It takes talent, chutzpah, and more networking than just about any writer in the universe is comfortable with to get started as a TV writer. No one owes you a gig no matter how talented you may be.
In spite of the difficulty – well, probably because of it – few new TV writing pros do all that much to help other noobs into the game. (Gotta watch out for “rivals,” don’tcha know?) Which is why our TVWriter™ hats are off to the “Watching Cartoons in Your Underwear” tumblr blog and its proprietress Gina for posts like this:
So, as some of you may know, I got my first real staff writing job a little less than a year ago. In exactly one week, my job writing for season 8 of Regular Show will be over, and, as of right now, I have no idea whether there will be another season. If there is another season, there’s always the question of whether or not they’ll hire me back. I hope they do! I THINK they will. But nothing is 100%, and it’s possible I’m not QUITE as talented and charming and smart and wonderful as my parents would have me believe.
I’ve never been super worried about getting jobs. I’m an eternal optimist, and I’m pretty good about keeping the mindset of “something else will come along,” in all aspects of my life, and now is no exception. I would love, love, love to be hired back, but if I’m not, I’ll continue to do what I’ve done for the past 12+ years in LA and plug away like a tiny, Italian, little engine that could.
I really dug my time working on the show, and not being picked up for another season wouldn’t dampen that enjoyment at all. If anything, I can take what I learned to my next job, and so I decided to write this about some of the lessons I’ll take away from this, if only to remind myself of them again at some point down the line. Maybe these things will help give a few aspiring writers some perspective, or help them when they find themselves falling into some of the same traps. Maybe it won’t, and I’m just a super egomaniac whose sense of self importance could rival Donald Trump’s. Either way, at least I’ll have accomplished something today other than taking too many photos of my cat!
1.) Stop it with the self doubt
When i first got hired on Regular Show, I was ecstatic. Such a cool show to work on! Such an awesome place to work! Such rad people to work with! Then the self doubt started to creep in. The biggest one, which is often in the back of my mind, and which I blame on a combo of societal bullshittery and a few assholes I’ve encountered in the past for, is always, “Did I get this because I’m a woman?” Someone once told me, “You’ll never be able to be completely sure you didn’t get hired for something just because you’re a cute girl.” Yeah, it’s a crappy thing to say, and basically discounts any talent I may have, but he was just echoing something that a lot of women in entertainment are afraid of, and a lot of men legitimately believe….