An Open End-Of-Year Letter to My Screenwriters

When I got into the business of helping writers as a full-time career coach, I told myself that, as much as I loved it and as blown away as I was by the velocity with which my business took off, it’s not going to be amazing and humbling and rewarding every day. At some point, it will be a job. A day will come when I will naturally drag my feet, feel less than inspired, wish that, if only for that moment, I was doing something else, and that when that day would come it would be okay, because, what can you expect? It’s a job.

And yet, here I am, and another year has nearly passed. And I am still excited and grateful that I get to do this work every day, with such talented, remarkable people. If I was independently wealthy, I would still want to spend my days on calls with you and across the table from you, preparing for meetings, creating strategy, drawing timelines and deadlines, discussing your next creative endeavor, and working through the challenges you face. You have allowed me into your lives, shared with me your dilemmas, successes and challenges, and allowed me to be there for you with advice, encouragement, guidance and support.

The work that you all have done this past year is outstanding, with too many successes, both big and small, to count. I’ve watched you get signed by major representation companies (CAA, Benderspink, Silent R, Caliber), land writing assignments, return to prolific working relationships and explore new representation opportunities, have your projects go into production, get optioned, complete remarkable screenplays that will surely make waves in 2014, win Gold at PAGE, take endless meetings with major players, enhance your body of work and extend your networks and your brand. For many of you, this did not come easy. You really had to WORK for it, and for that, my appreciation has only deepened. You’ve allowed me to challenge you, to hold you accountable, to push you and to support you at these remarkable creative and professional turns.

I just wrapped up my last client call for the year, am composing my very last emails, tying up the very last loose ends like reviewing the final layout for my books’ galleys, and preparing for Final Draft’s contest-related events in early January. And as the work hours wind down, I realize that I can’t let the year come to a close without saying, simply, this: Thank you. Thank you for allowing me to support you on your screenwriting journey. It has made my 2013 an incredibly rewarding year, and  me a better, happier, more capable person and coach. You’ve made me incredibly fortunate.

Here’s to a wonderful holiday season, and a prolific and successful 2014!

Most affectionately,

Lee Jessup
(Your) Screenwriting Career Coach