It’s December! You know what that means: a lengthy reflection on the year that’s passed, with all the ups and downs and status on my impending carpal tunnel!
Amy’s Best Posts of 2018
Before I dive into the shape of this year and what I’ve been up to, here are some of my top posts of 2018. You can always look in my Most Popular Posts section for an overview of the content I care about.
- How to Write a TV Series Bible
- Day in the Life of a Freelance Writer
- How I Made My First $10k as a Freelance Writer on Upwork
- Writing in Hollywood: Should Men Be Telling Women’s Stories?
- Exercises for Method Writers
I didn’t blog a ton this year, because it’s been a crazy year of beginnings, endings, and adapting to new jobs and writing projects.
It was a year of learning new skills (like how to make money as a freelance writer on Upwork) and engaging with my creativity and self-reflection on a deeper level than I’ve done in the past.
Wins and Co-Writing My First Episode of Television
One of the biggest wins of 2018 is getting the opportunity to work in the writers’ rooms of one of my favorite shows, and being able to co-write an episode. (I’m! So! Excited!)
As a policy, I don’t blog about the writers’ rooms I’m a part of in detail because I want to protect the safe space that is that bubble of creativity and its inhabitants. But I will say that everyone who works on CONDOR is a talented writer and truly amazing person. From the top down, it’s a great, supportive environment I wish every writers’ room had. This is the second room I’ve worked in that I feel this way, and I’m very lucky to have had such positive experiences so far.
Other wins this year include:
- Being commissioned by an art magazine to write a short story collection (which will be my first set of published prose!)
- Learning how to do freelance work when I’m on hiatus in order to pay bills.
- Trying new forms of storytelling (like immersive theater and narrative podcasting!) and learning more about these mediums.
- Wrote 3 pilots (2 of which were co-written with my writing partner Eric Reese and placed in several competitions and made it into the second round at AFF), a spec episode, several short stories, a small book of poetry, a podcast episode, and am in the home stretch of a novel.
- Learning how to be better and mindfulness and de-stressing in a big way.
It’s been a record year of accomplishments, but I think my biggest win was really retooling my mindset and where I’m coming from and being grateful for everything I have and the incredible people in my life.
Oh, and doing Scary Things and having Hard Conversations.
Doing Scary Things in 2018
“A person’s success in life can be measured by the number of uncomfortable conversations he or she is willing to have.”Tim Ferriss
I started 2018 in a low place. I was at the wrong job, in the wrong relationship (with a good person who just wasn’t the right match), and I wasn’t confronting either of those things. It took two months of slow realization of these facts and the decision to make tough changes and have tough conversations to move on to a transformational summer.
In this industry, especially as a woman, it’s easy to fall into a pattern of not wanting to upset people and remain agreeable no matter what. To not cause waves, to just accumulate allies and fear of creating any enemies.
And yes, that ‘quitting my job’ conversation in March went badly. Even though I ended up leaving for something that would benefit my career and was a no-brainer to take, I felt awful about the decision, despite being the right one to make.
I was a nervous wreck before that hard conversation. But both me and the people I was working for were better off because I left — an unhappy employee isn’t going to become happy overnight just because they decide to or are implored to stick it out — and that hard conversation was beneficial for everybody despite being a negative experience.
Same in my personal relationships. I’ve had some hard conversations that have been tough in the moment but ended up better in the long run. Some went better than others. I’m still learning.
That’s the trick, though: it’s these hard or uncomfortable conversations that make us grow. As writers, it’s important that we learn how to be vulnerable, how to communicate, how to be honestly introspective.
Without getting too much in the personal, here, I’ll just say that the rollercoaster from March to now was something that led to adventures, connections, and realizations that have changed me as a person and a writer. It’s because of these hard conversations and decisions that I’m here, and I’m better for it.
There’s a reason why openness to experience is one of the indicators of a creative person: it’s almost impossible to foster creativity if you’re living within the confines of your comfort zone.
If you’re a writer, I challenge you to keep finding ways to have new experiences, meet new people, and explore new ideas.
Onwards to 2019
It’s important for us writers to keep pushing the boundaries of our work in order to write and live authentically.
So, in 2019, I want to continue sharing my stories in new formats (plays! more short stories! narrative podcast!) as well as continuing to write for television so that I can one day run my own show. I’m also going to start sharing some of my short fiction on here more often as well instead of letting it just hang out on my hard drive until I can find a place for it.
Also — I want to thank you all for reading my posts and sending me emails. I love hearing from readers, and it’s nice to know all the yelling I’m doing into the void actually does have an impact on you all. So thank you, and don’t be a stranger!
What about you? What are your writing goals for this year? Share below in the comments, or get at me on Twitter!