When I got the call about being accepted into the CBS Writers Mentoring Program, I jumped up and down. And then I cried. Yes, I’m not afraid to admit it—I cried. I was so thankful. It was a culmination of four or five years of workshops, meetings, writing and revising and writing and revising again. After I hung up, two old conversations came to mind. One was a chat I had with an Associate Producer I’d worked with on a reality show. She asked me about my experience in grad school and was contemplating attending herself. “Wow,” she said, seemingly impressed. “You went to great schools. Your parents must really be disappointed.” Taken aback, I asked her what she meant. “They must be disappointed you chose [to work in] TV.”
I had another conversation with a lawyer friend of mine. She was feeling unfulfilled about her career and I encouraged her to pursue her passion. When I told her I was looking to make a change of my own, from writing and producing non-scripted to scripted TV, she asked me, “Do you really think you can do it? Do you really think you can write in Hollywood?” Again, I was shocked by the question, not because I felt she doubted my talent or skill, but because I had never doubted that I couldn’t do it.
What I came to realize from these brief exchanges is that having the courage to pursue your dream is rare and actually making a living doing what you love (no matter what it is or how it’s perceived) is a privilege. One I don’t take lightly.
But here’s the deal: Having the courage to pursue your dream is just the beginning. Having the determination and the dedication to stick to that pursuit matters as well. In fact, right now I’ve just had a very long and intense day doing my part to help launch my network’s top show and there’s nothing more I would like to do than meet up with friends over great conversation, a good meal and drinks. But pursuing any dream takes discipline. And discipline means I will be in a hole writing for the next month or so.
One final note. I’m a person of faith. So after courage and dedication, my dream needs prayer. I believe in communicating the desires of my heart, asking God to order my steps and create opportunities for me to use the talents he gave me. And when I’m given those opportunities, no matter how difficult or long the journey, I hope to always remember what a privilege it is to do what I love.