I’m four seasons into the TV show Californication. It’s a great show. Hank Moody is one of the funniest characters ever put on the small screen. I love the way that he lives. Well, not the alcoholism and sex addiction. The way that he works is what I love: write something, collect your cash, spend the cash, write something else. No matter what other troubles he has in his life, he always has freedom that is not found in many careers.
That is the kind of life I want. I want to work on my own terms. And I want the variety of work that Hank receives (screenplays, novels, biographies, etc.). Of course, my dream job would be to write for television. I’ve always been absolutely enamored by television. I love the way that television can invest develop stories for years and years. I also love the way that television can truly make people feel for the characters in a show and really affect people who watch.
How can I get there? That’s the million dollar question. How does some kid from a small town become a television writer? I think that there are obviously a couple of things that a person needs.
The first thing that someone needs is ideas. If you don’t have ideas, you aren’t going to be able to sustain a career as a writer of any kind. I think I have some ideas. Actually, I have one idea that I hope nobody steals, because it’s that good of an idea (I’m not even going to tell my readers, all six of you). The only thing I’ll say about my golden idea is that it is an anthology drama based on true events. I have ideas for comedies as well, because I think I’m funny enough to write comedy. One idea is a small town politics comedy. I know it’s already been done (Parks and Recreation is a favorite of mine) but I feel like I can bring a different point of view to it and it would feel quite fresh. Another idea I have is a comedy that kind of explores the chemistry between three people: a woman, her boyfriend, and a guy who is sleeping with the woman. I don’t think that dynamic has ever been explored and developed through a whole series and I think the premise could go for five or six seasons without getting stale. I have others, but they aren’t good enough to mention (or maybe they’re so good that they are a secret).
The other thing a person needs is talent. It’s pretty simple: if you can’t write, you won’t be a successful writer. I think I’m pretty good at this point (narcissistic, much?) but who am I to say. If you’re reading this, you could COMMENT on this post and let me know if you think I’m good or bad. I PLEADED FOR COMMENTS IN MY LAST POST, BUT I GUESS NOBODY HAD THE TIME TO TYPE UP A FEW THOUGHTS THEY HAD ABOUT MY WRITING.
I could come up with some other qualities a person needs but I don’t want to risk sounding too generic (perseverance, dedication, courage, all of that other bullshit).
Am I rambling? This post is called My Future (Hopefully), not How To Be A Writer (Written by someone who isn’t even close to being a Writer). Let me get back on topic.
My future. What can I say about that? I guess the most I can do to illustrate my future is to lay out my plan.
I plan on getting a 3.999 GPA in high school (one A-minus in ninth grade history…) and an ACT score of 30+ (I’m projected to score between 28 and 31). These grades and test scores in addition to my extracurricular activities and demographic (rural) should allow me to have my choice of whatever college I want. I would like to go to the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (my cousin from California is actually applying to the U of M as we speak. He might even play hockey there). I’ve considered getting out of Minnesota for college but decided that I can’t stand the weather anywhere but Minnesota (it’s not that we Minnesotans love the cold, it’s just that we loathe the heat. And while we’re on the subject of Minnesotans, if you ever meet one of us, please don’t go “Oooooooo. Meee-nah-soh-tah. Uffda.” We’ve all heard the whole Fargo imitation before, and very few of us speak with that much of an accent)
At the U of M, I plan on majoring in English. This is for two reasons: it gives me some more experience for my writing, but it also provides a good basis for law school, should I decide to take that path. This brings me to another reference to Californication.(Spoilers for Californication upcoming). When Hank is being charged with statutory rape, his attorney tell him that she wrote a novel. It failed miserably, so she “sold out” and went to law school. That is what my plan is. Try writing for a year or two. If I find that I’m not good enough or don’t like the way writer’s live, I can go to law school and pursue my other interest: law (I might minor in pre-law while at the U of M).
All through college, I’d be writing. Working on a novel, maybe a TV pilot, maybe a screenplay for a movie (I have some movie ideas as well, my favorite being a horror movie that is going to stay secret for now). I plan on living off-campus through college so I can have more space. I’ll work through college (maybe clerk at a law office, a la Rudy Baylor from the novel The Rainmaker by Jon Grisham (a favorite book of mine, and one of the first adult novels I ever read).
So this is what I want in my life. My goal is to be successful enough to drive an Audi R8. Hopefully writing can do it. I’ll end with my usual plea to tell your friends about this blog and follow me. I’ll follow you back and you’ll get some fun posts in your feed. Also, leave comments and let me know what you think.