Is the shortage of women screenwriters related to money?

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  • Re: Is the shortage of women screenwriters related to money?

    Well, I'm a single woman, so I should have plenty of time on my hands, right?

    Wrong.

    I have to work many hours at jobs that don't pay all that well just to keep my head above water (most of the time, though, I'm sinking). When I'm not working, I'm looking for work. And when I'm not working and not looking for work, I can't write because I'm worrying about not having enough income to pay my rent.

    It's only just this past week that I managed to squeeze in a couple of hours of writing, and even then, I felt guilty for taking the time because I had half a dozen other more important things to do (like work that actually pays money, though a fairly paltry sum).

    However, I'm working on squeezing in 2 hours per night on a regular basis, eventually. I say eventually, because I've got one of those rare spurts of work that take up pretty much my whole day from morning until bedtime.

    Life is a lot more complicated today than it was in Lillian Hellman's time - and a lot more expensive. Selling a script for $5,000 back in her day would be ample income for a year's comfortable living. Selling/optioning a script today for the same money barely covers two month's expenses, no matter where you live.

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    • Re: Is the shortage of women screenwriters related to money?

      I used to feel guilty about writing. It was one of those things I got to do after the laundry was done and the dishes were clean and I let this friend cry on my shoulder, etc. I know what it's like to depend on yourself for everything: rent, health care, home maintenance, social maintenance so you don't become too isolated, retirement worries, eventual replacement of the ever-older car ... no one to fall back on or truly share the burden of making these choices, however well-intentioned friends and family may be ...

      But I got some advice that really touched me at the core. Essentially, it was this:

      Every day you choose to not write is one day closer to your unique stories being lost forever.

      I know I've got to work, to bring in the money to keep a roof over my head and electricity to the computer. Enough so that I'm not so worried that I can't open myself up to the creativity. And I do have those days where legitimate obligations keep me gone from rising to falling exhausted into bed. But I am not going to let the reason I don't succeed be because I was too busy washing dishes or pulling weeds. In the end, maybe no one will want my stories; I don't know. But I don't want it to be because I never told them, didn't try.

      Guilty? Guilt for me now is those days when I don't make a big enough effort to write, even understanding that stories have power to inspire and provoke and bring relief through laughter. To not write is to deny myself and what I might offer to the world.

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      • Re: Is the shortage of women screenwriters related to money?

        Well, tonight instead of writing I went to my aikido class and passed my 5th kyu test. Apparently, passed it very well, if the comments were anything to go by.

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        • Re: Is the shortage of women screenwriters related to money?

          Congrats on the test! I still miss Aikido - would do it still if my knees could take it. I love forward rolls the most. Time well spent, that's for sure!

          -Sandy
          sigpic http://blip.fm/Peasblossom

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          • Re: Is the shortage of women screenwriters related to money?

            Ah, those darn forward rolls! I'm still working on them. I still have a "fear factor" working against me there, but I keep plugging away at them. I'm thinking if I could just lose a few more pounds (and I can afford to, believe me - I've lost 45 pounds since starting aikido last year), I won't feel like I'm trying to move more mass than I have acceleration for....

            Next round of tests I have to know suwari waza techniques (techniques done on the knees). With my stiff joints (especially toes that do NOT want to bend), this could be my last "good" test.

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