Don't try to guess what it is people want and give it to them. Don't ask for a show of hands. Try your best to write what you like, what you think your friends would like and what you think your father would like and then cross your fingers... The most valuable thing you have is your own voice.
Not all paintings are abstract; they're not all Jackson Pollock. There's value in a photograph of a man alone on a boat at sea, and there is value in painting of a man alone on a boat at sea. In the painting, the painting has more freedom to express an idea, more latitude in being able to elicit certain emotion.
With 'The Social Network,' I got into it at first because frankly I thought there was a cool courtroom drama to be had with the intellectual properties. And then what further drew me in was that the most extraordinary social networking device ever created was created by the world's most antisocial person. I liked that story.
When we were doing 'The West Wing,' the hardest thing about doing 'The West Wing' was being compared to yourself. You go out there and want every episode to be as good as your best episode. I wrote 88 episodes of 'The West Wing,' and when you do that, one of them is going to be your 88th best, so your 88th best better be pretty good.
When I write something, I want the best director to direct it. And that's not going to be me. So when David Fincher comes along and wants to direct 'The Social Network,' when Bennett Miller comes along and wants to direct 'Moneyball,' or when Danny Boyle wants to direct 'Jobs'? Hallelujah. I want them directing it.