As with every new venture, doubts started creeping in when I learned about the "writer's room" of a network TV show. First, a new writer is often considered a "gopher" or secretary - only allowed to take notes and get coffee. Trying to get onscreen credits can take YEARS! The pay is amazing - especially after the writer's strike. A beginning writer hired to be on a sitcom staff might start at $7,000 a week - yes, per week! But the hours can be long, and there is a good chance you won't get to write any episodes. After you have paid your "dues" and get a few onscreen credits and story editor/producer credits - it doubles to $14,000 a week. Growing up, my best friend wanted to be a flight attendant - but I wanted to be Sally Rogers, the funny writer on The Dick Van Dyke Show. Why didn't I pursue this earlier -- after completing UCLA's two feature screenwriting programs? Personal tragedy led me to become a programmer and software designer for the steady income, but I never stopped writing. My business meant flying over 200,000 miles a year - and I've written three young adult books, four new scripts and five TV pilots from some of my previous scripts and two original TV pilots. Whew!
During the past year, I've gotten coverage for my scripts, taken three workshops from Carole Kirschner, including How to Pitch a TV Script that Sells and recently written software, SmilingPitch.com, that enables me to track my submissions and query producers. What is phase three? Yup, sell something. I'm ready, I'm prepared. I'm proactive and aim to send out 5 queries a week to producers. I have about 20 projects, 14 of them have Accolades on Coverfly - and three have made the Red List. I'm ready.
All doubts are gone. I'm a TV writer. I'm a feature screenwriter. I'm a young adult novelist. I'm represented!!! I'm earning income writing. The back of this mug, which I purchased at my first writer's conference, says - "A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit." That's me - a professional writer! Never give up, never surrender!