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Writing self-pity post…

Once a year, I figure I’m allowed to go “siiiiigh” about my lack of progress on my television writing career. It’s that time. I got the last of my rejection letters and didn’t make it into the NBC Universal Writers on the Verge program (1st time – just found out about it this year), the ABC Disney Writing Fellowship (3rd time), or the Warner Bros. Writing Workshop (3rd time).

Yes, I know that there are literally thousands of great writers all trying out for the same spots. Yes, I know there are only 6 – 12 spots (depending on the program) available. Yes, I understand that it’s completely subjective. Yes, I know it’s half timing/luck and half knowing someone.

As a professional, I understand that. I know the system and how it works.

As a writer and human being, the rejection hurts.

I’m a good writer. I’d even go so far as to say I’m a really good writer. I do everything that’s expected of someone trying to make it in H’wood as a writer. I’ve got 3 spec scripts (scripts for existing tv shows, for those who don’t know- mine are Person of Interest, NCISLA, and White Collar), and 4 original pilots (scifi / drama / glbt), not to mention 3 features (scifis and a rom-com). They’re all ready and waiting to show the breadth of my writing range. I enter contests and the writing fellowships. I participate in various writer functions throughout the year and meet people even though I suck at small talk with strangers in crowded settings and loathe bars. I even have this blog and am publishing novels to (hopefully) create a fan-base.

None of it works. You know, when I moved to H’wood 10 years ago (and that’s a whole different post to come ;o)), I heard people say, and even read in a couple different places, that it takes about 10 years to “break into” H’wood. Well? I’m almost past my expiry date here! Still waiting! wtf, H’wood?

The longer I go without even getting a toe in the door, never mind a foot, the less likely it is that my “career” will ever happen. I’m a realist, even for a dreamer. I’m not getting any younger, that’s for sure. My age-peers are already in producer, exec producer, and show-runner positions, not below the bottom of the writing totem pole unable even to get a writing assignment like myself.


*takes a breath*




About Nancy M. Griffis

Author and screenwriter who loves scifi/action/adventure/urban fantasy genres. I have two published novels, Mind Games and Eternal Investigations, as well as a short story published for charity called "Home Fires Burning." All are available through amazon.com and barnesandnobles.com.


6 thoughts on “Writing self-pity post…

  1. Check your email, hon – I think I can help you 🙂

    Posted by katyasozaeva | October 27, 2012, 4:10 pm
  2. New to your blog, and appreciating your candor. Is it true that they actually still send physical rejection letters? That’s so old-school! I thought the new technique was RESOUNDING SILENCE.


    Posted by thegoodfan | October 31, 2012, 4:28 am
    • hey welcome! thanks for reading! I say rejection “letters,” but there was 1 letter, 1 email, and 1 resounding silence.

      Posted by Nancy M. Griffis | October 31, 2012, 5:10 am
      • Yes, but also a connection made via your most awesome editor… do you think anything will come of that?

        Posted by katyasozaeva | October 31, 2012, 5:11 am
      • Thanks for the rundown. I’m awaiting word from ABC to see if I advanced to the finals and I just don’t know what to expect. I’m curious: were they the resounding silence ones? I considered applying to the others, but as a non-resident, I thought I could justify the move to LA better if I was in a full-time, paying fellowship. Maybe next year I’ll give the others a go, since I will be moving south by September (from Vancouver – but I’m a U.S citizen).

        For what it’s worth, I think you’re kicking ass. It’s not easy to follow your dreams. And if you want somebody to bounce specs or pilots off of, I’m happy to provide feedback/trade ideas. I graduated film school this August and would love to develop some relationships with fellow writers.

        Posted by thegoodfan | November 2, 2012, 6:20 am
  3. the third round is an interview which I hear is relentless and harsh. be ready for on the spot “what else do you have?” (what other scripts, original and spec) and taking more than 30 seconds is considered too long to answer. if you make it passed that, you get invited to a shindig where they see how you interact with everyone from execs to showrunners. and if you get passed that, you’re in! good luck! it’s awesome you’ve gotten this far! is there a DM on this thing? if so, message me and we’ll exchange emails. :o)

    Posted by Nancy M. Griffis | November 2, 2012, 2:42 pm

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Nancy at the Tim Burton exhibit in L.A.

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