Jennifer Bowerman writes on the many twists and turns of a career in writing.


I’ve been pondering life and career choices lately. Perhaps it’s because my own daughter just graduated high school and is college bound. I had a conversation with another recent grad, interested in writing, asking my advice. I’m not sure he was ready for my brutal honesty.

Welcome to the real world.

In school, we take tests, being taught there’s only one right answer to a question. If we give it correctly, we get gold stars. We sit with our guidance counselors mapping out our life and the steps we need to take in order to succeed in our careers.

A perfect plan.

Get ready because your perfect plan will blow up in your face.

We all write, in part, to see our work in movie theaters, film festivals, or online. We’re raised to believe if we just keep making forward movement, our path to success will rise in direct proportion to the efforts we put in.

Not in Hollywood.

There’s no guidance counselor good enough to prepare anyone for the winding road to success as a screenwriter. More often than not, that road leads us straight to a dead end.

The truth is, there is no clear path to success in this industry. It twists, turns and winds, sometimes even backwards, all before any forward motion. The reality is, most people quit long before any real progress happens.

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