Wanna see it? Wa-POW!
Buy it right now over here.
We’re on Day Gross of me sitting in my pajamas as I plow through this to-do list of work. Most of the projects I have sitting in front of me I’m not allowed to talk about yet. Read more
My apologies to the small backlog of Weekly Procrastinations. If you wrote to me recently, I fully intend to get to your letter, but this one has been bothering me since it arrived last week, because I think the answer I’m going to have to give is one I didn’t anticipate having to say to anybody here. Read more
Did you know you can now pre-order my new novel? Did you know that pre-ordering is helpful to me? It means things to people like my publishers, who make all the big decisions on what happens to this book and any future books.
So if you like things I write (as much as I like you (I really like you, you know that, right?)), then please think about buying yourself your first summertime present. YOU TAKE IT FROM HERE comes out July 3rd, and I’ll share the cover with you as soon as I can, but for now, here’s the pre-order info.
Practical, patient Danielle Meyers escaped her small Southern hometown as quickly as possible, landing herself in sunny Los Angeles as a successful homemaking consultant and recent divorcee. Her bossy, loud, impulsive best friend Smidge stayed behind in Ogden, Louisiana, and has succeeded quite soundly—wife, mother, karaoke superstar, social butterfly, and survivor of cancer. But when Smidge and Danielle reunite for their annual girls’ vacation, Smidge reveals that the cancer is back and terminal, and Danielle vows to do anything to make the last bit of Smidge’s life easier. Expecting her best friend to make such a promise, Smidge has just one request: for Danielle to take over Smidge’s family after she dies. Move back to Ogden to be a wife to her husband, and finish raising her daughter — a plan she demands they must keep secret. When the friend you love “the mostest” wants you to make her last wish come true, are you allowed to say no?
I hope you enjoy it. This is my pre-thank you thank you.
I haven’t been procrastinating on the weekly procrastination series. I’ve been busy. You see, a holiday tradition in Hollywood is that producers and studios and networks and publishers finish their to-do lists so that they can go off on their vacations and trips to the parents and Hawaiian safaris and nightly festivities. This means all of my hurry-up-and-wait comes to a screeching halt, as it’s time to Hear Notes and Write.
I debated showing a picture here of the stack of work beside me, but I wouldn’t want you to get jealous. I’m about to have a lot of late nights and airplane writing stretches. This is a good thing! This is being a writer. We work through most major events and holidays. It’s why you think we don’t appreciate you and ultimately leave us.
Let’s get to the question of the week. Read more
I have a new editor on this new manuscript. I was nervous for the past few weeks knowing that the manuscript was on her to-read-and-edit pile. It was like I’d changed schools, got a new teacher, and wanted to find out if I was still considered a good student.
I got an A!
Karen only had good things to say about the manuscript and I’m quite relieved. She gave me notes to incorporate after we receive the copyedits, and the book is still on track to be released July 2012.
I’m incredibly nervous about it, which is how I’ve felt right before the release date of each of my novels, so it’s probably getting close to the right shape. Right when I think, “I can’t let anyone see this. It’s extremely personal. I’m going to tell them never mind and let’s just stop this right now.” that’s about the time I need someone like my editor to go, “Too late! We’ve sent it off to the printers. What’s your next one about?”
And segue right into this week’s Writerly Advice Weekly Procrastination Thing. Read more
I’m back from Austin Film Festival, where I am always reminded that people have lots and lots and lots of questions about what exactly it is writers do and how exactly do they do it. I’d do a writers panel or a roundtable every day if you let me, and since there’s no shortage of questions coming through email to my inbox, I thought I’d start up a weekly column. It’s just another way for me to procrastinate, but I prefer to call it “giving back.”
Here’s our first one. Read more
In less than a month I’ll be at the Austin Film Festival, where I will once again attempt to balance seeing friends and schmoozing, which will result in some terrible hits to my liver. Read more
I’m waiting on the phone to ring to find out about a project I pitched yesterday while simultaneously scheduling a pitch meeting around another pitch meeting I already have set, one that is effectively killing my original plans to attend a friend’s wedding, which leads me to answering an excellent question about money with a whole lot of words on juggling multiple projects.
Heidi writes in the comments section of this entry:
If I may ask a question about the super secret fantasy life of a writer — how do you budget financially during the jags where you’re working flat out for free until you can catch your breath and the unexpected income arrives? …I’ve found my own 1099 income years to be sort of jarring, so I wondered.
I’m sure there are many ways to do this. Unfortunately, I am not blessed with the “Rich Uncle” version, so I had to go about it differently.
My very first day of my very first tv show job, one of the more established writers said to me, “Save your money, kid.” He didn’t have to do that. I’m pretty sure I didn’t ask for any advice at all. Because of that, I thought, “That man is telling me something he wishes someone had said to him. He is literally trying to pay it backward.” So I do try to always save, particularly when I’m on a show that’s paying me every week. I put a lot of that away, knowing it’s my paycheck when I’m not staffed or waiting on a check from all my other writing, which pays about maybe four times a year.
Making it work while you’re working for free takes some discipline, some planning, and still a bit of luck. But it can happen!
If I’d been fortunate enough to be on a show that lasted more than a couple of seasons, I could tell you, “Residuals.” That’s one of the reasons we were striking so hard those few years ago.
Samantha Who? still plays in other countries, and is on Netflix streaming, so every once in a while a “little green envelope” comes in the mail from the Writer’s Guild that is my tiny cut of that pie. A very, very tiny cut. My last LGE was for around three hundred dollars, after taxes. I might get another one next year for less than that. But that show wasn’t on for very long, and I wasn’t at producer level. Someone more established on a show that lasts four seasons or five or is on multiple networks — those residuals keep you going during the times when you aren’t on staff, when you are “working flat out for free.”
But that’s not me, either. I’m going to try to answer your question with the four rules I keep in mind when I’m doing this job.
My name is Robyn and I’m a young aspiring TV writer in L.A. who found your blog after it was linked from Jezebel. Your post “The Magical Vulva of Opportunity” really struck a chord with me because between parents encouraging me to “go back to school and became a professional naval-gazer in a safe environment like a college campus” and the snippets I hear every day about struggling, unhappy TV writers, I’m starting to wonder if I’m setting myself for a life of disappointment. This sentence in particular made my stomach drop:
“There have been shows I was almost on, shows I was on, shows I almost created, shows I wrote but nobody read. There have been proposals and pitches and meetings and punch-ups and “I don’t understand; they said you had the job, but now they just don’t have the budget for your level.” I’ve been singled out, recommended, read and “adored.” I’ve been pitched to, passed over, rescheduled and abandoned. I’ve learned a lot, and I’ve written even more. I’m a couple of credits away from being elevated higher than “mid-level female writer,” and I can’t wait to find out what new, terrible, miserable problems the next level brings.”
I know I’m 22 and still outside of that skyscraper looking up at its enormity, and I know it’s not your job to reassure some kid who graduated from college and moved to L.A. the next day with no tangible career prospects except a dream to write for television and maybe movies, but I want to know that you’re happy and that guy and his agent are just (albeit unconsciously) sexist jerks. I want to know that this is the only thing you’d ever want to do and could do. I want to convince myself that if you feel a richness in your life from this career, then my anxiety is for naught. I know it’s a lot to ask, haha.
I currently work in an entry-level job at a tech/marketing company, work on endless revisions to my sitcom spec and half-hour pilot and sometimes send out that Very Dramatic play I wrote last year to theater company’s reading committees. I presume you’ve been there and I’m curious what you would say to your past self knowing what you know now.
Thanks for being an inspiration to young women like me (neurotic as we are.)
All the best,