The writers’ strike may be keeping those new episodes of 30 Rock off our screens, but it does have an upside: Television writers have been making pilgrimages to the mecca of unemployed writers everywhere. No, not the public library—the blogosphere. One of the best-known writers’ strike blogs is United Hollywood, which reports on strike news. But if that gets a bit boring, take a look at Why We Write, a collaborative blog with short essays by television and film writers. Jane Espenson, a writer for Buffy the Vampire Slayer and a co-executive producer for Battlestar Galactica, recently wrote on the site that she perfects characters voices’ by lying in a quiet room and hearing them speak in her head. Mark Gaberman, a writer for Jeopardy!, has chimed in on the joys of filling in clues and making Alex Trebek rap Snoop Dogg’s “Gin and Juice.”
If you haven’t heard enough, turn to The Idea of the Writer, a series of video and mp3 lectures by one of the greatest writers in TV, David Milch, creator of Deadwood. Milch, speaking with an enthusiasm that verges on the unhinged, discusses subjects like how the writer rebels against the established order and Kurt Vonnegut’s extensive cannabis use (and that’s only in the first five minutes!). It may not be television, but Milch has the sort of captivating, insightful energy that will make you forget you’re not watching 30 Rock.