Posts TVWriter™ Wishes We’d Published Instead of Those Other Guys

This week’s collection of recent articles from other websites about TV, TV writing, etc., etc., etc. The plan here is for you to click on their headlines and visit the sites and read the posts in full…and is anybody asks, tell ’em TVWriter™ sentcha, okay?

The Guggenheim Brothers Offer a Look Inside a TV Writing Family Dynasty
by Lesley Goldberg


The Guggenheim brothers have formed their own TV dynasty.

The trio, eldest brother Marc Guggenheim (The CW’s Arrow, Legends of Tomorrow), middle child Eric Guggenheim (CBS’ Hawaii Five-0)and youngest David Guggenheim (ABC’s Designated Survivor), together oversee four hours of broadcast television every week.

So where did their love of the small screen come from? The brothers stopped by The Hollywood Reporter for a Facebook Live this week to open up about their different paths to primetime as well as their dream collaborations….

Why television writing has become the new home of verbal complexity


The death of Geoffrey Hill this summer put one of his more astringent declarations back into circulation: “Accessible is a perfectly good word if applied to supermarket aisles, art galleries, polling stations and public lavatories, but it has no place in the discussion of poetry and poetics.” Characteristically for Hill, this sounds imperious, but you can’t deny that it’s funny. And it’s funny because the statement embodies the difficulty it’s arguing for – “difficulty” not necessarily in the literary sense, where it’s conflated with “obscurity”, but in the sense pertaining to human beings, as in “She’s quite difficult”, where the word is synonymous with peculiarity, intransigence and eccentricity….

The Humbling, Humiliating True Story of a Middle-Aged Woman in Hollywood
by Pamela Redmond Satran

Pamela Redmond Satran, author of, "Younger" inside one of her favorite Montclair bookstore, Watchung Booksellers on a recent Friday. Ms. Satran's book has been picked up by TVLand to be turned into an original TV series. Gregg Vigliotti for The New York Times

There’s a superstition among novelists that the things you make happen to your characters might happen to you. This goes far toward explaining why I wrote a novel called Younger about a middle-aged mom escaping the suburbs for a new life in the city in the arms of a 26-year-old tattoo artist. Wishful thinking or prophecy? Maybe both….

You’ll always guess wrong
by Ken Levine


There are some writers who are gifted and amazingly prolific. David E. Kelley, Aaron Sorkin, and Matthew Weiner can pretty much write an entire season of television themselves. I don’t know how they do it. If I tried that I’d be dictating the last six episodes from ICU.

There are also very strong showrunners who perform extensive rewrites on every script that comes across his or her desk….

Posts TVWriter™ Wishes We’d Published Instead of Those Other Guys

This week’s collection of recent articles from other websites about TV, TV writing, etc., etc., etc. The plan here is for you to click on their headlines and visit the sites and read the posts in full…and is anybody asks, tell ’em TVWriter™ sentcha, okay?

Meet Noah Hawley: ‘Fargo’ Showrunner And FX’s Insanely Productive Power Producer
by Orianna Schwindt


Noah Hawley is an unassuming sort of guy, the kind of middle-aged white dude you pass in the grocery store without a second glance. He has two little kids in tow, the eyes of someone sleep-deprived — who isn’t these days? — a shirt collar slightly torn (or maybe it’s supposed to look that way) and sometimes glasses.

To look at him, you might not guess he’s one of the most in-demand writers of the day. Books, TV series, movies — you name it, Hawley is doing it….

by Kayla Cobb



Comedy is in a beautifully weird place when it comes to modern day television. The sad-com — comedies that have dramatic roots and unblinkingly confront heavy issues such as depression and divorce — have been on the rise, and one of the most tonally confusing comedies around is Hulu’s Casual. Structured and cast as a comedy series,Casual unflinchingly looks at the complicated relationships of its dimensional characters and how sex affects each of them….

On Making the TV Writers’ Rooms More Diverse
by Robin Thede


I’m a black, female late-night comedy writer. Stop laughing, I’m serious. We exist.

We’re just super-rare. Like a helpful comment on a YouTube video. According to a recent Complex article, out of 155 writers currently working on the top-ten late-night shows, there are only EIGHT women of color. That’s about 5 percent. We MUST do better….

Finishing Something Is Better Than Waiting to Avoid a Mistake
by Eric Ravenscraft


Putting off a project until you have all the details right seems like common sense. If you only feel that hesitation because you’re afraid to make a mistake, though, you’ll never actually finish.

As business site Entrepreneur explains, fear of mistakes leads to inaction. If you can’t finish a project until it’s flawless, you’ll never finish anything. Believing that you can actually avoid all mistakes is a delusion. Learn to accept that you’re going to screw up sometimes and pull the metaphorical trigger anyway….

Money Management for Freelance Creatives

This handy guide on how to manage our money if we ever make it satisfies our starving sweet spot:


by Kristin Wong

It’s hard enough to manage your money on a steady, regular income. When your income varies from month to month as someone who’s freelancing or self-employed, keeping your finances organized is even more of a pain. From my experience, you need a system. Set it up once, and it protects you forever. Here’s the system I use.

I’ve been a freelancer for several years now, and my clients have mostly been long-term, but there were some “feast or famine” months when I first started. Even now, my income can vary a few thousand dollars per month, especially if I’ve taken time off to go on vacation or something else pulls me from work.

Looking back, I made a few mistakes when I jumped into the freelance life. I had no idea just how different freelancing was from a regular, full-time job. Here are a few financial tasks I should have conquered beforehand:

  • Save twice as much for an emergency. I’ve always had an emergency fund, but I underestimated how big it should be when I switched to freelance. As you adjust to your new work situation something will inevitably come up: business expenses, taxes, health insurance, losing a client, and all the other perks of self-employment. My first year of freelancing, I depleted my emergency fund. It was scary.
  • Prepare for taxes and insurance. The main reason I drained my emergency fund was that I had no idea how much I owed in taxes. I was used to my employer taking out a portion of my paycheck, so I didn’t pay my own estimated taxes, which is what you’re supposed to do. The cost of health insurance also caught me off guard. (Mine is only $200 a month, which is nothing compared to other premiums.)
  • Keep a cushion for irregular expenses. When your income is unpredictable, the last thing you need are unpredictable expenses. You can get an idea of your irregular expenses if you look at your bank transactions from the past year, but something will always catch you by surprise, even if it’s just a business expense, like video editing software or a course you want to take. In addition to a bigger emergency fund, I should’ve kept a cushion to pay for expenses like these….

Read it all at Lifehacker

What Fiction Writers Can Learn From A Child’s Mind

South African writing blog Writers Write is one of the most informative writing sites on the interwebs. Every time we think we know it all, we go there and, wham!, we learn something new:


by John Cabrera

Stuck in a rut? Unable to get the next plot of your story together? All that might be missing is a little bit of creativity.

Writing is a passion of the heart that flows through the writer’s pen, hoping to leave an eternal mark on readers’ minds. However, growing competition in this area of creative expression has made it more difficult for writers to stand out.

What can you do differently? One answer is to look in unusual places for inspiration. Unusual does not have to be something mystical. It can be as simple as child’s play. Fiction writers and children both have fanciful minds. Observing children in their routine games can prove to be an excellent lesson in creativity.

Children dream. Children imagine. And children love. For a child, nothing is impossible. And that’s what separates them from us. They do not think that they will fail. They invent things and they look at things differently.

If you’re looking for a creative plot for your next story, you need to think out of the box by looking at life in a simpler, more imaginative way….

Money or Control – Pick One if You Can

What kind of creator do you want to be? Which element of the creative life is more important to you? Money for your work? Control over your work? Major insights along these lines await here:

About Yuko Shimizu:

Yuko Shimizu is an award-winning Japanese illustrator based in New York. Her work has appeared on the pages of the New York Times, TIME, and Newsweek, on the covers of DC Comics, Penguin, Abrams and Random House books, on the Gap and Nike T-shirts, and on Pepsi cans.

Her monograph Living with Yuko Shimizu will be published this spring. A Wild Swan, her collaboration with Pulitzer-winning author Michael Cunningham, came out in 2015. She was chosen as Newsweek Japan’s “100 Japanese People World Respects” in 2009.

About 99U:

The 99U delivers the action-oriented education that you didn’t get in school, highlighting real-world best practices for empowering the creative community.

Herbie J Pilato: “I never gave up on my writing, and neither should you!”

by Herbie J Pilato

Herbie J Bewitched BookIn 1986, I began writing my first book, The Bewitched Book, about the classic 1960s TV show starring Elizabeth Montgomery.

After five initial rejections from several well-known magazines to have it first previewed as an article, I went on to find an agent.

After receiving over 25  rejection letters from various literary agencies of every level, I found an agent who believed in me and my idea.

At least for a little while.

After 40 rejection letters from every publishing house in New York (and beyond), my agent dumped me.

I then decided to serve as my own agent, and contact publishers directly.

I then went on to receive over 75 additional rejections for my book.

Finally, it was purchased by a publisher, in a heated bidding war between two major houses.

But then my editor was fired, and my book was cancelled.

I went back to the initial losing publisher, and sold the book to that second party.

My editor at that house then quit his job, and my book was cancelled a second time.

The Bewitched Book was actually purchased a third time in 1992, and sold-out quite swiftly all 15,000 copies of it’s first printing.

But then my third editor was, that’s right, fired.

Three years later, in 1995, when Elizabeth Montgomery died, I decided it was time to update, revise and rewrite The Bewitched Book as Bewitched Forever.

And you guessed, over 80 more rejection letters, the all-new Bewitched Forever was published in 1995.

But then my publisher got out of the publishing business.

Six years later, in 2001, I  resold Bewitched Forever to a new publisher.

Four years later, in 2004, I revised it once more, for a special 40th Anniversary Edition (Bewitched debuted on TV in 1964).

Every good thing that’s happened in my career, be it additional books, or writing and producing television shows, or forming my Classic TV Preservation Society nonprofit organization, or even the live entertainment events that I periodically host and produce…all of it happened because of The Bewitched Book.

I never gave up on my writing, and neither should you.

Herbie J Pilato is a Contributing Editor to TVWriter™. You can learn more about him HERE.

LB Sees “The Get Down”

Not your usual review. But then, this isn't your usual TV series either.

Not your usual review. But then, this isn’t your usual TV series either.

by Larry Brody

What would Sisyphus do?

Your TV writing career gotcha down, bunky?

Feeling tired? Terrified? Downtrodden?

You write your butt off and nobody reads it. Finally somebody does read it and hates it.

Or, worse, won’t even talk about it to you.

Agents, managers, and executives ignore your emails, refuse your phone calls, and can’t see you as anything but that waitperson who keeps butting into their convos instead of serving and scramming.

Your parents are disgusted because you neither have nor want a respectable job.

Your significant other has that look that says your significance to him or her is waning.

FWIW, we here at TVWriter™ understand and often share those feelings. We get tired of sleeping in our studio apartment on a hand-me-down futon. We have all felt the heavy weight of true despair, the horrifying certainty that despite all the great song lyrics of oldour day just plain isn’t destined to come.

But here’s the thing. My mantra, something I’ve told myself over and over and will continue to tell myself until my last breath:

“Anything worth doing is harder than fuck. But you don’t stop till it’s finished. Whether it’s a project, a goal, a dream, you keep going till the end. Because otherwise how do you live with yourself? And how do you love and take pride in someone else if you can’t love and take pride in you?”

sisyphusTo put it another way, when it all seems like too much to take any longer, ask yourself, “What would Sisyphus do?” And remember, there isn’t a pic anywhere of the classic dude sitting on his butt. We know his story because he never stopped pushing.


Moving that rock be how he rollz.

Oh, and here’s the review part: If you need a quick refresher in self-believe, a blast of extra energy to chase the demons away and make waking up tomorrow morning a total delight, then do yourself a great big favor and check out Baz Luhrmann’s amazing new Netflix series The Get Down.

I don’t want to ruin anything by saying too much. But I will say this:

The Get Down, with its incredible music and dance numbers and the kind of vitality that nothing but pure creativity can bring, has the power to grab you and shake you and awaken your soul.

I know because watching the pilot one rocky night late weekend sure as hell did that for me.