Oh, Hello.

Welp, it’s mid-September and I haven’t posted in a while. That’s my bad.  But, things have happened since my last post.  For one, I completed improv class, which was exciting.  Still not sure what I got out of it, but I’m glad I did it.  In terms of the fellowship I talked about a few posts back, unfortunately I wasn’t selected.  But, it’s still cool to have been a finalist and have folks respond to my work that way.  

Now, for September updates: I have a new pilot fully outlined.  It’s similar to another pilot of mine, as folks talk a lot about building a brand. Broadly, my brand is female-led one hour drama, but when attempting to narrow it further I’ve focused on grounded sci-fi as that’s what people seem to think is my strong suit, and it’s a genre I’ve always enjoyed.  

Additionally, I found out that the spec I wrote for the network tv fellowships is a second rounder at Austin.  That’s pretty exciting as I’m not even a year into trying to make a go at this as a career and I’m seeing positive results.  To that end, I’m probably going to go to Austin next month and see what that’s about.  I love Austin as a city, so I’m excited to go back.  And everyone who has been to Austin raves about it, so it seems like it’s worth the trip.

My plan for the rest of this month is to finish revising one of my pilots, then take a stab at drafting the new pilot.  Also on tap is working on an outline for a feature.  I’ve been talking about writing a feature for a while, but something about those extra 30-40 pages terrifies me.  Oh well, time to put on my big girl panties and do the thing.  What do I have to lose, right?

August Goals Update

Last week, I outlined my August goals and said I’d provide weekly updates on them.  As a recap, my goals were:

  • Outline and complete a draft of comedy pilot.
  • Revise hour-long procedural pilot.
  • Participate actively in class and turn in all homework assignments on time.
  • Sign up for improv.
  • Write everyday for 30 minutes.
  • Read at least one book on screenwriting instead of allowing them to collect dust on my bookshelf.

So far, I’ve been pretty productive.  To that end, last week I:

  • Outlined a draft of my comedy pilot.  I’ll need to go back in later this week and revise it, but I’m feeling okay about the act outs and the way that things are coming together.
  • Started my revisions.  I usually put things away for a month or so after I write a draft and this was no exception.  I really thought what I’d written was terrible, at the time, but rereading it shows that I was overreacting and it’s pretty well plotted and the world feels like it’s got a solid foundation.  Obviously I’m going back in and doing a bunch of work, but it’s less a Page One rewrite and more of a minor surgery.
  • Submitted all my UCLA Extension work on time and gave feedback.  Still not in love with the project I’m working on there, but I don’t really love any of my projects until I’ve done one round of rewrites.
  • Attended improv.  Wrote a whole post about it, not going to rehash it here.
  • Went 7/7 on writing for 30 minutes a day.  My gym goals weren’t nearly as well hit last week, but I chalk some of that up to day job stuff and some personal things I had to handle.

My plan this week is to continue tackling rewrites, chip away at the new class project, go back to improv for round two, and hit up that outline for my comedy this weekend.

Improv Week 1 & Odds and Ends

Okay, this is kind of a combo post.  Should have posted something earlier this week, but I’m getting the handle on this blog thing one post at a time.

I found out earlier this week that I was selected as a finalist for a fellowship at one of the screenwriting labs.  Which is both entirely gratifying and also a little nerve wracking as now I have to await the results.  I’m taking this as a sign that I am on the right path in terms of this career switcheroo that I’m undergoing, but also now that I’m a finalist, I want to be selected.  I’ll see how things turn out soon enough.  Either way, it’s amazing that I accomplished this feat out of hundreds, if not thousands, of applicants.

Anyway, I also had my first improv class earlier today and I went in absolutely terrified.  What if I was the only one there?  What if I’m not funny?  It turns out, I was worried over nothing.  I had a lovely time with 7 other students in a small studio near my hometown where we went over games and such.  It was super liberating to be in a supportive and creative space and I’m already excited to go back for week two.  The one thing I will say is that right now I’m not entirely sure how this will help my writing, but, it was also an intro day, so I’m going to continue to be open to the experience and see what that gets me.  Either way it’s something new and different to do on a weekend.

August Goals

This year, I’ve been using a planner to keep track of my life.  I started the year with the Commit30, but after a disasterous Diet Coke accident at the Women’s March, I swapped to a Volt Planner. It’s been really useful to help me map out my goals and progress, if not helpful because I’ve developed a washi tape addiction. 

Anyway, the planner makes you determine your goals at the start of each month and sort of serves as a good way to look back at what you’ve accomplished, so I figured I’d share my writing-related goals with you all for additional accountability. 

August Goals

  • Outline and complete a draft of comedy pilot.
  • Revise hour-long procedural pilot.
  • Participate actively in class and turn in all homework assignments on time.
  • Sign up for improv.
  • Write everyday for 30 minutes.
  • Read at least one book on screenwriting instead of allowing them to collect dust on my bookshelf.

So, yeah. The comedy pilot is something I came up with in early July, and I can’t seem to get out of my head. I broke the A/B/C stories, know the major beats, I just need to hunker down and do the work.  

The procedural pilot was something I did in June/July and have notes on but I like to give time between drafts, so August makes sense as a time to revise it. 

The class comment is because I’m in a certificate program at UCLA extension.  I do better in a classroom setting, so, this is my way of ensuring continued progress and work.  Improv is also class-based and something that has been recommended to me by a few folks, but tbh it scares me.  Oh well, gotta get out of that comfort zone. 

Writing for at least 30 min a day is always a goal. Sometimes I hit it, sometimes I don’t. But I like to keep it there to maintain the habit.  And the books, well, I buy things on a whim and then never read them, so it’s time to move past that. 

I’ll try to provide weekly updates on progress etc. If that gets annoying or too cumbersome maybe I’ll transition to mid-month and end-month updates. 


So, a little bit about me.  My name’s Gretchen. I’m in my early 30s, but get carded for R-rated movies.  I don’t live in LA.  Yet.  I have a ten-year long career in politics, where I’ve worked on Capitol Hill, the campaign trail, and state government.  I love to travel and have been to all six inhabitable continents and also circumnavigated the globe.  In my free time, I toss weights around, judge CrossFit competitions, and bless the world with my sarcasm.

None of that is why I started this blog.  I decided, in the beginning of 2017, to make an actual effort to follow my dreams and try to make a legitimate run at becoming a television and feature writer.  Now, unlike most resolutions, I’ve managed to stick to this one so far and, despite a full time job and a side-hustle, I’ve completed:

  • 1 half hour spec
  • 3 hour-long pilots
  • 2 hour-long specs

Much like other aspirants, I spent the early part of this year racing toward the network tv fellowships and am anxious to see if I’ll be one of the lucky few out of thousands (but I’m realistic, y’all.  A baby writer in her first year is a long shot!). For the record, I entered them all — I specced Orphan Black & You’re the Worst, if you were curious.  Now that that deadline is gone, I’ve meandered a bit, and thought a blog might be helpful as a means to keep myself on track.  Maybe no one will read it.  Maybe some will.

Right now I’m in the process of writing a new pilot, revising two of the pilots I’ve written, and breaking a feature.  I do best when I’m busy, so I certainly try to do that.

You might be thinking — this bitch doesn’t even live in LA.  You’re right!  I don’t.  I plan to talk about that, too.  I’m saving for my move after some messy financial decisions in my twenties.  My goal is 2018, if all goes well.  But if you want to offer me a job on the west coast beforehand, I’m all ears. 😉