Monday, November 12, 2007

Why I support the writer's strike

Before I begin, I don't think I should actually have to justify myself. But being in Oklahoma and so far removed from each coast, I've gotten a lot of admonishment from family, friends, and co-workers who don't understand why this actually means something to me. People want a valid reason though, and I think I have one. So here you go. Flame me, support what I support, or be apathetic. It's not going to make me change my mind. If anything, I will only become more passionate for every adverse comment that's thrown my way.

I am far from getting the degree I need to say I could go to New York or L.A. to get work as a writer. My dream though, ever since I can remember, has been to write for a television show. Preferably a show like The Office (it's witty, smart, and I'd love to write for that cast.), but as I became more serious, I realized that any kind of script writing would be amazing, for any t.v. show that would make me proud to be in the business. And just so you know, I'm not so jaded that I think I'll be rich and famous. First comes the foot in the door, and I'm sure after many frustrating years you slowly start to see a payoff. I know it takes a long time for people to start saying things like "Oh, you can tell that (insert writer's name here) wrote this episode." But I wanted to be that person. I still do. I know that I'll probably go through hell and back, but writing is what I want to do. It's the only thing I've ever wanted to do.

When I do get my degree, I plan on writing locally for an Oklahoma magazine or newspaper, always with my goal in mind. Going to New York. Joining the guild and being one of those people who never sleeps and lives on Starbucks. Do I feel like I can still do that? I'm not even sure. Who would justifiably do something that they know they aren't getting rightfully compensated for? The truth is - writers do it every day. It's damn respectable. They deserve what they're asking for. We're talking about cents. Cents, and what every job should provide - good benefits for themselves and their family.

I can't imagine ever, ever doing anything else with my life career wise. I feel like the WGA is striking not just for themselves, but for future writers like myself. I want to know that I'm entering into a field that will be supportive, lucrative, and competitive. I want to know that if my children are sick, I'll be able to take them to the doctor. I want to know that the evolution of entertainment isn't going to be overshadowed with the knowledge that while networks make billions of dollars, they refuse to give up to 8 cents to the writers.

I support the strike. If I were in L.A. or New York, you would see me on the picket line. I have the posters up on the walls of my cubicle, I have a shirt, and I make sure every time I talk to someone at work, that they understand what they're reading on websites. There are people who scoff, there are people who say it's just writer's being greedy. But really, like someone else has already said: "Writers are like the water in plumbing. They make sure everything flows correctly, and without them, nothing goes anywhere."

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