24. Getting yourself out there
One of the most important steps to becoming a professional writer is to get yourself out there. You can be the best wordsmith, come up with the most compelling characters and stories, and write a killer script, but if you want someone to pay you for your work and produce it so that others will actually get to see it, you’re going to have to meet other people in the business – people who have a strong reputation and are actively working in the industry.
Now, I’m not saying this is an easy task, as most of these people are usually very busy. They travel a lot and have a pretty full slate. It’s hard to get them to return your e-mails and even harder to arrange a face-to-face meeting if you’re new to the game. But the great thing is, there’s another way.
We ‘Brits’ and, at least for now, we lucky members of the European Union, have the opportunity to attend several conferences and markets, and a great one is right here in the UK.
The upcoming Children’s Media Conference in Sheffield is a fantastic way to meet people in the business and learn how the industry works. This conference has grown each year and now attracts writers, producers, broadcasters and so many others from all over the world. It's held at the beginning of July and the three action-packed days are filled with panel discussions, workshops, pitching sessions and evening activities. It is a great way to meet other people in all areas of the industry in a fun and non-threatening way and I highly suggest you find a way to go.
Check out www.thechildrensmediaconference.com for more information and I hope to see you there!