• Put the Book Down, Part II

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    Today is Part II of WBN intern Brett Fowler’s “Put the Book Down and Listen.”


    By the time I reached college, I disavowed any childhood dreams I might have once possessed of writing for network television, dismissing such goals as nothing more than a pipe dream. Writing was something I was good at, sure, but it wasn’t going to pay off my student loans or bank that next meal. So I did what most college freshman do; I enrolled in a bunch of pre-med classes, rationalizing that while not my natural strength, a degree in medicine could afford me a better lifestyle than a trivial degree in English. So when my GPA came back at the end of my first year at UT, it should have been by no great surprise that I was barely passing any of my classes.

    With the utmost determination I set out to find a new major. Sure, the film department looked utterly enticing, but I kept asking myself, “How many film students does it take to screw in a light bulb (or more realistically, score a job)?”

    Eventually, after taking a few writing classes for “shits and giggles” and easily acing them, I began to realize that maybe this was something I should pursue further, if only to increase my less-than-stellar grade point average.

    By the time I became a super senior the stark realization that I was going to be graduating with a degree in anthropology, something I had no desire to make a career out of, began to dawn on me. What, pray tell was I going to do with my life? With graduation looming on the horizon and the real world breathing even heavier down my neck, I quickly began to scramble for career ideas.  Somewhere, deep in the abyss of my mind, becoming a screenwriter was at the top of my ideal, but totally unobtainable, careers.

    Then I received a life-altering phone call. My best friend was leaving her lucrative career in Austin to pursue her dreams of acting in L.A. She was risking everything—her relationship, her employment, her future–to pursue what some such as myself would call a pipe dream. My first reaction was that she was mentally unstable to leave everything behind for the distant chance of becoming an actress. But as I mulled her decision over later that night, I began to realize that her move to Los Angeles was not only an incredibly bold decision, but ultimately, the only sane option.

    Not only did that phone call begin to put things into perspective, but I quickly began to reevaluate what I really wanted out of life come post-graduation. I wanted to become a screenwriter. And I had two options: pursue that dream with every ounce of my being, even if it meant I very well might fail in the process, or resign myself to a 9 to 5 job like the rest of my friends, living life always knowing I had never even tried to pursue my one true dream. Suddenly, the right choice seemed like it had been before me all these years, lingering in the back of my mind, but always put aside out of a ridiculous fear of failure.

    So, even though I’ve still got a semester of college to finish before I graduate, I without a doubt plan on making the move to LA come this summer. Is it the wisest thing I’ve ever done? Only time will tell. But I’m happy to take that risk, and happier to have finally, after all these years, learned that writing is what I was meant to do.


    As a contributing member of both The New Movement Improv Theater and the Austin Screenwriters Group, an immense fondness for and love of pop culture starting from an unhealthy age has equipped Brett Fowler with the skills necessary to avoid facing reality. One day she hopes to finally end her six-year-long “journey of self-discovery” at the University of Texas at Ausin and funnel her liberal arts degree into a screenwriting career, or at the very least, gainful unemployment.

    In her spare time (when not making preparations for the inevitable zombie apocalypse), Brett enjoys volunteering at the local animal shelter, watching marathons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Battlestar Galactica, and, of course, writing.

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