I’ve had this blog for over a year now, and it’s been fun sharing things like job tips in my recent posts, but I’ve especially enjoyed just sharing news about my life and simply venting about things, albeit for all the world to read. In that sense, I like to think of this blog as an open diary, a place to share my thoughts and feelings, along with my hopes, dreams and passions as I pursue my writing career.
One thing I’ve learned about blogging is that, if done right, it can be used as a professional tool to market oneself. I’ve read articles about utilizing your blog as a means to show professionals in the industry examples of what you can do. Obviously, my blog is more personal than it is professional, but I find it just as beneficial, as I love talking about my love of writing. Sometimes I ramble, as I’m clearly doing in this post, but one of the many beauties of writing is that it doesn’t matter what you’re writing. As long as you’re writing something, it adds to your credentials. You can write on your own time, as a hobby, but as long as you keep writing every day, working on your screenplay or novel or short story or anything, you’ll improve your craft. You’ll build up your momentum. You’ll fuel your talent and your passion.
Honestly, I feel sorry for people who say they hate writing. And sadly, I’ve overheard many people say this throughout my life, not just people at school, but even people at work. Yes, writing is absolutely challenging. It can be frustrating when you hit a road block and don’t know where the story should go next. It can be difficult if you’re wrestling with a character who’s simply refusing to do something you want him or her to do. I tend to drive myself crazy when I write, to the point where I’ve berated myself and questioned my skills as a writer. Yet, despite all the self-loathing and hair pulling that accompanies the writing process, when it comes down to it, I find writing extremely rewarding, as the possibilities are absolutely endless. You treat the characters you create as if they’re real people, and they become a part of you. When it all comes together, the characters, the conflict, the resolution, you’ll have a unique work of art, and you’ll want to share it with the world in hopes that it brings someone else joy the way it has for you.
My current goal in life, as I’ve mentioned, is to become a sitcom writer. I’ve been taking a TV Comedy Writing workshop, following the enjoyment I had and how much I learned from the Write Your Screenplay workshop I took last fall. The people in my TV writing class are all talented and creative, and the instructor is someone who worked in the field for over thirty years and therefore has a lot of knowledge about the business. The way the class works is that we have the choice of either writing a spec script or an original pilot, and in the three hours a week we meet, we devote an hour talking about each person’s work. It essentially works as a real writers’ room with people pitching jokes and ideas and trying to break a story, but for our class, it’s condensed for the sake of time. For an original pilot, we write information about our series’ main characters, their personalities and interests, what kind of world they live in, how they all relate to one another, etc., and then we give some plot ideas for the pilot episode, the series’ first episode. So far, each person in the class has presented characters and ideas for their own original TV pilots, and their ideas have all been unique and interesting and, really, shows I could see making it on TV.
I chose to write an original pilot as well, and my stuff is going to be workshopped this week. I’m always nervous to receive feedback on anything I’ve written, as it’s a vulnerable and eye-opening experience when people dissect your work, but at the same time, I value other people’s opinions. I enjoy hearing what people have to say and what kind of ideas they have, as everyone brings something different to the table, which can give your work new life. So, I’m excited, too, of course, as this is the first TV writing course I’ve ever taken, and it’s giving me a little taste of what to expect. As someone who wants to get into this industry, I’m obviously going to have to get used to people criticizing my work. Not everyone is going to love my stuff, and as writers, we all must face rejection along the way, but I’m ready to dive in and start making my dreams come true.
Ali, as an actor and writer the hardest part is taking that criticism. Trust me I hear it about twice a week if I’m lucky. I’ve learned to enjoy it. The trick is to just believe in yourself enough to keep going. It sounds very cliche but its true.
Hi Erik, thanks for commenting. That sounds like some great advice to me. I appreciate it!
Eh don’t know if its great or not. We’ll see,