Dear Mr. Atchity,
I just wanted to drop you a brief note to thank you for the creative writing inspiration you've provided me over the past year.
I've never had the privilege of taking one of your courses, but early last year I was lucky to come across a podcast interview on Film Courage where you spoke about people finding the courage to pursue art and dreams. It was exactly what I needed to hear.
I picked up a couple of your books and explored your ideas further and they resonated.
Thank you again for your excellent speaking and teaching work and sharing with the world a truly inspiring message.
I wanted to chat with you after the event but I missed you.
You had a few great quotes. One in particular that I couldn't fully remember... it was about being utilized. I believe it was a President Johnson quote.
Looking forward to hearing from you and thanks again for sharing. Very inspiring stuff!
Hello Dr. Atchity,
I encountered your work through the Film Courage podcast and was struck first by your tone of voice. You convey a groundedness in the way you speak that suggests a depth of wisdom and spirit. I have lived long enough to know that such a groundedness is the product of a lifetime of work. I honor you for that.
I had the pleasure of hearing you speak yesterday at the Polk Institute event. I was one of the speakers on the subject of equity crowdfund marketing.
What a nice surprise to hear you know Megan.
Even with the distance between NY and Santa Barbara, Megan holds the same place in my heart as she always has since we worked together in the late '80s.
I love to hear you speak and I resonate with a lot of what you say. My ex-husband was a screenwriter with a peculiar sense of humor, and he actually came up with the expression "Save the Cat" when he and Blake were kids. They went to Cate School together and launched their careers together in their 20's with a show they put together using resources from Blake's dad's studio (Ken Snyder. Roger Ramjet). That's when I came into the picture—right after they finished it and blake got it aired. I met Blake and my ex at the same time, right before their first meeting with Bud Freeman who saw their show on some late night cable channel (I think) and signed them on as clients. I loved Blake's book because the editor allowed his voice to come through loud and clear. It was a poignant read as I literally heard Blake speaking through the pages.
Anyway, it's nice to connect. I appreciate the encouragement you offer in your interviews as I'm making my way through writing a story that's been percolating for far too long.
Best to you,
I’m writing to say that I have been listening to your videos on long summer walks and i am really inspired by the wisdom from so many years of experience which you are sharing with all of us.
Hello Dr. Atchity,
Your interview at Film Courage sparked a dying ember in me. My name is Shakirudeen Akinyemi, born to a Nigerian Father and Ghanaian mother. I live in Ghana. I am a documentary filmmaker and aspiring Youtuber.
I got my first degree in 2009 and my fear of failure has held me from doing a masters abroad, which I have always felt will propel my career and give me and my family a better life. Last year, I took the bold step of applying to a film school in Canada. Now, I am waiting for IRCC's decision on my study permit application which I believe will come out positive.
The main reason why I'm sending you this message is about your interview with Film Courage where you spoke about FEAR, TAKING A STEP, KEEPING ONLY FRIENDS WHO SUPPORT YOU. I have watched this video more than 10 times and even watching it now as I speak to you.
Your video encouraged me to take active steps on this project which has been placed in my heart, otherwise, nature will place the idea into someone else's heart. I can't express my joy enough having found your video and everything you said in there hit me. Thank you very very much.
Hi, my name is Chris Wade.
I am a UK based writer, musician and filmmaker.
I have a message for Ken Atchity, which I hope will reach him.
I have been watching his videos and reading his interviews lately, and I just wanted to say I am so inspired and actually moved by his words about creativity, about pursuing a creative life and being true to yourself.
I started a small book publishing outlet in 2008 and I expanded it to include my music and documentary/film work over time. I am still making music and releasing it, writing books, both fiction and non-fiction, and doing little art films and documentaries.
I never felt right in the regular working world and just could not imagine doing a job I had no interest in for the rest of my life. I wanted to break out. I always wanted to write, to spend time being creative, to be free, and one day I took the plunge. I was 23. It was the best decision ever.
These days I meet people who act rather odd when I tell them what I do for a living. It started to get to me, and I began to feel rather alienated by people's attitudes. One day I was down about what is often a lonely life, writing in a room alone, recording in the same room alone. Even though I love my work, I felt a little depressed. Being aware that I am different usually sits OK with me, but for some reason I felt weakened, lonely, cut-off. Maybe too different. Then I found Ken's video. I watched him talk about the importance of staying true to your calling and I don't mind admitting I actually wept. He made me realise how important it is to live your dream for you, to do what you were sent here to do. Ken perked me up and I haven't felt insecure about what I do since. In fact, I feel more secure than ever.
So if Ken reads this at all, I want to give him my respect and admiration. His videos are really inspiring and I could listen to him talk for hours on end.
Thanks so much,
Dear Dr. Atchity,
I’ve been listening and watching your interviews on Film Courage for the past few days and i want to say - THANK YOU!
I’ve been in the business for twenty five years, but as I put together a new project - I’m still being struck by the icy claws of fear, self doubt, that old war-horse fear of ending under a bridge, homeless. You know, the usual mix. So, your interviews and attitude have been a great salve
It’s nice to find new heroes.
All the best,
“I consider the Getting Your Story Straight coaching to be some of the best money I’ve ever spent.”
John P. Shannon
I just watched a great interview with you on YouTube. I loved your idea of a “post-truth” society.
I took a closer look at your website and loved your Quit Your Day Job video. I often think about how many people are truly driven by fear and make decisions based on the perception of safety and stability. I’ve also known that fear, deeply. Thankfully, the gift of desperation eliminated that fear in me.
Your friend in film,
I saw Hysteria for the first time last week and it blew me away. I hadn't watched a movie in years. I didn't know you produced it until today.
Love that movie. It got me back into movies - my first love. I'm a writer/director and I want to work with you. I'm going to put that into motion right away!
Everything you're saying is right.
Robert Rivenbark, author of The Cloud, a prize-winning novel
Every second- or third-career transition needs a coach, mentor, cheerleader and friend. Ken Atchity fits the bill perfectly. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of literature and writing. Generous coaching skills. An intimate understanding of the anatomy of a novel. And he's a door-opener...from idea to story, from story to the rest of the entertainment world. He's the real deal, the story merchant.
Dr. Dave Davis
Was really excited to hear you were speaking with Allison. You have no idea how much I cherish your Ancient Greek Reader! So thank you thank you thank you for sending it to me all those years ago. It has been a continual treasure to me.
I heard you on The Bullet Proof Screenwriting Podcast recently and I really liked what you had to say. The conversation was very informative and inspiring.
I wanted to see if I could set up a free consultation with you to discuss a book that I recently started adapting into a screenplay.
You dropped some nuggets that I would like to elaborate on.
Thanks for your time and let me know what I can do to make this happen
I recently watched one of your interviews on Film Courage, and was very impressed by the points you made particularly with regard to screenplays often making good novels before being produced for the screen.
As a visual artist (now 66 and preparing to break into the "world of art" after 30 plus years of drafting). I have done tons of research on artists, creativity, what makes us tick and how to understand it or explain it, writing about ones work...etc...etc.
And I have to say I have never heard or seen ANYTHING as balanced, healthy, straight on the money and as clearly delineated as what you are sharing! Right down to your comment about comedians giving us a way to look at the ridiculous stuff our culture comes up with that induce anger and allows us to laugh at it and vent some steam!
Your thoughts and words absolutely resonate 100% with what I sense/feel inside in my heart and head about the creative process and life and I wanted to write to let you know how thankful I am for this amazing work you have done.
Thank you very!!
In the last few months, I’ve had an occasion to enjoy several of your books. I’ve read Messiah Matrix and A Writer’s Time, as well as the detailed compounds of Greek, Roman, and Renaissance literature—owl-eyed, past midnight . . .I congratulate you, Dr. Atchity, for having reached the summit of so many professions, among them a professor, writer, producer, and linguist. It has been an honor for me to have my work read by you/your staff.
So many pearls of wisdom. Some stuff it took me years to figure out and a lot of new stuff I’m finding invaluable.
It’s a very rare instance of those that can do choosing to teach and share their method.
Just great and I’m only half finished.
I’m personally interested in comparative epics literature (for example, how do classics like Iliad compare to China’s Journey to the West) and am also totally interested in pursuing a career in the industry. I’ve also taught seminars in undergrad about story. Basically, it’s incredibly rare I find anyone who shares similar interests.
How are you mate? I’m an uneducated Londoner. Your YouTube sold you to me. Brilliant.
I came across your interviews on Film Courage, and want to say thank you for taking the time to share your view on type C personalities, I've found it very useful. I'm also reading your book, 'How to Quit Your Day Job and Live Out Your Dreams' and find it very insightful.
Thanks again for the YouTube interviews and books, I'm learning a lot about how a person like me functions.
You have done a great service to many people by publishing Last Plane Out of Saigon. One reviewer said it was the last word on the Vietnam War and another that it should be read by all policy makers!
My name is Geoffrey Goldstein. I am a full-time screenwriter who is armored by your career and commitment to filmmaking and writers in particular. I learned about you from videos - Film Courage on YouTube.
I recently saw your interview with Film Courage and I must say that I've never seen anything on this subject that resonated with me on quite so many levels.
I'm a 43 year old physicist at Boise State University, increasingly impressed by the power of story. It recently dawned on me that I'd much rather fight to turn certain controversial science ideas into a movie (as a screenwriter), than fight to turn them into grant money. The subject is closely related to space travel and SETI (the search for extraterrestrial intelligence), so it meshes well with sci-fi.
I understand the success ratio for screenwriting, but things have begun to seem increasingly possible as I see the success of others in my writers' group. I don't have a list of your services, but after seeing your interview I knew I had to contact you.
S. Jay Olson, Ph.D.
Boise State University Department of Physics
As I sit here recovering from a cold, I watched your interview on Film Coverage which was very refreshing.
I am directing a film that I have co-written here in Sydney at Fox Studios. It's funny from time to time, I'd think it was so easy to write this on my own in a room with zero interruption and zero accountability and here I am now directing it with everyone watching, I've certainly thrown my inner-self out for all to see in my work and now my direction. But boy is it fun!
Anyway, just thought I’d say thanks your interview was great.
Thank you so much for How to Quit Your Day Job!
I’ve been going through a traumatic 3 years and your book in confirming my inner voice and the big jump I’m about to make.
Luckily I found a video you did on YouTube and then purchased the book…only on chapter 3 but it’s wonderful and speaks completely to my current struggle.
...About ten years ago you and I were in touch as I was keenly trying to get access to the wave tank in Shreveport for a Discovery film called Mayday: Bering Sea. We were saddled with a tight budget and the window for our shoot was closing fast... and without the wave tank I was in a pretty bleak spot.
And then it all came back. You were incredibly kind, generous, respectful and helpful throughout our entire relationship and you worked incredibly fast and hard to make it work for me. That film holds an incredibly special place in my life. Objectively, I still believe the film is a truly impressive piece of television and this is in no small part to your generosity, understanding and - yes, your overwhelming passion to help creativity happen. Without you that film would have been about five soggy people standing in a parking lot. With you we were able to take the audience on a life and death nail biting ride to a human fight for survival in the freezing waters of the outer banks of Alaska.
Anyway, cut to 10 years later, I run my own production company, we’re having some success - and I remain incredibly proud of that film and relate to filmmakers who work with me now, how when the doors are shutting, and everyone says what you’re trying to do is impossibly expensive and will never happen... they might just get lucky and find themselves on the phone with somebody like Ken Atchity.
I remain in your debt and grateful ten years on. Thank you.
Very best wishes,
Ken, that was an inspirational article on you. You gave great advice and put so much into perspective for hopeful writers. In this tenuous, creative world of the artist, my advice to the aspiring novice (and my mantra) has always been "desire, dedication, determination." I also learned a new word--sizzle reel. I love the term and the phrase says it all. (and it sounds more evocative than "teaser!")
Thanks for sharing,
Sam J. Corso
This is very exciting to be able to work with you. I know Steve Alten, and, when I saw that you worked with him, I asked about doing this. Steve told me, whatever it takes, go work with Ken Atchity.
Briar Lee Mitchell, EdD
My name is Sunny I am from Toronto, ON Canada. I viewed your video "Quit Your Day Job and Live Out Your Dreams" on YouTube.
I've been an elementary school teacher for over a decade now and have been unhappy for this long. Teaching was never my passion and it did not feel "right" my first day on the job 11 years ago. I am surprised I managed to endure it for this long. I always lived in the image of other relatives who are in teaching as well and trying to be like them. In this process I wasn't the best version of myself. I wasn't confident to be myself and go after what I deserved.
My passion has always been in aviation. Ever since I was a kid becoming a pilot is something I always wanted to do. I'm happy to say I am finally doing it. I've pushed and pushed through comfort zones and I never thought it would be possible.
Your video was a huge inspiration. Your story is awesome and very motivational. I know there are countless other people who want to do what they love. I feel for anyone that feels stuck.
I hope to meet you one day soon and get a picture with you.
Grant Axton, Gerald Blaine, Liza Maddrey, Lisa McCubbin