The TV writer's Mobius Strip

I'm starting to realize that writing specs is the easy part. For that, you don't really need anyone else - except for a few great fellow bloggers to advise and cajole you.

But, as I get closer and closer to having all I need to 'break in', I'm getting increasingly depressed over the methods you need to use to make that happen.
1. Get someone important to read your script... when no one important wants to read anyone's scripts.
2. Get a job as a writer's assistant. To do that, you need to get some already overworked writers to a) be in a position to hire an assistant and b) read your work.
3. Be really lucky.
4. Get an agent. Without already having a job? Ha!
5. Bang your head against the wall repeatedly until somebody notices, takes pity on you, whereupon you can spring your spec on them, declaring "You saved my life, now I am beholden to you!"

Sigh. I know I sound whiny. I am trying to come up with clever solutions. I've been thinking about getting in touch with the other bloggers and fans of bloggers out there who are in the same position – with great, basically unread specs in hand – and starting a group. Not a writers' group, where you critique each other, but more a writers' group where you get together, drink coffee, eat cupcakes and chat about the industry, support each other, and come up with clever strategies for getting work. OK, written down that actually sounds like a great idea. Forming a lasting network of friendships now would mean we could all bolster each other in the years to come. . . of course none of us would let our egos or naturally competitive natures get in the way of a nurturing a positive networking experience. Perhaps we could turn it into a reality TV show. Each week we vote the most self-serving, un-bolstering writer out of the group.

Goals for today are:
1. Nail down the final details in my Bones outline.
2. Make it through another three hours of fasting so I can go get my blood tested for high cholesterol and other things I'm pretty sure I don't have.
3. Print out Grey's spec for final read-thru before deciding if I send it, or Ugly Betty, to the Acclaim TV competition.
4. Watch ANTM, Gossip Girl, Weeds, and Curb Your Enthusiasm I PVR'd earlier this week.

Slacker excuses
I ran 5 miles yesterday. I know, that's not really slack, but I'm very proud of it. Also went to see New Pornographers last night. That band is outrageously amazing. Oh, and Flight of the Conchords were there (in the audience, including their single fan, Mel. I wonder if they were jealous when she sang along to another band?). Clark (of Clark and Michael) was also there. I didn't talk to any of them. Damn! Should I have been networking?


Elver said...

So. Um. You don't have a job and to get a job, you want to assemble a group of people who don't have a job either and discuss with them how to get one?

That seems a bit odd. You should be joining a group of already published writers and getting them to read your stuff. I've been reading a huge amount of "how-to" books on writing and a surprising amount of writers seem to have gotten their start that way.

Whatever it takes, get your script into the hands of people already working as writers. With their permission, of course. That, to me, seems to be infinitely more valuable than discussing the lack of a job with others who also lack a job.

Jane said...

Uh, yeah, but Elver, that's just the kind of advice I'm talking about. There really aren't a zillion groups out there of published, working writers who are looking for that one complete newbie to make up the numbers.

The point is, if baby writers pooled our resources, shared our knowledge, and worked together, the whole may become more than the sum of its parts.

Elver said...

On second thought, you are right. This could work out to something great. Where do I sign up? :)

Maggie said...

Me too, sign me up! I think it's a matter of everyone having a piece or two of the puzzle. I can tell you about getting the interviews then NOT getting the job, for instance. I'm a gorram pro at that. Maybe someone knows how to get the actual job once you're in the interview! Yay!