Like Advertising, But With Less Job Security

That every copywriter has a screenplay in her desk is a tired, old cliché. If you’re one of those copywriters, or would like to be one, consider this insightful Adopt A Writer interview with Nina Bargiel, a Guild member with 17 episodes of Lizzie McGuire to her credit.

Q. What do you think would surprise people about your life as a writer?
A. People are shocked when they discover that I don’t drive a car made of gold and carry a handbag made from orphan babies. Being a writer means zero job security. Every job you’re at has a specific end, whether it’s when the show ends, when your contract’s up, or when the script is complete. You have to work on one thing and look for the next thing. It’s hard to ever sit back and relax because the rug could be pulled out at any time. A lot of people think that if you’re on a successful show that you’re set, you’ll just hop from show to show for the rest of your career. But it’s a lot like musical chairs, and depending on who you know, who’s working, your representation, and the current TV climate, you never know where you’re going to land. For most everyone there’s going to be lean times. My joke is that if you can live with fear, panic, and desperation and manage to be creative at the same time, this is the job for you!



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.