Learn How to Write a Personal Statement that Can Get You Jobs

One of the hardest things to do is pitch yourself. So let a professional writer show you how. 

Many people are spending their quarantine hours applying for fellowships, grants, and awards that can help them on the other side of this pandemic. What's one tough question almost every application has?

The dreaded self-pitch. 

Whether on the phone, in person, or on Zoom, pitching and pitching YOURSELF is incredibly important. 

The problem?

Many new writers, and even seasoned writers, struggle with how to pitch their point of view. 

Articulating why we have something unique to say is never easy to do.

A general fall back is to say "let the writing do the talking" but that doesn't always work. Especially when you legitimately have to pitch yourself.

But lucky for us, writer @LucasBrownEyes began a thread on Twitter about that very subject, and it can really help. 

Learn How to Write a Personal Statement from A Viral Twitter Thread

Lucas is a writer on Disney and Netflix projects and got his start in the Disney program. There he perfected his skills of self-pitching. We're going to take you through all his steps.

Let's start at the beginning...

What do you have to say? And what makes what you have to say important? 

These aren't rhetorical questions, but what makes a personal pitch...well...personal. 

And you shouldn't confine yourself to the life you've led. 

You know so much more than just how you grew up and who you grew up around. You have hobbies, interests, friends, and relatives that impact you in many different ways. 

You've worked odd jobs, internships, and as a result, you've seen how the world works. 

Never let the tough questions keep you out of a job. If you want it, figure out how it applies to you. 

What can you add to something that may already be great? 

We talk so much about layered writing. Layers provide authenticity. Showrunners should (and many do) value a writer's room with layered experiences. That can create a unique voice for the show. Your voice can be part of that collective chorus if you follow the advice in these tweets. 

So what do you do now? 

Start making a list of the things you feel you know, maybe even tackle our Le Menu tool to help you out. We have one based on characters but think about it how it could apply to you!

At the beginning of “Crafting Short Screenplays that Connect” by Claudia Hunter Johnson, there is an exercise the writer refers to as “Le Menu”. It asks you to write five to ten answers to:

  • What I love
  • What I hate
  • What I fear
  • What I believe
  • What I value
  • What I want
  • What I know about
  • People who made a difference in my life
  • Discoveries that made a difference in my life
  • Decisions that made a difference in my life

She phrases her playwriting teacher Sam Smiley: “In order to create art works of many worth, each artist must have something to say, some values, some attitudes, some store of experience – a vision”

“That’s what Le Menu is all about – identifying those attitudes, values, and experiences that will energize our work as screenwriters, creating a menu of what we know and care deeply about. It’s one of the most important things we can do as screenwriters, because our unique material and vision is the source of unique screenplays.”

So why not use that to help you? 

Now go craft your personal pitch! 

What's next? Write your TV Drama Pilot today

Hundreds of pilots sell to networks and streaming services every year. What's stopping you from selling your idea? 

Get writing today.      

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