By Anna Phillips
If you don’t know Molly McAleer already, you should. Molly McAleer is cofounder of the popular women’s site HelloGiggles. She started her career off with her popular blog “Molls She Wrote,” was a staff writer for the TV show “Two Broke Girls,” and just released an e-book titled “The Alcoholic Bitch Who Ruined Your Life.” This girl’s got her writing game down. Along with being able to write, McAleer knows how to talk about writing, and so when I got the chance to interview her, I was gifted with some solid advice about putting pen to paper. Check out Molls’s sage words below.
1. Be persistent (with words and people).
“If I were to trace back the lineage of how things happened I would say it was a combination of being persistent and creating content, and meeting Jordan Rubin who introduced me to so many people.”
Molls basically says she got where she did because she wouldn’t quit. She just wouldn’t say no. If someone asked if she wanted to tag along somewhere, then there she was. If an editor needed another piece she wrote it. She got where she was from working her butt off. Oh, and she made sure to network. She did it via Tumblr, but basically she says it’s important to meet and collaborate with other creators. Help each other out.
2. Practice what you want to do.
“I think Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hours thing has a lot to it. Take what it is that you want to be good at because it’s probably what you’ll be doing the rest of your life.”
If anyone knows this it’s a developed writer like Molls, but she even said she has a lot to learn outside of blogging. Molls said in the 72 episodes she wrote for “Two Broke Girls” that she learned so much and recognized she had so much more to learn. It all goes back to the old writing adage that if you want to write you have to just sit down and do it, but it is good to know what type of writing you want to do so that you can start to specialize your writing.
3. Developing your voice (and other editorial voices).
“Creating a strong editorial voice that is not your voice, but seeing it become successful, and being to be able to be successful in different areas is very important.”
Molls admits that it took her awhile to hone her own writing voice. She’s been blogging ever since she could remember, and it wasn’t like her blog just took off from day one. She likes having a blog, a place where she can put her own work and her own opinion that is just her and just her voice, but she also points out the importance of being able to adapt to other voices. When you work for another company, you are part of their brand. Each brand has its own voice and to be successful and get jobs you have to be able to adapt to new voices.
4. There is such a thing as a writing drought.
“You go through periods where you’re not staffed on a show or you haven’t just sold a pilot or no one wants to pay you to freelance right now. You can be successful but still have periods of unsuccess.”
When it comes down to it, it’s like every other art form. There’s going to be times when your stuff is hot and other times when it’s not. It’s never easy to take, but it’s reality. Molls even said that she knew a ton of New York Times best sellers who couldn’t make rent. You can be one of the best writers in the world and there’s still going to be times when life doesn’t go your way.
Anna Phillips is a writer living in Chicago. She has contributed to sites like Thought Catalog and Femsplain. She tweets at @IMAnnaPhillips and blogs at findingchicago.wordpress.com. She loves 80s movies thanks to her dad, and she loves Mindy Kaling thanks to her humor.