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Lessons Learned This Week

1. Never write a spec television script for someone who works on the show you’re writing for. I got to meet Tom Gammill when he visited CCS a few weeks ago to talk about his comic strip, The Doozies (check out his hilarious Learn to Draw video filmed at CCS). He’s a nice guy, hilarious and has written for two of my favorite shows growing up: The Simpsons and Seinfeld. He wrote the Bro — or the Manzier — episode among many others. I was geeking out a bit, I’ll admit, I mean how cool would it be to write for Seinfeld or The Simpsons?!

Inspired by Tom’s talk, I decided to take a shot at writing a Simpsons episode. It took about two weeks and I thought it was pretty good so I sent it to Tom. Why not, right? If the stars were aligned just so while lightening struck maybe they would need office help in the Simpsons writing room (that would be so awesome!!!). Why not give it a shot? Well, never write a Simpsons spec for someone who works for The Simpsons. Why? Because he couldn’t read it! D’oh!

He is legally bound to know nothing about my script in case the smallest inspiration seeps into his psyche and my idea or joke makes it into the show without my permission. Bummer. At least I have a solid writing sample to add to my portfolio and I had a great time writing it. It was fun! And I got to practice writing techniques I hadn’t tried before. Maybe I’ll create my own show and turn it into a comic! I’ll call it The Seinsons or maybe The Simpfelds.

2. Read Joe Konrath’s blog. I recently found Joe’s blog, A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing, and I haven’t been able to tear myself away. I even purchased his Kindle book, The Newbie’s Guide to Publishing, which is an organized compilation of the first five years of his blog into one MASSIVE ebook. He’s a thriller writer who has been blogging about writing, self-promotion and self-publishing and has some incredible advice and experience to learn from.

I stumbled upon his blog while looking for information about epublishing and within the last year or so, Joe has tailored all his efforts for Kindle, Nook and iPad and is now expecting to make $500K on epublishing alone in just one year! Granted, he has been working for 20 years, self-promoting for over 10 years, blogging for six years, has 20 novels under his belt, and works like a dog in one of the most popular and lucrative genres in publishing, so his success is not to be considered typical or easy, BUT I still agree with him that ebooks are the future and the sooner we can find a way to get comics on ereading devices, the sooner we can start earning money through self-publishing.

I’m going to continue looking into epublishing comics and I’ll report back what I find.

3. Never put off preparing for your tax meeting to the week before. I’ve learned this lesson before, but this time it’ll stick… I mean it… it’ll stick– I mean it’s already stuck, now. Totally, 100%. …Gotta go prepare for taxes.

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