As a (currently unemployed) writer, sometimes I go days without speaking to anyone other than my sister and my dogs. A writer’s life is already fairly solitary and add a few other non-social qualities and you’ve got a creative hermit. My sister and I moved to Los Angeles together without knowing anyone and I would still say our acquaintances are few and far between. It’s been a bit of a struggle (I will write another post, or three, on moving and living here for those of you considering it) and meeting people has been difficult…and as an aspiring screenwriter, meeting people is key. You have to get out, mingle, socialize, network. So last night I attended an event at the Writers Guild. It was specifically for animation writers, which I am not, but the guest speaker is a friend, so I went to support. In the course of the evening I met a few people with shared interests and it felt good to be around others creatively inclined.
When I used to vacation in LA, I couldn’t imagine living here. The city is HUGE and I was always a little unsure about the move (because I was a big chicken), but I knew it was something I was going to have to do in order to make my career aspirations a reality because this is where the action is. For those of you who do live here, there are so many opportunities to take advantage of; free screenings, free seminars, meet and greets, events, etc. through numerous organizations. For those of you who do not, there are still plenty of avenues at your disposal; states have a film commission where information can be found in regards to film companies and productions shooting in the area which might lead to other opportunities (guest speakers), the website Meetup lists writers groups (genre specific groups available as well) and opportunities to mix and mingle, and some groups, like Women in Film (which is not only for women), have chapters worldwide. You may also want to look into your university or community college for classes that offer a chance to meet other writers or offer other opportunities like monthly meetings.
My tip of the day (which I must also take to heart): Get out of the house. Escape those four walls. Meet people. Network. It’s not only good for your writing but your mental well being too.
Have a great weekend!