1. How much will I get paid? The Writer's Guild standard pay for a half-hour episode of network television is $17,076. Keep in mind that your agent gets 10%, and the government gets roughly another 20%. Pay varies for weekly staff writers (who don't necessarily write their own shows, but work on the shows that others wrote), but the minimum is around $1200 a week. Of course, it goes way up from there.

2. Do I have to live in Hollywood? Chances are, yes, eventually. It just happens to be where most of the sitcom writing work is. Even if a show shoots out of LA, it's generally based and staffed in LA.

3. Is it a stable job? OK, this is where confusion often enters the picture. If your script gets bought, you will get paid for that one script. It's just like freelancing. This almost never happens. Rather, your script will function as a sample of your capabilities, and if someone likes it, you'll be asked to join the writing staff of a show. But think about how many shows are on TV . . . many of them are on the air for only an episode or two, many never make it to the end of the season, and even more never get renewed for a second season. Furthermore, when a show isn't doing well, writers are often the ones that get blamed (and fired). So as you've probably figured out, IT IS INCREDIBLY UNSTABLE.

4. How old are most sitcom writers? Most sitcom writers are white males between 21 and 35 years old.

5. What is the work environment like for women? Women tend to have a tough time breaking into sitcom writing because of an idiotic Hollywood stereotype that "women aren't funny." While women should never be deterred from trying to become a sitcom writer (it's estimated that of TV writers are women), they should nonetheless be prepared to face an incredibly male-dominated (and often misogynistic) industry. Our advice: stay strong, and use the power of your ovaries.

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