Hacking Hollywood: The Unconventional Method for Becoming… a Television Writer?

Hacking Hollywood: The Unconventional Method for Becoming… a Television Writer?

Written by Emilie

Topics: Goals, Hacking Hollywood

I want to be a television writer (among other things).

There, I said it.

I’ve known this for a long time and have spent many years trying to rationalize the dream away. I’ve told myself that I would need to move to LA, which I would inevitably hate, that the demand for these jobs is too high and the chances are next to nothing, that you need connections, that I’d have to struggle for years working my way up, and that I must not really want this because I have so many other passions and that if I really wanted this, I wouldn’t be so resistant to devoting my life to it.

So basically I had every excuse you can think of, both as a result of being a Scanner (and not realizing what that meant) and as a result of living in a society that discourages seemingly-impossible pursuits in the name of ‘comfort’ and ‘stability’.

New Beliefs

Maybe it’s learning about lifestyle design and the nature of Scanners, or maybe it’s my growing sense of confidence or the emerging Puttylike community itself, but I seem to have developed a few new beliefs that threaten the continued existence of my excuses. These are:

  1. Anything is possible.
  2. Any system can be hacked.
  3. All assumptions should be tested.

I now recognize that the excuses I used to tell myself are precisely the type of excuses that the ‘status quo’ tell themselves to justify never taking risks. But here’s the thing:

I’m no longer a part of that world.

I mean, the other day I overheard someone on the street say: “you should do X, it’s a good job, pays well.” and I nearly gagged. It now blows my mind that anyone would settle for ‘a good job that pays well’. (What about your dreams? Your PASSIONS?!!)

The thing I seem to have forgotten is that statements like “you should do X, it’s a good job” used to make total sense to me. This experience was a bit of a shock. In that moment, I realized just how much I’d changed.

Surrounded by Inspiration

Apparently, having surrounded myself with so many incredible location-independent bloggers, entrepreneurs and enthusiasts, I’ve forgotten that this attitude of finding ‘a good job that pays well’ is by far the prevalent attitude in our culture, that we- lifestyle design kids, non-conformers and dreamers- are the exception.

Anyway, I wouldn’t be much of a Puttylike tribe leader if I didn’t take my own advice and pursue all of my seemingly-impossible, grandiose dreams.

The Goal

So here we go. I’m going to do what others say cannot be done. I’m setting this goal publicly:

I’m going to become a television writer and I will get there through unconventional means. I will not ‘pay my dues’, work my way up through the system, or otherwise beg for approval from gatekeepers. Instead I will be myself, think outside the box, work hard, and find my own way of getting there.

I’ve already made a list of some action steps I can take and people I can contact as soon as my exams are over.

Stay tuned. I plan on writing about my progress periodically on the blog. Of course, this is only one of my many pursuits, but it’s one that I’m moving from the back burner to the front burner. I just ache for it too much. It’s time.

Ah how I love well-written television…


  1. Robert says:

    When my friend went to go speak to a cegep academic advisor about her desire to be a screen writer, the advisor burst into laughter. My friend was told that she should definitely study sciences and try to find time to write on the side if that is what she wanted. Hobbies should be pursued only after real work was done.

    I’m proud to say she did not follow that advice.

    • Emilie says:

      I know. I’m super impressed by this friend of yours’ ability to go for it! She’s actually on my list of people to get in touch with… :)

      And also, what an atrocious thing for an academic adviser to say! People like that should be beheaded (or fired). Blasphemy.

  2. alice says:

    sometimes, the “job that pays well” can work in your favor and help you get closer to your real goal(s). When I started freelancing full-time 2 years ago, I worked at three jobs that paid well. But I quit all them within 2 months. It’s bad work ethics..but the jobs were really awful (that’s another story). On the bright side, I earned enough money to keep me stable while I continue to figure out this whole freelance thing! plus i had some $ to travel and take classes on the side. : )

    • Emilie says:

      Oh totally. A well-paying job is fine if it’s meant as a stepping stone or a means of financing your dreams. It’s more this mentality of, ‘a well paying job is all I need to be satisfied with my life forever’ that makes me feel a little ill.

  3. simone says:

    Em – I beieve in you!! I’m so glad you’ve set this as a goal because I can’t wait to watch some emilie-written television!

    Also, amazing clip.

  4. Johannes says:

    Dear Emilie,
    the article says how to but there’s not really a how to part. I’m curious as to how you intend to hack Hollywood, because right now you don’t really specify or expose any method of action. I’m only asking because I also want to hack hollywood, and I think we could accomplish great things together. how about creating a website? It could be called hackhollywood.com.

    • Emilie says:

      Hi Johannes,

      Yes I realize I left out the practical details. That’s because I’m still working on those. But I do have some ideas that I think are quite promising… I like your website/collab idea. I’m crazy busy with exams right now, but I’ll shoot you an email soon to discuss.

      Thanks for writing!

  5. Peter J says:

    Thats a good decisions you’ve made, and write when your exams are nearly finished. I think there is a lot of us trying to get on and do things with our lives, holidays are nearly here, so now is the time to do things.
    Best of luck.

    • Emilie says:

      Hi Peter,

      I agree, setting goals is a great thing to do just before a big change happens in your life. It’s also, coincidentally, a fantastic procrastination strategy. :P

      I was just checking out your website and it really spoke to me. We should talk more sometime. I love what you’re doing over there.

      Thanks for the comment!

  6. Lionel Paul II says:

    Emilie, your dreams and ambitions remind me of my younger days as a struggling screen writer/ television writer. I agree with the will to follow your dreams as much as following your instinct. It took me years to get my foot into hollywoods backdoor and eventually slowly sneak my way in, but I believe I am closer to that goal now then I have been so far in my life. There is a way to do it, I know so and you should too. Don’t let others tell you what you can and cannot do because in this world and especially this country, anything is possible with a bit of hard work and ambition. Contact me if you would have any interest in working on this common dream together. Sincerly, Lionel

  7. TheSavvyGRAD says:

    you go girl!! I to have a similar dream so I checked out a book in the library to learn more about the process. I learned that the most important part is not the witty writting it is the WIFM. You need to show production companies what is in it for them and how your script is going to accomplish their goals. Good luck and I look forward to reading about your process.

  8. Tracey says:

    Hi Emilie,
    I love this article. OK, I am an actress and always have been, however my scanner behavior and fear that I did not fit in, or it seemed I had so many odds against me; examples being, I am a woman, African American, 40, and not a size zero, made me forget it or at least try to forget it. Well it has not and will not be forgotten. So here goes, I am going after my acting career. I will say it again. I AM an Actress and I am doing it! Thanks for your inspiration.

    • Emilie says:

      Yes!! That’s so awesome Tracey! Our minds will come up with a million reasons not pursue the things we love. Good for you, persisting anyway. Also declaring a goal publicly is a great way to start. Helps make things real.

      Keep me posted on your journey! I’d love to hear more. :)

  9. Janet says:

    I noticed that a lot of people in “showbiz” here in the Philippines are Fil-Ams, or not full blooded Filipino (usually euroasian or half American). This made me wonder whether I should get into showbiz for the sole reason that I’m a Fil-Am. Wonder if that alone would get me in the door… with NO acting talent whatsoever, and not really the right type of looks either.. but with enough determination I could achieve. Anyway, I have no interest in this at all, it was just a thought tangent when you wrote about this.. To “hack” showbiz though, I would probably just make my own vlogs and then post them on youtube to synch up to my blog. Double win if I become youtube famous! :P It would be really neat to have a regular vlog series.. that’s somewhat put together. I’m new to video editing and all I have is a webcam on my Macbook but it’s something that’s piqued my interest enough when I’ve used iMovie..

  10. Andi says:

    Hi Emillie,

    I don’t doubt for a minute that you’ll reach your goals. You’re already a great writer. Now, all you need is an isochronic tone to go with that mantra and your goals will be that much easier to achieve! ; )

    Just happenstance that I landed on your blog. Thanks for making me smile.

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