Rod Serling Quotes on Writing: The Complete Collection

rod serling quotes on writing
by CJ McDaniel // April 28 // 0 Comments

When it comes to versatility, it’s impossible to rule out Rod Serling’s name in the list. He was a talented writer who challenged the television scene, eventually becoming a celebrated television producer, screenwriter, and narrator. His excellence shined on his 1950s live television plays and anthology series, The Twilight Zone. Audiences loved the sci-fi anthology television series because of its uniqueness and insightful episodes. Moreover, many people admire and look up to Serling himself as someone with an exceptional and varied career in television. Therefore, it’s no wonder viewers, especially writers, seek quotes on writing from Rod Serling himself!

American television producer and talented writer Rodman Edward Serling was born in Syracuse, New York, on December 25, 1924. After graduating from high school, Serling enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II. However, the experience he had wasn’t the best. These traumatic experiences—horrors of the war, the emotional battle scars Rod returned with, and the devastating loss of his father—served as an inspiration for some of his writing. Later on, he enrolled at the Antioch College in Ohio, where he realized his inclination to creative endeavors—soon trying his skill at writing. By the early 1950s, Serling was a full-time screenwriter.

The Twilight Zone, a sci-fi fantasy series, contributed much to Serling’s popularity, giving him his third Emmy. On the other hand, his later projects include co-writing the screenplay for The Planet of the Apes in 1968 and hosting the fantasy anthology series Rod Serling’s Night Gallery. He also taught screenwriting at Ithaca College. With his vast experience in writing, it’ll come as no surprise if people, especially writers, make him their role model. Truthfully, Rod Serling’s had a way with words, so his quotes on writing offer an incredible start for inspiration.

Rod Serling Quotes About Writing

American television producer, screenwriter, playwright, and narrator Rod Serling was a writer worth remembering. With 252 scripts and six Emmys on hand, it’s safe to acknowledge his excellence in his craft—writing. Moreover, Serling won more Emmy Awards for dramatic writing than anyone in history. His scriptwriting and media skills were never unnoticed, seeing his achievements and how his legacy continues to grow years after his death.

Do you need some words of wisdom about writing? Get ready to read these Rod Serling quotes about writing!

Whenever you write, whatever you write, never make the mistake of assuming the audience is any less intelligent than you are.

Rod Serling

If you write, fix pipes, grade papers, lay bricks or drive a taxi – do it with a sense of pride. And do it the best you know how. Be cognizant and sympathetic to the guy alongside, because he wants a place in the sun, too. And always…always look past his color, his creed, his religion and the shape of his ears. Look for the whole person. Judge him as the whole person.

Rod Serling

It has forever been thus: So long as men write what they think, then all of the other freedoms – all of them – may remain intact. And it is then that writing becomes a weapon of truth, an article of faith, an act of courage.

Rod Serling

Writing is a demanding profession and a selfish one. And because it is selfish and demanding, because it is compulsive and exacting, I didn’t embrace it. I succumbed to it.

Rod Serling

In eleven or twelve years of writing, Mike, I can lay claim to at least this: I have never written beneath myself. I have never written anything that I didn’t want my name attached to. I have probed deeper in some scripts and I’ve been more successful in some than others. But all of them that have been on, you know, I’ll take my lick. They’re mine and that’s the way I wanted them.

Rod Serling

I don’t know what my friends do. Generally they become producers. That way they can stop writing!

Rod Serling

I find dictating in the mass media particularly good because you’re writing for voice anyway; you’re writing for people to say a line and, consequently, saying a line through a machine is quite a valid test for the validity of what you’re saying.

Rod Serling

I ask for your indulgence when I march out quotations. This is the double syndrome of men who write for a living and men who are over forty. The young smoke pot – we inhale from our ‘Bartlett’s.’

Rod Serling

There are millions of ways to not be writing. You say you’re not in the mood, you’ll pick it up tomorrow.

Rod Serling

I write much better in the nonconfines of the early morning than I do the clutter of the day.

Rod Serling

I don’t think it’s man’s function to write. I don’t think it’s a normal thing like teeth-brushing and going to the bathroom. It’s a supered position on the animal.

Rod Serling

Essentially, the scripts are not that different. Let’s say, in literary terms, it’s the difference between writing horizontally and writing vertically. In live television, you wrote much more vertically. You had to probe people because you didn’t have money or sets or any of the physical dimensions that film will allow you. So you generally probed people a little bit more. Film writing is much more horizontal. You can insert anything you want: meadows, battlefields, the Taj Mahal, a cast of thousands. But essentially, writing a story is writing a story.

Rod Serling

You can be a hunchback and a dwarf and what-all. If you write beautifully, you can write beautifully.

Rod Serling

I’d love to be able to write an in-depth piece of what causes men like [Richard] Nixon and [H.R.]Haldeman and [John] Ehrlichman and all the rest of them not only to run, but what causes us to vote for them.

Rod Serling

I don’t feel, God dictated that I should write.

Rod Serling

If you write beautifully, you write beautifully, that’s all.

Rod Serling

I choose to think of tv audience as nameless, formless, faceless people who are all like me. And anything that I write, if I like it, they’ll like it.

Rod Serling

I’ve written all that I’ve wanted to write to date.

Rod Serling

I don’t enjoy any of the process of writing. I enjoy it when it goes on if it zings and it has great warmth and import and it’s successful.

Rod Serling

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

Rod Serling

It is said that science fiction and fantasy are two different things. Science fiction is the improbable made possible, and fantasy is the impossible made probable.

Rod Serling

I’ve written all that I’ve wanted to write to date.

Rod Serling

Coming up with ideas is the easiest thing on earth. Putting them down is the hardest.

Rod Serling

Rod Serling Quotes About Writers

Rod Serling’s life wasn’t full of bliss. He experienced devastating situations and later used writing as a form of rehabilitation. After years of hard work, his television and cinematic works then sparked the interest of aspiring writers during his time. Now, he’s a role model for many, especially writers of American television who aspire to make a name for themselves.

As someone whose career revolved around writing, it’s natural to expect Rod Serling to share his quotes related to the field and its people. His words about writers live on through these quotes.

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

Rod Serling

Somehow, some way, incredibly enough, good writing ultimately gets recognized. If you’re a really good writer and deserve that honored position, then by God, you’ll write, and you’ll be read.

Rod Serling

This is, if not a lifetime process, it’s awfully close to it. The writer broadens, becomes deeper, becomes more observant, becomes more tempered, becomes much wiser over a period time passing. It is not something that is injected into him by a needle. It is not something that comes on a wave of flashing, explosive light one night and say, ‘Huzzah! Eureka! I’ve got it!’ and then proceeds to write the great American novel in eleven days. It doesn’t work that way. It’s a long, tedious, tough, frustrating process, but never, ever be put aside by the fact that it’s hard.

Rod Serling

Why do I write? I guess that’s been asked of every writer. I don’t know. It isn’t any massive compulsion.

Rod Serling

It’s part of the business of really not caring about topping myself because I really don’t care what’s going to happen. I think just surviving is a major thing. I’d like to write something that my peers, my colleagues, my fellow writers would find a source of respect.

Rod Serling

You know, writer can write about the Foreign Legion without ever having been in the Foreign Legion, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that what he’s written doesn’t necessarily reflect the nature of him as an individual – or her. Using the male gender because it’s me speaking. I don’t mean to put down the female.

Rod Serling

I suppose we think euphemistically that all writers write because they have something to say that is truthful and honest and pointed and important. And I suppose I subscribe to that, too. But God knows when I look back over thirty years of professional writing, I’m hard-pressed to come up with anything that’s important. Some things are literate, some things are interesting, some things are classy, but very damn little is important.

Rod Serling

If you’re really a good writer and deserve that honored position, then by God, you’ll write, and you’ll be read, and you’ll be produced somehow. It just works that way. If you’re just a simple ordinary day-to-day craftsman, no different than most, then the likelihood is that you probably won’t make it in writing.

Rod Serling

I think the essence of the argument has always been, first of all, the Guild doesn’t want writing on spec. And that’s been a major problem over the years. But obviously, to the young writer that’s unfair and it’s discriminatory, and it can be very hurtful to one’s career.

Rod Serling

The writer’s role is to menace the public’s conscience. He must have a position, a point of view. He must see the arts as a vehicle of social criticism and he must focus on the issues of his time.

Rod Serling

I just want people to remember me a hundred years from now. 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.

Rod Serling

The writer’s no different. When he’s rejected, that paper is rejected, in a sense, a sizeable fragment of the writer is rejected as well. It’s a piece of himself that’s being turned down.

Rod Serling

Rod Serling Quotes About Talent

Serling’s talent in his craft is undeniable. The Emmy Award-winning television and film writer made news for his exceptional and varied career in television. He wasn’t afraid to challenge the medium of television to extend his creativity and reach for his artistic goals. With passion and talent combined, he attained various achievements, remaining relevant decades after his death.

Hence, aside from writing, if you’re curious to find Rod Serling’s words about talent, see the list of quotes below.

Some people possess talent, others are possessed by it. When that happens, a talent becomes a curse.

Rod Serling

The most important thing about the first sale is for the very first time in your life something written has value and proven value because somebody has given you money for the words that you’ve written, and that’s terribly important, it’s a tremendous boon to the ego, to your sense of self-reliance, to your feeling about your own talent.

Rod Serling

People are put down in television now, not because they’re not qualitative, not because they’re not talented – but because there’s no room for them, and worse than that, there’s nowhere they can find exposure. Their own good talent may die of mourning, just for want of having somebody read what they’ve written. I don’t presume to say how we can best provide platforms for new writers to get read. I don’t know. But therein lies the major problem.

Rod Serling

Rod Serling Quotes About Science Fiction

The sci-fi fantasy series “The Twilight Zone” contributed immensely to Rod Serling’s popularity. It showcases Serling’s superb scriptwriting skills through unexpected plot twists and moral lessons.

Therefore, one can rely on Rod Serling’s quotes about science fiction for motivation to explore the genre. There isn’t much on this list, but they’ll fuel your interest in pursuing the field.

Fantasy is the impossible made probable. Science Fiction is the improbable made possible.

Rod Serling

Science fiction makes the implausible possible, while science fantasy makes the impossible plausible.

Rod Serling

Star Trek, I thought, was a very inconsistent show, which at times sparkled with true ingenuity and pure science fiction approaches, and other times was more carnival-like, and very much more the creature of television than the creature of a legitimate literary form.

Rod Serling

Rod Serling delivered an estimated 252 scripts throughout his career. During that time, he won a total of six Emmys. His legacy will last forever, seeing how he generously shared his skills with aspirants and professionals. Rod Serling’s wisdom extends through his quotes on writing, a valuable treasure from a fantastic artist who loved his craft.

Need that motivation on writing other than these quotes from Rod Serling? Feel free to view our selection of quotes on writing from other authors here.

CJ grew up admiring books. His family owned a small bookstore throughout his early childhood, and he would spend weekends flipping through book after book, always sure to read the ones that looked the most interesting. Not much has changed since then, except now some of those interesting books he picks off the shelf were designed by his company!