Good advertising is written from one person to another. When it is aimed at millions, it rarely moves anyone.  Fairfax M. Cone, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

Our job is to simplify, to tear away the unrelated, to pluck out the weeds that are smothering the product message.  William Bernbach, Advertising Hall of Fame

It is easier to tone down a wild idea than to think up a new one.  Alex Osborne, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

The ultimate obscenity is not caring, not doing something about what you feel, not feeling! Just drawing back and drawing in, becoming narcissistic. Rod Serling

The Quotes Just Keep on Coming

In a continuing effort to highlight various modes of thought by different folks through the ages, the following quotes are offered up to enlighten your imagination and, perhaps, even tickle your funny bone. Then, again, maybe they’ll make you think. Enjoy!

You have to be noticed, but the art is getting noticed naturally, without screaming and without tricks. – Leo Burnett, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

The mind that opens to a new idea never returns to its original size. — Albert Einstein

No moral, no message, no prophetic tract, just a simple statement of fact: for civilization to survive, the human race has to remain civilized. Tonight’s very small exercise in logic from the Twilight Zone.

. . . And . . .

Human beings must involve themselves in the anguish of other human beings. This, I submit to you, is not a political thesis at all. It is simply an expression of what I would hope might be ultimately a simple humanity for humanity’s sake. ― Rod Serling

Inspirational quotes for folks who don’t like them:

On fighting the urge to follow the herd:

Be yourself; everyone else is already taken. — Oscar Wilde

What you think of yourself is much more important than what others think of you. — Seneca

Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world. — Lucille Ball

On finding the beauty in chaos:

If life were predictable it would cease to be life, and be without flavor. — Eleanor Roosevelt

I would rather die of passion than of boredom. — Vincent van Gogh

Life would be tragic if it weren’t funny. — Stephen Hawking

In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart. — Anne Frank

Special Friday the 13th Edition: Rod Serling – In His Own Words.

The Man. The Mind. The Mentor.

The Dad. The Television Star.

The Host. The Creator.

Mr. Twilight Zone himself.

Night of the Meek

Christmas is more than barging up and down department store aisles and pushing people out of the way. Christmas is another thing finer than that. Richer, finer, truer, and it should come with patience and love, charity, compassion.

Somewhere between apathy and anarchy lies the thinking human being.

Violence does not spring from a vacuum. It’s born out of other men’s violence. It gets nurtured and it grows in a soil of prejudice and of hate and of bigotry.

Every writer is a frustrated actor who recites his lines in the hidden auditorium of his skull.

Serling-Judge him

A basic ‘must’ for every writer. A simple solitude– physical and mental.” ~ AS I KNEW HIM: My Dad Rod Serling

More than a man has died…More than a gallant young President has been put to death. What has been assassinated is a faith in ourselves. What has been murdered-a belief in our decency, our capacity to love, our sense of order and logic and civilized decorum.

Our greatest responsibility is not to be pencils of the past…

This is what I learned at Antioch-when something was wrong, I could get up on my own two feet and make comment on it… I think the idea of questioning is not only a right, it is a responsibility.

Serling-young

Remember that your salvation is in your capacity for human warmth–in that remarkable propensity for love.

I found that it was all right to have Martians saying things Democrats and Republicans could never say.

My dad said in a final interview, “I’d like to write something that my peers, my colleagues, my fellow writers would find a source of respect. I’d rather win a Writer’s Guild award than almost anything…

No moral, no message, no prophetic tract, just a simple statement of fact: for civilization to survive, the human race has to remain civilized. Tonight’s very small exercise in logic from the Twilight Zone.” –             The Shelter

Serling new pic

Rod left us way too soon. Not surprisingly, he is still today someone we look up to, someone we admire. From The Twilight Zone to the Night Gallery, he put his imagination on display for millions of fans.

As a writer myself, I’ve often wondered what kind of morbid, macabre mysteries would have come alive if Rod Serling and Edgar Allan Poe had lived in the same century. Deaths-Head Revisited, Murders in the Rue Morgue, The Monsters Are Due on Maple StreetAnnabel Lee, A Stop at Willoughby, The Fall of the House of Usher, Nightmare at 20,000 Feet and, of course, The Raven.

All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream. Because this, you see, is the Twilight Zone. Quoth the raven, “Nevermore!”

Fun, Frivolous, Famous, and Fearless Quotes . . . Food for your Soul!!

red-quotation-marks-vector-online-royalty-free-picture-435958Here we are again, searching through the online Quote Bag. Some of the gems I found are listed below.

Your respite into the world of famous and sometimes infamous quotes from a variety of personalities. Any one of these could prove motivation for that ad you’re working on, tweak your imagination, inspire you or just plain bring a smile to your face.

 

Charles Kettering Quote

I am looking for a lot of men who have an infinite capacity to not know what can’t be done.” – Henry Ford

My stories run up and bite me on the leg. I respond by writing down everything that goes on during the bite.” — Ray Bradbury, the author of Twilight Zone’s 100th episode!

Ray Bradbury Title Card

From someone on Twitter:
It was the great Ray Bradbury, whom I interviewed as a young reporter and aspiring novelist going in five different directions at once and totally befuddled.  His simple advice to me:  “Write what you love to read.”

Rod Serling Quote

 

Mark Twain Quote

 

It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge.”   – Albert Einstein

There have been three writers that most suit me: Rod Serling, Clifford Odets and Neil Simon. With Neil it was the humor and the rhythms. Odets, the staccato. But with Rod Serling, it was the anger, the defiance and fire. He brought such fire to everything he wrote.” — Jack Klugman

No knowledge of what went before. No understanding of what is now. No knowledge of what will be.  #ZoneQuotes #S3E14  “Five Characters in Search of an Exit” by Rod Serling

Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.” – Erich Frommred-quotation-marks-vector-online-royalty-free-picture-435958

 

 

 

 

Which ones ring true for you? Inspire you? Make you want to scratch your head and say “Huh?” Let me know in the comments.

Friday Fun Quotes . . . is baaaack!!

It’s back. Friday Fun Quotes. Sorry we’ve been away for awhile but other priorities surfaced and we’re just now trying to get back into the swing of things.

Searching through the online Quote Bag, some of the gems I found are listed below. They are a variety of ad-related and TV-related quotes from some very significant folks in our culture such as David Ogilvy, Rod Serling, Steve Jobs, and Van Gogh.

So, without further ado, enjoy!

If you’re trying to persuade people to do something, or buy something, it seems to me you should use their language, the language they use every day, and the language in which they think. We try to write in the vernacular. David Ogilvy, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

Great designers seldom make great advertising men, because they get overcome by the beauty of the picture – and forget that merchandise must be sold. James Randolph Adams, member,                       Advertising Hall of Fame

Our current obsession with creativity is the result of our continued striving for immortality in an era when most people no longer believe in an after-life. Arianna Huffington

RodSerlingQuote-singular evil

RodSerlingQuote-where will he

I want to put a ding in the universe. Steve Jobs

VanGogh Museum

Van Gogh Museum

‘something like the colour of a really dusty potato, unpeeled of course’. Van Gogh painted in earth tones. He wanted to show that they ‘have tilled the earth themselves with these hands they are putting in the dish, and that they have thus honestly earned their food’. 

We don’t grow unless we take risks. Any successful company is riddled with failures. James E. Burke, member, Advertising Hall of Fame

NightGallery-Michelle Lee

The weed is employed by the aging witch who has used up her present body to facilitate her entry into the new, young body she has chosen for herself. #GalleryQuotes #NGS2E3, “Since Aunt Ada Came to Stay” (Night-Gallery) Michelle Lee

***And, finally, with a wink and a nod . . .***

The man I knew, my dad, was nothing like the black and white image walking across the MGM soundstage… #my lampshade, guitar and I don’t know where he got the rest of the outfit. Anne Serling, excerpted from “AS I KNEW HIM: My Dad Rod Serling”

RodSerling-at home

Rod at home