Every artist should have a code, a set of rules, to keep them sane in a city with more traffic than trees and way overpriced lattes.
I have three rules that I set for myself ever since I came out to LA, and they’ve governed every decision I’ve made out here. Here they are:
1. Honor (& Hone) Your Craft
Daily practice will keep you sharp, so keep a notebook or a journal of daily ideas, freewriting, and inspiration on top of your script pages and other projects.
Honing your craft expands further than just writing: it encapsulates everything from reading widely and taking note of passages or characters that strike you, to seeking out inspiration from the world at large.
Writing is an art, but you must approach it like a craft in order to be able to call upon the skill whenever you need it.
2. Find Your Community
Join a writers’ group. Write with a partner. Constantly meet new creatives. Los Angeles is a chance to meet artists with so many different perspectives and ideas — journey into the world and find your tribe. These people will inspire you, hold you accountable, and support you through the challenges you face along the way.
3. Write About What Moves You
You’re here to write stories and make art — don’t forget that. Making a living is a happy bonus of that. While being a hired gun can pay well, try to never accept projects you don’t believe in, and find side hustles and other methods of earning money so that you never have to take a job for money, and lose sight of why you’re here in the first place.
Tell your story. No one else will tell it for you.