by Peter M. Gordon
Justin Halpern, whose twitter feed, “S*** my Dad Says”, will become a sitcom on CBS’ fall schedule. There’s a lot we can learn from Justin’s story.
Justin was an aspiring screenwriter who moved back home to San Diego in his late twenties after his screenplay did not become a movie. Although he had a job writing for maxim.com, his dream of making it in Hollywood was dead. While living at home he started writing down his father’s words of wisdom and posting them on Twitter (119 posts so far). His dad’s witty and sometimes profane thoughts became very popular, and eventually a production company came calling.
Justin’s story shows the extraordinary opportunity you have to get your idea directly to the audience. Twitter, Facebook, you tube, and other web outlets give you the chance to tell your story. If your work strikes a chord out there, you may be able to move it to the more traditional media that can pay you significant money for it.
Here are two lessons from Justin’s story that are particularly important for you. First, create something. If Justin hadn’t written down his father’s words in the first place, nothing would have happened. Don’t wait for everything to be perfect: just get going.
Second, create for multiple platforms. S*** my Dad Says” is a twitter idea that became a tv sitcom. Do you have a movie idea that can also be a novel? Try writing the novel first. Perhaps you’ll find a publisher, but you can also self-publish. If you have a popular novel, the film and television rights will pay you more.
Whatever you’re creating, get started today. Moving from conception to creation to publication can take months or years. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll get done.
Peter M. Gordon is a writer, public speaker, and media consultant in Orlando, FL.