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A Day In The Life of a Television Writer


5:30am
Alarm goes off. Hit snooze button.
5:38am
Alarm goes off again. Hit snooze button.
5:46am
Alarm goes off. Turn off alarm clock.
6:47am
Wake up, wonder why alarm didn't go off.
7:06am
Showered, dressed, ready to crank out 5 pages on feature before heading into office at TV series. Go to Nespresso machine for fuel.
7:07am
Out of Nespresso caplets. Decide to hit Starbucks.
7:26am
Back from Starbucks, ready to crank out those pages... better check email first.
7:57am
Finish reading & returning email, ready to write.
7:59am
Should probably check standings of fantasy soccer team.
8:05am
Need new goalkeeper.
8:44am
Have new keeper, new defender, and two new middies, ready to write.
8:47am
Realize it has been over an hour since last email check.
8:58am
Late for work.
9:22am
Arrive at office. Assistant hands you ratings from last night's episode.
9:23am
Tell assistant to never show you ratings ever again.
9:34am
Lead actress of the show calls, loves the next episode. One question—can the bicycle she's riding on page 3 be a motorcycle? Not cuz she wants to look cool, but just because it's more her character. Oh, and she'll need lessons on how to ride a motorcycle, she's never done it.
9:46am
Check email. Realize episode #11 is due in 2 days, not 2 weeks as you had thought.
9:47am
Start thinking of episode #11 ideas.
9:50am
Costume designer calls. Says her budget was slashed on last episode's dream sequence, so the Tom Ford suit described on page 22 in next episode will have to be a hoodie and jeans. Oh, and lead actor HATES his wardrobe for next episode.
9:58am
Get on phone for network notes call. Holding for others to jump on.
10:17am
Network jumps on call. LOVE the next episode, only have a couple of quick questions... starting on page 3, can the bicycle she's riding be a Mini Cooper? There's a potential product placement opportunity.
11:44am
Network hangs up.
11:45am
Check email.
11:46am
Writing staff wants to know where we're having lunch.
12:23pm
Lunch location decided, have just enough time to work on episode #11 ideas before lunch.
12:27pm
Decide to discuss episode #11 ideas with staff over lunch.
12:28pm
Check email. Click on YouTube link of funny dog sent by writer friend.
1:03pm
Finish watching 14 YouTube videos of funny animals. Time for lunch.
1:18pm
Lunch with writers. Discuss everything but ideas for episode #11.
2:26pm
Back from lunch, ready to tackle episode #11 ideas...
2:30pm
Prop man calls. The bike on page 3, do you want it to be a mountain bike, road, cruiser? Do you want it to be red, blue, yellow, black, green? Do you want sparkly fringe dangling from the handlebars? Do you want...
2:32pm
Make changes to current episode. Actress now sitting in chair on page 3.
2:44pm
Assistant knocks on door. Wants to know if you finished reading her spec pilot she gave you 2 weeks ago?
2:45pm
Begin reading assistant's spec.
2:49pm
Check email.
3:03pm
While looking at "Cats that look like Hitler" get great idea for episode #11.
3:16pm
Lead actor wants to see you in his trailer.
3:22pm
Explain to lead actor that while, yes, he has obviously been working out, and yes, it absolutely shows, there's really no reason to take his shirt off during the funeral scene.
3:35pm
Studio calls. Wants to hear about episode #11.
3:41pm
Studio LOVES the idea for episode #11, but fears network will hate it. Says network will want it to be less serialized, less connected to episodes #9 and #10. "Make it a stand alone."
3:59pm
Jump on call to tell network about episode #11.
4:12pm
Network gets on call. Pitch them episode #11. They HATE it. They say it should be serialized and should completely connect to episodes #9 and #10. "It can't be a stand alone!"
4:14pm
Begin writing outline for episode #11.
4:23pm
Check email.
4:27pm
Assistant knocks. Wants to know what you thought of her spec.
4:28pm
Go back to reading assistant's spec.
4:39pm
Agent calls.
4:41pm
Agent has to jump off.
4:47pm
Lead actress calls. LOVES the changes to current episode. One question—can the chair on page 3 be an elliptical machine?
5:44pm
Finish outline for episode #11. Possibly the best outline you've ever written. You are convinced this episode will earn an Emmy nomination.
5:58pm
Please hold for network exec.
6:06pm
Network says you've been canceled.
6:06:32
Call agent.
6:07pm
Agent has left for the day.
6:09pm
Assistant bursts into office. Says Bad Robot has just optioned her spec pilot, and Netflix wants to make it! She wants to know if there's anything she can do for you before she quits.
6:10pm
Assistant quits.
6:11pm
Search office for liquor.
6:16pm
Search Internet for jobs in the golf biz.
6:22pm
Open up feature script file. Going to crank out 10 pages before going home.
6:27pm
Check email.
7:06pm
While watching YouTube videos of guys getting hit in the nads, get GREAT idea for new TV series.
7:07pm
Begin writing new series idea.
7:13pm
Check email.
7:25pm
Security arrives, says you need to clean out office. The new JJ Abrams Netflix series is moving in on Monday.