Friday, October 16, 2015

Moving on

I first started this blog in June of 2007, two months before I moved to L.A as an eager college graduate working on a spec script of little-known drama FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS. Netflix had introduced online streaming just four months earlier. Twitter had recently celebrated its first birthday. Neither the first iPad nor the first version of Instagram would be released for three more years. Of the two studios I now read for, one didn't exist and the other was primarily known as an online bookstore.

A lot has changed, but I'm still here.

I never really planned to be a blogger. But ever since I was a kid, I always found creative outlets online. Buy me a glass of Pinot sometime and I'll tell you about my Goo Goo Dolls fan site with animated rainbow GIFs and my Snoopy Geocities page that was very popular in Singapore. In high school and college, I wrote melodramatic Livejournal posts that eventually morphed into this blog, a real-time account of my path to becoming a writer for TV and film. Once Jane Espenson linked me and put this blog on the radar of aspiring writers everywhere, I realized that people wanted to know more about agencies, internships and assistant jobs -- so I went with it. Writing this blog actually led me to paid blogging jobs, and though I wasn't particularly proud of writing celebrity clickbait, I was happy to leave my low-paying agency job in 2009. I'm also a valuable addition to your bar trivia team, provided you get asked about The Youngest Celebrities To Go To Rehab.

In 2009, I supplemented my blogging income by writing script coverage for production companies and working as an SAT/ACT English tutor. I still do both. In 2010, I also started offering my coverage services to aspiring writers, and that business has grown to a level I never could have predicted. People tell me I could expand the business even more with data collection and employees and advertising and other smart-sounding stuff, but the thing is, I never set out to be a professional script reader. People also tell me I could make more money tutoring if I mastered more subjects and went out on my own, but I never set out to be a tutor, either. You should become a private college counselor or an on-set tutor, they say. But..but...

What happens when you get too good at your day jobs?

One side effect is that I haven't had the time to maintain this blog the way I used to. I've also run out of things to say about the assistant world, internships and networking; when I get questions from readers, I often direct them to old posts. This will be my last post here as I shift my primary online presence to AmandaPendolino.com, a more modern-looking site that won't look like such a trainwreck on mobile devices. I will leave all the old entries here for new writers and students - and for long-time readers who may want to reference old posts.

I've also slowed down a little when it comes to writing - turning 30 and working several jobs sometimes renders you unable to do anything except sink into a couch and marvel at the dysfunctional marriages on House Hunters. I wish I still had the energy and completely unfounded confidence I had at 22. But I've written a new comedy pilot and the other day I woke from a dead sleep with an idea for a movie starring Tinmy Feyhler, a combination of Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, so grand success is clearly imminent. I'll be sure to tweet updates.

Thank you to everyone who has read and commented on this blog over the years. It's introduced me to a lot of wonderful people. And in case you're wondering, I've had some writing victories: I developed a feature with a big writer I really admire. I developed a half-hour pilot with a producer who taught me everything I know about pitching. I was paid to adapt a feature based on a magazine article/true story, a project that got me into the WGA. I've worked with directors, actors and digital companies. I'm still not making all of my income from screenwriting, but I'm not giving up yet, either. It's all just happened more gradually than I'd expected.

I will continue to operate my script notes service. For information and updates on that, check out my new website. I will write occasional blog posts there as well. I mean, come on - the new Peanuts movie comes out next month.

xo

Amanda

3 comments:

Brian Hennings said...

Thanks for taking the time over the years to give us an insight into the biz. Best of luck!

Jim Gonzalez said...

This blog has been most helpful to me and to many other aspiring writers for many years. Thank you for giving your time and for sharing your experiences.
Cheers!

Kaiti Vartholomaios said...

I'm so sad you've closed this down! Especially since I need your help :( I hope you continue having a wonderfully fruitful career.

Best of luck!