Why “Flying Wrestler”?

Dec 7, 2012 by

Why “Flying Wrestler”?

The movie that first made me think of “screenwriting” as a future career pursuit was The World According to Garp, adapted by Steve Tesich from the John Irving novel, and directed by George Roy Hill.

This was a film about an aspiring (and eventually successful) writer, who is also a wrestler.  T.S. Garp (played by Robin Williams) dreams of flying, like his father — who he never met.

I’ve re-watched this movie several times over the years, each time thinking it might not hold up for me anymore.  After all, I was in high school — in the theatre with a bunch of teenage friends — when I first saw it.

But each time, I’m moved and entertained by it again.


When it came time to pick a quirky/clever name for my blog about screenwriting, my thoughts returned to my favorite movie — and the term “flying wrestler” came to mind.

It’s also, I think, a nice metaphor for what we writers do.  It’s hard work, wrestling with ideas and material and the business.  And sometimes we feel like the guy on the left, below.

But there’s also a transcendent element to it — and a sense, at its best, of taking flight, to somewhere higher and better.  Where we feel victorious.

And so the name stuck.

Happy wrestler, sad wrestler




If you haven't read them already, I also recommend my "Ten Key Principles Successful Writers Understand", and my series of audio downloads.

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  1. Louis

    So Garp was the movie that did it for you, huh Erik? For me, it was Glory. I’ve loved reading American history and watching movies since I was a kid. Glory was the first film that convinced me someone with my interests could be a screenwriter. I don’t think I’ll rename my blog Snowflake, I don’t care how many times Denzel Washington called Andre Braugher that in the movie.

  2. Wow, that’s not something I hear every day! Critics and audiences didn’t love the movie, and most people who read the book found it inferior to the book. I’m in the minority who likes it better than the book. (But I saw the movie first, which might be part of the reason.) Thanks for taking the time to post, Raul, and it’s my pleasure!

  3. Erik, I’d always been intrigued why you chose Flying Wrestler as the name for your blog. It’s catchy, to be sure. I’d rank GARP among my top 10 favorite films. The book is equally moving. As a regular reader of your blog, I want to thank you for the continual insights you provide.

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