In a whirlwind two months, I graduated from USC with a degree in screenwriting, won some shiny things from USC and from the Television Academy for the series I wrote and created, started full-time as an assistant to an awesome TV lit agent at Verve, and made some incredible new friends.
Yet not everything survived the transition into the real world, and I ended yet another relationship that crumbled in the face of my long hours and steadfast dedication to my career. It’s no secret that the path to becoming a TV writer is a long road that requires both the fortitude and portfolio to succeed in a sea of overqualified candidates, and while I’m in it for the long haul, sometimes the people I date see my love for my work as a limitation instead of a key part of who I am.
At the College Emmys I bonded with a talented director over our shared interest in writing stories about “the cost of ambition.” We both are drawn to telling stories about characters who put everything on the line to achieve something greater than themselves, and there’s a reason these stories hit close to home for us.
In a larger sense, that’s what we’re all doing as young people starting out in this industry. Where our friends from high school and college are getting married and having kids, we’re spending our Friday nights staying late in the office and our weekends reading scripts and the trades. There’s constant pressure to be informed and aware about every show pickup and spec sale, to read more scripts than you have time for — and on top of it all, somehow keep up your craft and go out for networking drinks five days a week.
My ambition might cost me a steady relationship and my free time as I spend sleepless nights spent trying to squeeze in writing or networking. However, it also allows me to do what I love and meet some amazing, driven people along the way. I wouldn’t trade any of this for the world, or for a single individual. I’m here to become a creator, no matter how long that takes.
Here’s to investing in ambition and never giving up.