Jumping onto the meme-wagon when the train has already left the port... Josh tagged me a while back.
Why do I want to write TV?
TV writing seems like such an obvious choice for me now that the real answer at this point is "Why would I want to do anything else?" So it's hard to believe that it was less than two years ago that I had never even considered writing TV. I'd barely considered the idea that writing TV was a job that actual people did. I mean, I was aware that Jane Espenson and Joss Whedon and Aaron Sorkin were people - but they seemed more like otherworldly creatures that were sent to Earth to create fictional friends for my weekly play dates.
So yeah, I was aware that people wrote TV in the same way I'm aware that people walk on the moon and explore the Arctic via dogsled and live in huts in the jungles of Brazil... it's just not something you'd actually consider doing yourself (though I have always wanted to become an Arctic explorer).
Then you up and move to LA because it's so sunny there and the food is great and it's near the ocean and you have a life crisis and wonder what the hell you're going to do to pay the bills while still fulfilling your creative aspirations and avoiding the nine-to-five slog through drudgery that so many people experience and you realize you've always been a writer and you decide to write...
Yup. Hands up. How many of you wrote a movie (or tried to) before you ever realized you should be in TV?
I did. I studied up on structure and story and character development and wrote a god-awful semi-autobiographical romantic comedy about what happens when a rock star falls in love with you. At least I finished it. Though I'm not sure in this case that was a good thing.
At some point (I wish I could remember when) there was some sort of epiphany. I realized I didn't know the names of any movie writers -- only TV writers. My shelves were full of TV shows on DVD. When our Netflix movies came in the mail, I never wanted to watch them, because there was always a new show on our DVR for me to watch. I loved TV. I didn't give a crap about movies. What the hell was I doing?
So I ditched my "How to write a box office smash" books and went to the library where I found Alex Epstein's Crafty TV Writing. I reread every post of Jane Espenson's blog. I watched every episode of Grey's Anatomy and then I wrote a spec.
It felt good. Really good. But I still had to gather courage to tell my Mom what my new career path was going to be.
I was expecting dead silence from her end of the phone, quickly followed by the now familiar, "I always thought you'd be a great lawyer." The silence came, but then, slowly, thoughtfully, she said "I can really see you doing that. That's perfect for you."
Woohoo! A Mom-approved career choice that I am passionate about.
Why would I want to do anything else?
Everyone I know in LA has already been tagged with this, so, my Canadian cousins, it's your turn.