15 Writers Who Didn’t Suffer from Writer’s Block

Since the Oscars have passed and there isn’t movie after movie to be discussing, I’ve hit a sort of writer’s block in trying to decide what to blog about next. Writing plays a large role in film, from the screenwriters and editors right down to characters with different writing professions in movies. So I decided to list several different types of writers in movies; this isn’t a favorites list by any means, but just a list of 15 different types of writers played throughout film.

1. The Blogger

– Julie in Julie & Julia, played by Amy Adams

Amy Adams’s character Julie was really searching for her niche, and she ended up finding two: cooking inspired by the famous Julia Child, and blogging about her journey through Child’s cookbooks. It’s interesting and neat to watch as Julie Powell’s blog becomes well-known.

2. The Greeting Card Writer

– Tom in (500) Days of Summer, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt

I had to include Tom played by the wonderful JGL because there just aren’t that many films about greeting card writers, save Mr. Deeds. Tom’s true passion is to be an architect, but he settles to write greeting cards, and in the process, encounters one of the loves of his life.

3. The Columnist

– John Grogan in Marley and Me, played by Owen Wilson

Midnight in Paris is not the first movie that Owen Wilson plays a writer. In Marley and Me, Wilson played real-life John Grogan, a writer who found his inspiration from a very poorly-behaved but lovable dog. His writing was so well-received, that his boss assigned Grogan his own column to write about whatever he wanted.

4. The Lyricist

– Sophie in Music and Lyrics, played by Drew Barrymore

While Barrymore’s character Sophie doesn’t claim to be any kind of writer, much less a lyricist, Alex Fletcher (Hugh Grant), the man for whom she is “watering plants,” picks up on her ability to effortlessly write lyrics, and convinces her to help him write a song when he’s at a lost for words.

5. The Magazine Writer

– William in Almost Famous, played by Patrick Fugit

It seems like “the magazine writer” is overused in film; it’s almost a cop-out career for a character. But in Almost Famous, William, the semi-autobiographical character Cameron Crowe based Almost Famous around, gets the rare and exciting opportunity to write about an up and coming band for Rolling Stone.

6. The Novelist

– Mort in Secret Window, played by Johnny Depp

Based off a Stephen King novel, Secret Window stars Johnny Depp as a writer suffering from writer’s block. In his own way, Depp plays a rather funny writer–he’s unkempt, living in a trashy, hidden away home, depending entirely on his story to keep himself interested in much less besides eating and sleeping.

7. The Playwright

– Richard in Somewhere in Time, played by Christopher Reeve

Somewhere in Time isn’t a film thought of much for being about a man writing plays, but more of a love story that happens in reverse. Richard, played by Christopher Reeve, is a playwright living in Chicago. He manages to go back in time to meet the love of his life. But can he stay in the past forever?

8. The Biographer

– Jo in Little Women, played by Winona Ryder

Winona Ryder gives perhaps her most-well known (and one of her best) performances as Jo, the most obstinate and independent of four sisters. Jo doesn’t make it far with writing to begin with. Maybe because she hasn’t found the right material yet. But when he sister, Beth, dies, Jo decides to write a biography on her.

9. The Screenwriter

– Griffin in The Player, played by Tim Robbins

The Player showcases the world of Hollywood, specifically honing in on screenwriters. People are constantly pitching stories, searching for that million dollar idea to make into a movie. Tim Robbins stars as Griffin, a screenwriter who gets himself mixed up in some dangerous business, but something that may end up being worth telling a story about.

10. The Journalist

– Steve in The Soloist, played by Robert Downey Jr.

The “journalist” is another often used career for actors in films. I decided to choose a rather less-known film and writer, although Robert Downey Jr. is anything but “not well-known.” RDJ plays Steve, a character based (and book written by) the real Steve Lopez, who meets an interesting person who might change his perspective.

11. The Diary Keeper

– Bridget Jones in Bridget Jones’s Diary, played by Renée Zellweger

Diaries are kept by many historical or well-known people. Bridget Jones is definitely not well-known where she’s from; she really just wants to lose weight and meet her prince charming. Zellwegers plays the hilarious Jones, who really gets in a bind when she meets two men, one played by the debonair Colin Firth, the other by the enticing Hugh Grant.

12. The Copy Editor

– Josie in Never Been Kissed, played by Drew Barrymore

I tried very hard not to include the same person twice, but Barrymore is really in her own element playing a copy editor/ undercover writer in Never Been Kissed. Although she blows her cover in the end, she still writes a memorable article that boosts the news for The Chicago Sun-Times and apologizes to the man she hurt.

13. The Ghost Writer

– the Ghost in The Ghost Writer, played by Ewan McGregor

Ewan McGregor essentially plays the “ghost” character in The Ghost Writer, who ends up writing and completing British Prime Minister Adam Lang’s (Pierce Brosnan) memoirs. The Ghost Writer is actually the only film I have not seen on this list; however, “ghost writer” really fit the need for another type of writer, so it’s added in the group.

14. The Cartoonist

– Robert in Zodiac, played by Jake Gyllenhaal

While I believe cartooning is in its own writing category, I would have included a section for “Code Writer” or “Killer Writer” to describe the character Zodiac in Zodiac; Gyllenhaal’s character Robert not only plays the role of a writer–he’s a cartoonist, but he also investigates the letters written by a killer.

15. The Poet

– William Shakespeare in Shakespeare in Love, played by Joseph Fiennes

While Fiennes plays Shakespeare in the peak of his play-writing days, I couldn’t think of a better film to include about a poet. Shakespeare wrote many well-known poems over his time in addition to his plays.

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19 thoughts on “15 Writers Who Didn’t Suffer from Writer’s Block

  1. Wow if this is what you come up when you have writer’s block then I think you should have more of ’em! 😀 Lovely post Kristin, I actually have been thinking about blogging on movies about writers but I never thought about coming up w/ a list like this. I love the inclusion of Somewhere in Time, I so love that movie. It’s sooo romantic, and Christopher Reeve is wonderful in it, I think this could be my favorite role of his after Superman.

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    • Wow, ha, thanks! It’s always interesting to start off with a blank slate and then watch what comes out on the other end. I never planned to write a post like this one, but as I started going through different writers, I realized there were so many different types, so why not dedicate a post to them?

      I saw Somewhere in Time back when I was a kid and I remember loving it. Yep, Christopher Reeve is known more than just for Superman (even though that’s really his main one). He’s definitely great in it! I even remember a friend letting me borrow the sheet music for the theme song – it’s beautiful.

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  2. Not a movie, but Mr. Bickley from Mork and Mindy is the best greeting card writer.

    Dead Poet’s Society is the first thing to come to mind about poets besides anything Shakespeare related, though it’s not really specifically about a poet. I guess Howl would fit in and maybe I’m Not There.

    Good list.

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  3. Phew! I’m glad we got through that without the Ryan Gosling character from the Notebook. Didn’t he write a letter a day to Rachel McAdams or am I remembering it wrong? Love Tom in 500 Days of Summer, especially the stuff he comes up with when feeling a bit down in the dumps! And bloody Marley and Me… I never want to see that again… it damaged my emotional health for life. Great post, YAY FOR WRITERS!

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    • Haha – Pete, thanks for the recommendation – I forgot Letter Writer LOL. Honestly, I’m not really a fan of The Notebook, so that’s probably why it didn’t come to mind! I think he wrote multiple letters if I’m remembering right.

      I know – he’s absolutely hilarious when he’s at his high and low peaks, from “I Love Us” to that funny “roses are red” bit.

      Really now? Aww, sad. Yeah, I remember finding it very sad. Even sadder with it being based on a true story. But such is the short life of dogs! Thanks, Pete!

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  4. Thanks for the inspirational post! I’ve been in a bit of a slump myself lately after the Oscar push, so I need to get back to it. I’ve got a few reviews saved up in my mind for movies I already saw, so I just need to finish them up even if they aren’t perfect.

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  5. Wow, never occurred to me that there are so many kinds of writers out there. Glad to know there are many who feel lost at the keyboard…or quill:P Learned two things today, this (above), and a new blog to check out more often:)

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    • Hey Marc! Thanks for visiting the site. Yeah, I will assure you that you are not alone in being at a lost of words when blogging. Thanks! Glad to hear it. I look forward to checking out your site as well.

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