Winning and Losing as a Writer
When my husband, Brendan Hay, told me that he was nominated for a Creative Arts Emmy for Outstanding Short-Form Animation Program for his writing on the Christmas Special for Robot Chicken, I nearly busted a gut. I pretty much told everyone on the planet that my husband was up for an EMMY (!!!) and got all dolled up for the occasion, which for a girl who never wears makeup, is a big deal. I rented a dress and sparkly earrings from Rent the Runway (designer dresses!) and happily walked the red carpet with my amazing, super talented, humble husband.
But he didn’t win.
He took the loss graciously while I was more bummed than he was. Of course, being nominated is a HUGE honor. So why was I so bummed? I am admittedly my husband’s one-woman PR team and I was ready to take his pic with a gold statue in tow. What most people don’t see behind the award is how hard he works and just how much funny he can cram into one page. Besides being talented, he is super supportive of other writers, loves the craft of writing and storytelling, and worked his way up from his first days as an intern at The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. So I wanted him to win just so he knows how much he’s appreciated by his own peers. But of course, I can’t vote in the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.
Being a writer isn’t all glam and awards shows–in fact, staying up until 1am rewriting is hardly magazine-cover worthy–and some times you just don’t get what you want. Brendan and I have both had story ideas rejected, been told that we weren’t funny or would never sell anything, been berated online for what we’ve written, and wrote entire scripts or novels that never saw the light of day. Before we ever started dating, I told myself I never wanted to date a writer. They are so crazy (true) and did I really want to spend my life competing with my partner? But truth be told, he understands the ups and downs of the creative life sometimes better than I do. It helps to have someone who understands why you have to plug away at odd hours and why every time I turn on my laptop, I face the age-old fear that this story might suck (and yes, the first draft usually does). And most of all, what I can learn from my husband’s Emmy nomination is that sometimes hard work really does pay off, even if it means going home without a statue.