Thursday, April 10

Bev's TV Challenge!

So, a few weeks back, the producer who optioned I Was a Teenage Popsicle and Beyond Cool for television called to ask if I'd possibly be interested in writing for a new show of theirs called Stoked, about five teens working at an oceanside resort who live to surf on their days off. Uh, yeah, I said. I was taken to a fab lunch (these TV people and their lunches...I'm telling you!) and got to sit in on part of a meeting with the staff of another show they have on the air currently (6teen).

Can I tell you, I soooo want this gig?

Here's the catch. I've never written for TV before, so I have to submit a spec script for 6teen to them before I'm invited to the big Stoked writers summit in May.

Freakout time. And yet, I've found myself digging in to the challenge with gusto. While I initially knew nothing of what a half-hour script should look like (how many scenes, how many pages, etc.), after studying several scripts well enough to internalize the structure, and watching enough 6teen episodes that I can practically recite whole scenes, I think (hope) I've got this challenge met. I'm planning to send off my baby in a week or so. Even if it doesn't get me anywhere, I'm incredibly proud of myself. And the script isn't too shabby, either. (I totally shouldn't have blogged about this--watch them reject me now!)

But you know what? It's not about whether I make it in TV or not. This whole experience has made me reflect on why we embrace certain challenges and why we push others away. A while back, I started to consider going back to work. I was happy to work full-time as a writer when my kids were young, but now that my baby is in junior high, I thought maybe it was time to get out of the house--while still writing, of course! (Here's a newsflash: most novelists, except for a chosen few, don't make huge piles of money. And my house is falling apart.) A few opportunities came my way...technical writing/editing, other kinds of writing/editing jobs I could probably done but that required some training on my part. But each time, I resisted. Not so with the TV stuff. Which only goes to show, I guess, that if you're really interested in something, you'll do whatever it takes to achieve your goal.

So spill: tell me about something new you've tried recently that was unbelievably challenging?



Amanda Ashby said...

Bev, it's so exciting to hear about your TV adventures and I can so relate to how hard it can be to rise up the challenge. I found this just with doing my recent revisions. I put more into them than I ever put into writing the book in the first place and while I have no idea if my editor will be happy with them, I'm happy with myself for really pushing it a lot further than I thought I could.

Btw, I just lent Popsicle to a friend's daughter and she was made up, so I think you'll be getting another Kiwi fan pretty soon!!!

Samantha said...

Good luck, that must be very exciting.

About this time last year my newspaper teacher assigned me an expose about what it was like to have autistic brother. While my brother is younger I don't have any memories where I'm an only child so I know nothing else. It was really hard to step outside of myself and try and see how Spencer made me Samantha.

It turned into this amazing 1500 word article (most school newspaper articles are around 500 to 700 words) that I'm incredibly proud of. It was almost therapeutic and it also made me realize even more so how important my brother is to me.

Melissa Walker said...

Bev, you're so awesome for taking on the TV challenge! How amazing.

Let's see, last year I was challenged with taking over as Editor-in-Chief of a fashion magazine for Bloomingdale's, LITTLE BROWN BOOK, while the EIC was on maternity leave. I thought, "ME? EIC?" But I acted all suave about it. And it worked--they actually thought I did a good job!

Fake it till you make it...

bevrosenbaum said...

Amanda, it's so true that the bulk of writing is rewriting!

Samantha, what a great story! Truly inspirational.

Melissa, you rock! (That's my new mantra: "Fake it till you make it"!)

Lauren Baratz-Logsted said...

Working with someone who makes me nuts.

Alyson Noel said...

The other day when I cleaned my house--it felt unbelievably challenging!
Congrats and good luck-- my fingers are crossed for you!