There are three things I can tell you that if you remember nothing else, remember these three tips:
- Always be Writing: Remember, writing is a craft and the only way to get better at it is to keep doing it. So, just because you have your two spec scripts ready and in hand, don’t think that’s all you have to do. You’ll want to start creating a body of work that you can use to enhance your career and your skill set. If you don’t want to write another script, then practice writing scenes from your favorite TV shows. Practice mimicking the voices (on paper) of your favorite TV characters. Develop new ideas. The point is, never, ever stop writing. You’ll only get better and better with each passing day.
- Writing is Rewriting: Your first draft is most likely not your best draft. You will probably do an infinite number of rewrites over the course of your writing career. Don’t let this discourage you. After you complete most rewrites you’ll soon discover that what you wrote was much better than what was there previously. Story pieces, jokes, character arcs and dialogue that weren’t working suddenly work better than you ever imagined. Be open to this possibility and don’t let yourself get married to something you’ve written. Be willing to change whatever you need to change to make your scripts as good as they can possibly be. Personally, I prefer rewriting, because at least I have something other than a blank page staring back at me.
- Have Patience: From the moment you first start writing, assume it will take you anywhere from 6 months to 3 years (or longer) to get your first TV comedy writing job. Just like anything, it’s a process. Not only in learning the craft itself, but in meeting those people that can help you achieve your career goals. Look at it this way, if you dreamt of becoming a surgeon, you wouldn’t pick up a scalpel on Monday and expect to be operating on people on Tuesday, right? You have to learn the skills, you have to practice them and then you have to surround yourself with the right people that can help you achieve your dream.
A Last Word...
Becoming a TV Comedy Writer is an admirable career goal. It’s a great job and can, in time, be quite lucrative. Don’t get discouraged by those lucky few who get hired right out of college or after only two weeks of living in Los Angeles -- for most people, it’s a long, hard road. If you stay focused, stay driven and keep writing you will eventually get where you want to go. Trust me, the job is well worth the wait.