Hey there readers, it’s Amy. Before you read this post, I just want to let you know that my outlook on the current state of the industry has changed, and I can’t in good conscience continue to advocate for the assistant path for writers. It’s part COVID, part an inherent sense of classism in the industry. For more, read my new blog post here about my advice for new grads and why I think writers shouldn’t go the assistant path anymore. I’m keeping these posts up just in case you disagree with me and still want to go this path, but I just wanted to be fully transparent and give you the best advice I know how.
I’ve been writing a lot recently about creatives in the industry and posting images of aesthetically pleasing and meticulously organized writing spaces (aka: my therapy) so this blog post is continuing the trend.
At holiday parties this past month, I’ve been meeting other writers who are holding down jobs in the industry, from showrunner’s assistants to writer’s PA’s to researchers. The first question I ask pretty much all of them is how do you do it? How do you be good enough at your day job and somehow retain the energy and time to write outside of our 11+ hour days?
Some are honest: they aren’t able to make it work a lot of the time. Understandably, we’re all human and it’s tough.
However, we work in an industry that doesn’t care about our busy schedules — everyone is busy all of the time, and that’s not an excuse. If we don’t write, if we don’t commit that great idea to the page and then rewrite it until its brilliant, then others will just surpass us and we’ll never be able to escape the assistant life. As one writer who had been staffed on several shows told me, you have to grind and hustle to get your writing to where it needs to be: you can’t escape it, so might as well put in the mind-numbing hard work now.
With that in mind, here are some strategies I’ve put together that seem to work pretty well for myself and other writers out there. [Read more…]