How Wannabe TV Writers Turned Into Happy (and Well-Paid) Freelancers! By Josh and Juliana Weiss-Roessler

Back in 2010, we’d been writing TV scripts together for almost five years, but had gotten zero traction. No meetings with executives wanting to hire us – there wasn’t even any interest from managers or agents. As we approached that five-year anniversary, we began to wonder if we were wasting our time.

Then fate stepped in and we were selected for a prestigious TV writing program that connects writers who are almost there with agents, managers, execs, showrunners – the people who make careers. We were signed by managers. We had staffing meetings. We thought we’d made it.

But by the end of that season, we still weren’t staffed. It became clear that, though we’d taken it up a level, there was still a long way to go. Maybe we would “break in” to TV if we spent the next decade fighting, but did we really want that? And, if we switched our focus, did that mean we’d been wasting our time?

Not at all. We found new resolve by deciding to dive headfirst into freelance writing, taking whatever came our way. Things didn’t explode for us immediately, but we were able to use those skills we’d developed writing scripts, and honed in the TV network program to impress clients:

  • Write fast and well
  • Come up with lots of different ideas
  • Don’t be hurt when they’re all rejected
  • Sell yourself
  • Research, research, research

Freed from what we’d thought was our dream, we couldn’t believe how happy we were as we built up a client base, and focused more on higher-paying jobs.

It’s been about three years and, so far, we’re living comfortably, and getting paid to do what we love. Now, if only we’d stop getting ideas for new TV pilots…

Josh and Juliana Weiss-Roessler are the co-owners of Weiss-Roessler Writing, and if you can think of a topic or industry, chances are good that they’ve written about it. Along with their 2-year-old son and two tiny-but-rambunctious dogs, they live and work in Austin, TX.