A Candid Glimpse of One Older Writer’s Career as Another Year Beckons

That writer is me. Here is a look as to what has passed, and what is ahead.

Joel Eisenberg

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It’s been a minute since I shared professional updates. So, bumps in the road and all, this near-59-year-old writer will share the good, the bad, and the hideous.

Why am I doing this?

The intention is to give inspiration to those tempted to give up.

Prior to COVID I had several high-profile projects going at once, all covered in the trades. I set up “The Chronicles of Ara,” my book series with Steve Hillard, with Ovation Network. Following a commission of two scripts and formats to our show’s terrific writers — Jeff Phillips and Lauren Conn — the series went into turnaround when the network elected to not move forward. This we were told was due to financial issues to be clear, as our writers were lauded by all and honestly outstanding.

The late and very missed Anne Rice was a big and very vocal supporter of the “Ara” effort, an unexpected development in which I had taken great pride.

My pilot and bible for what was supposed to have been M. Night Shyamalan’s “Tales From the Crypt” reinvention was sold to TNT. That project too went into turnaround, though the money and credit I earned finally got me into the WGA, a longtime dream.

Other options here and there went nowhere and on my own accord I left CAA, the biggest talent agency of them all, due to my own efforts garnering all my work.

“Louis vs. Schmeling,” a biopic of boxers Joe Louis and Max Schmeling, ditto re turnaround.

Then COVID hit.

Shot a second season of “Then Again” (previously on Amazon Prime) but immensely disliked it as it was the quarantine Zoom version. It’s been under lock and key.

My company shut down. Writing projects slowed. I wrote and sold a miniseries… and the producer stiffed me to the tune of nearly six-figures, blaming the pandemic. (No, I’m not sitting idle).

Thankfully, this content writing/aggregating I’ve been doing on the side (Medium, NewsBreak et al) keeps me busy in prep for my career-based writing. I started writing…

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Joel Eisenberg

Joel Eisenberg is an award-winning author, screenwriter, and producer. The Oscar in the profile pic isn’t his but he’s scheming. WGA and Pen America member.