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Diablo Cody on Developing Creativity and Writing Honestly

Among other creative works, Diablo Cody wrote a couple of my favorite films: Juno, and Jennifer’s Body, and the richly dramatic and comedic – and unfortunately canceled – TV series United States of Tara, executive produced by Steven Spielberg and starring Toni Collette.

Her script for  Juno (2007) earned her an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay.

In some interviews and her own writing before the Oscar win, she talked about her perspectives on creative expression, on being an artist, and keeping her work real.

From Diablo Cody’s Tips for Blogging Your Way to Hollywood Success, By John Scott Lewinski, Wired magazine site:

“One of my teachers told me that I was lazy,” Cody explained. “He said, ‘I think you’re the best writer I’ve ever taught. But I’ll never hear from you again because you have no ambition.’

“I never intended to get my writing out there. I always thought of published writers as honor roll students — the real overachiever types. I never intended my work as a springboard to anything else. I write because I’m addicted to it. It’s my confessional.”

“There are so many talented people that exist in the marketplace,” Cody said. “So, don’t look for a plan. Put your blog out into the world and hope that your talent will speak for itself.”

[And, I might add, that can refer to any sort of creative work: Go ahead and get it out there.]

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From The Oprah Winfrey Show:

Diablo says Juno is based somewhat on herself, like the hamburger phone in Juno’s room. When [her mother] Pam first saw the phone, she says it made her cry. “[Diablo] had a hamburger phone at home, and I used to see her on it all the time, and she used to shake it because it wouldn’t work properly,” Pam says.

Oprah says she thinks Juno is the movie to see this year. “How did you get it to be so fresh?” she asks.

“I don’t know,” Diablo says. “I guess, you know, when you’re coming from the middle of the country and you’re not part of the industry and you’re just telling your own story, I think it’s easy to be more original.”

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From Diablo Cody’s MySpace blog, January 31, 2008

“I get asked a lot why I’ve chosen to be so confessional as a writer. I’ve publicly documented aspects of my life that most people wouldn’t reveal to their shrink, spouse, girlfriend, or partially deaf Dachshund.

“The stuff that polite folks confine to the pages of padlocked journals, I’ve treated as a matter of open discussion. … When you possess the courage — or blunt, gourd-smacking stupidity — to be totally candid, you silently amass thousands of allies.

“It’s the ‘me too’ effect. As Steven Morrissey (Esq., Demigod) says, there is no such thing in life as normal. And if you walk around pretending to be normal, hiding your scars and incisions and putrescing wounds, you only further the Conspiracy of Normal, which exists to make us all feel like s**t.

“I ain’t having that. I refuse to act like I have it together, because I don’t.”


Also, see short video of conversation between Cody and the star of Juno on my post on The Inner Actor site: Compromising yourself – Ellen Page: I’d rather be shot in the foot.

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Diablo Cody on Developing Creativity and Writing Honestly

Douglas Eby

Douglas EbyDouglas Eby, MA/Psychology, is a writer and researcher on psychology and personal development related to creativity; creator of the , and author of books including [link to book site with excerpts.]
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APA Reference
Eby, D. (2011). Diablo Cody on Developing Creativity and Writing Honestly. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 5, 2019, from


Last updated: 6 Oct 2011
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