Is There Any More Space In the Writer’s Room?

writers room post 1

Caution: This post is more of a rant than anything prolific! I keep seeing all of these new but not so new shows streaming on Netflix or Hulu or whatever other streaming devices there are these days and I’ve noticed a theme. There are a lot of “reboots” or “remakes” of wonderful old shows or shows that are not quite a remake but just close enough to resemble an old show and it got me to thinking about originality in the television world. Has the well for creative and inventive writers run so dry lately that the executives at these television networks can’t come up with any original concepts?

I know that it shouldn’t bother me nearly as much as it actually does but I think that the reason for that is because I have so many ideas, new ideas for plays, movies, and even television shows that are burning a figurative hole in my journals (or my brain for the ideas that haven’t quite made it onto paper just yet) and yet they make it nearly impossible for anyone who didn’t start out in the television/film industry when they were twenty something to actually have their ideas seen or heard. I’m not saying that they should make it simple and yes I suppose people have gone the route of starting their own web series on YouTube or some other internet portal but there’s a legitimacy in having a television network executive look at your idea and getting as excited about it as you do and taking that idea and transforming it for the whole world to see. If most people are honest with themselves, it’s the validation that they really want.

It’s not that I don’t love the old shows that they are taking and remaking into something for this newer generation to enjoy but it just seems like emptying a well that didn’t need to be tapped into. If they need new ideas there are plenty of us writers out here who I’m sure would love to help them out in their writers’ rooms, or maybe that’s just me. It shouldn’t be as hard as they make it to get new ideas heard and to see new ideas on the screen instead of so many blasts from the past of the old concepts just with new faces.

There is talent out here and new wells with newer and more original ideas if they would just be willing to not cut the rungs of the ladder so short for the rest of us who missed the twenty something boat. Sometimes older, more seasoned writers can provide a broader perspective with a bit of wisdom added for effect. Writing rooms shouldn’t just be for those straight out of college or who have already been in the business for decades. There should be space for the writers in their thirties or even in their forties who had to live a little bit of life first before getting to go after their writing dreams because talent doesn’t just expire with age.

This is not a post condemning twenty something’s or the younger generation of writers who have been steadfastly working their way up for the last decade because I commend you and I truly wish I had been able to have that luxury. This is just me shedding a light that there are those of us who are not straight out of college or who haven’t been in the television/film industry forever who still can write and who can add something to this television world that isn’t just a remake of a show that already was.  

Jimmetta Carpenter 

Writer/Editor 

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If You Want it Bad Enough, You Have to Work Hard to Get It

“The artist is nothing without the gift, but the gift is nothing without work.” 

~Emile Zola 

When I was at the gym this morning I overheard a basketball coach giving two of the young boys that he coaches a lecture on practicing their skills.  He was telling them that they can’t just expect to become pro-basketball players without actually putting in the work to get there.  He was saying to his assistant coach that children just expect to wake up and automatically become what they want to be without putting in the time, the effort and the hard work it takes to get there.  I listened on as he spoke to them and I saw the young boys in there beginning to practice as he was lecturing them so clearly some of what he was saying was starting to sink in.  

As I continued to listen on I thought about the fact that it isn’t always just children who forget that things that are worth having, you have to work hard for.  Sometimes we adults forget that too.  We sometimes rely so heavily on the natural talent that we have to do whatever gifts we were blessed with that we forget that even with natural talent, there is skill involved and those skills have to be continuously exercised.  If we don’t practice our skill set, that talent can eventually fade away.  

We can’t continue to take our skills for granted and believe that no matter what they will always be there for us to use when we get around to putting in the hard work that it takes to make them work for us.  Basketball players don’t just wake up able to play basketball.  Sure they may have had the natural talent to shoot a ball in a hoop when they were younger but there would have been no chance of them making it to the NBA without continuously practicing that skill.  Had they not put in the hard work those skills would have just faded away. 

I’ve heard it said so many times by writers or singers or actors or athletes that it comes natural to them, and yet they still profess how much hard work their natural talent takes.  They take workshops to keep their words fresh, they have vocal coaches to keep their voice in tact, or they take ongoing acting classes to keep their acting skills on point, or they practice on a regular basis to keep their reflexes sharp.  Yes they may have this natural ability but they work hard at maintaining those abilities so that they don’t lose them.  

The same goes for anyone else out there trying to become successful at whatever it is that comes natural to them.  We all have something that we were born to do.  Now we just have to put in the hard work at practicing those skills to develop the success that we know we want.  So take some time to think whether or not you are really putting in the practice at making your skills work for you.  If you know you could be doing more then start now.  Practice equals progression! 

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://write-2-be.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

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Making Investments in Our Future

“There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.”

~Graham Greene 

I watched the Oscars last night and I thought about all of the awards shows that we as writers and artists’ watch throughout the years and all of the acceptance speeches that we hear.  It is extremely rare not to hear an actress, actor, writer, director, singer, songwriter, or visual artists’ (graphic or otherwise) thank their parents for allowing them to be who they are and for not only encouraging their gifts but for also enhancing it by being supportive of that talent.  

I started thinking about the children whose gifts and talents are not acknowledged, let alone encouraged by their parents.  All of the gifts and blessings for the world that are not being realized because there is no one there to tell them that it’s okay to dream and dream big.  I was one of those children.  

When I watch those awards shows I can’t help but to think of whether I could’ve been one of those artists accepting an award for their brilliant talents if only I had a mother that encouraged or enhanced my gifts, or at the very least, acknowledged that I had any.  I know that I’ve mentioned here before that my mother was (to put it in nice terms) not very nurturing.  She never really believed in me and to this day it still hurts.  

I do feel that when she heard me singing around the house and heard other people who didn’t have to placate me tell her that I was actually good at it, that she perhaps could have invested in some voice lessons, or piano lessons for me.  Maybe when I wrote the class poem for my eighth grade graduation and my teachers all told my her that she had a very gifted writer on her hands, she could have put me in writing workshops that they had for children (and they had them, I checked).  Or maybe when I sent a poem to a songwriting contest and received a letter saying that they wanted to turn my poem into a song, however, they needed to deal with my mother contractually (because I was still a minor), she could’ve done what she needed to do as my mother to make it into a reality.  She could have actually invested in my gifts when I was younger but she didn’t.  

While I know that I can not jet off back into time and change what never was, I am left to constantly wonder what could have been.  Most days I don’t dwell on it.  But on nights like last night when I see people accepting their awards and whose parents clearly believed in them enough for them to get where they are now, I get a little resentful (as much as I hate to admit that) towards my mother.  

But that is when I just turn that resentfulness into a persistent desire to make sure that I am different with my daughter.  I want to make sure that I encourage her creative talents, enhance her gifts by supporting and investing in them, and empower her to believe that she can do and be whatever it is that she dreams she can be.  I want her to know that I believe in her and that I know her future is worth the investment.    

If we as parents do not invest in our children’s future where are they supposed to get the idea that their future is worth investing in to begin with.  It starts with us and if we see brilliance in our children it is our job and our duty to help them develop and cultivate their gifts.  They are our future and we have to make investments, not just in the stock markets and the next big business venture (not that our own careers are not important as well), but we have to invest in them too because their future is worth it.  They are our future Grammy, Golden Globe, or even Oscar winners and we have to help them get there.  Don’t wait until tomorrow to make an investment in your child’s future, do it today!       

Jimmetta Carpenter

Writer/Editor

The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”

https://writetobe.wordpress.com/

http://unpleasantlyplump.wordpress.com/

http://www.facebook.com/people/Jimmetta-Carpenter/1069480310

http://www.passionatewriterpublishing.com/thediary.htm

www.lulu.com/ladybugpress