i have been wanting to join kelly's thoughtful thursday for a while and happy that i finally have.
there is something that has been on my mind for a while now. you may know that my junior year of college, i moved to LA for a semester to intern at two production companies to put me on the path of becoming a sitcom writer. that was four years ago.
i arrived in LA with a nearly finished modern family spec that i finished while there and then passed around to anyone i could. producers, assistants, ex-producers, anyone i thought could lend an educated opinion. i read books on screenwriting while there, soaked up every single ounce of learning about writing the "the biz" that i could while i was there, went to networking events, did everything i possibly could do. it was one of the best times of my life.
i exited LA with a full heart and a promise: "i will return to you, my sweet, sweet LA.! i will be back! you haven't seen the last of me! you are the greatest city in the world and i love you like no other!" as i drove away and looked into the rear view mirror with tear stricken eyes and looked through ironic rain splattered windows.
i had about a month and a half to kill before my senior year of college started, so i went home and set up shop in a room in my house where we used to play growing up and where now all the grandchildren play. i bought a cork board, printed inspiring pictures, and left room for index cards for storyboarding. then i got to work writing an original pilot that i never finished due to me picking a premise that was totally wrong for me and the audience of who i was writing to i knew nothing about. epic fail. but the more of those you get, the more experience you get. i didn't write anything until....
cut to 2013 when i went to LA for a visit because i missed it so much i couldn't take it anymore over president's day weekend. i saw all my old friends, met with my old contacts and fell in love entertainment, writing and LA again. there is something about being in LA that feeds creativity and feeds your drive and motivation. it is impossible not to write and create while there. if you are stuck, going there is like getting a shot of adrenaline into whatever part of your brain creates ideas and is responsible for motivation. so when i got back to utah, i started writing again and wrote a completely different pilot that actually worked for me and was a pilot with a different audience that i can actually relate to.
long story to get to the thoughtful thursday part. here i am, having part to write, and scared to write. i want to write, i really, really do. but i just want to play it safe and write parks and rec and community episode specs instead of my own pilots. but that isn't how you get dreams accomplished. if you want to be a working sitcom writer, you have to write your own pilot, then the head writer on a show can see that you understand character.
what keeps coming to mind is the heading of a chapter in my creative writing class freshman year. "sh**ty first drafts. i just need to write! write write write! that is what i need to do. just write it down, get the ideas down on the screen and let the ideas flow. then fix them. what my problem is is that i try to get it perfect on the first try. which is why nothing happens, i think. i need to stop being scared of having a sh**ty script. and just write!
so! here is to just writing writing writing it down. to writing and to stop being scared. because truly i am scared to write and realize i suck. but, it's okay. if i suck, then i do. i can improve.