Before You Dedicate Your Life to Facing the Blank Page…

by Larry Brody

…Take a look at this:

Writers Guild of America Inc., West Annual Financial Report
June 29, 2012

Dear Fellow Members:
we are please to present the Guild’s annual financial report. this year’s report reflects that, as the
economy continues its slow recovery from a deep recession, the Guild remains financially sound
and strong.

In this booklet, you will find the wGAw’s financial statements and a summary of industry and
employment data for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012. these are the headlines:

• the Guild ended the fiscal year with total net assets of $34.4 million. the Guild owns its
headquarters free of mortgage debt and our investments stand at $19.6 million, including a
total of $12.2 million in our strike and Good & welfare Funds.

• the Guild had an operating surplus for the fiscal year of $2.8 million based on total revenues
of $26.1 million, up from $25.3 million last year. the increased revenues were the product
of a 3.1% increase in total revenue and investment gains generated by a recovering equities

• Annual expenditures of $23.3 million were lower than FY 2011’s total of $24.6 million. the
biggest contributor to this decrease was lower legal expenses in FY 2012.

• this year’s financial statement contains a new feature: a supplemental schedule, prepared by
the Guild’s auditors, summarizing the financial activities of the Guild’s Foreign Levies Program
during the fiscal year just ended. this annual review is also posted on the Foreign Levies page
of the Guild’s website,, along with other information about the
program, which has distributed more than $121 million to writers and heirs since 1993…

So far so good, but, unfortunately, the following pages aren’t so rosy:


Bottom line: Writer income for TV and films was down last year.

Bottomer line: If you’re only going into it for the money you’re in the wrong place. You’ve got to love writing, and showbiz, and all the ups and downs they entail.

That’s right. So let me say it again, with a bullet:

  • Like everything else worthwhile in the world, television and film writing are all about LOVE.

You’re welcome.

Author: LB

A legendary figure in the television writing and production world with a career going back to the late ’60s, Larry Brody has written and produced hundreds of hours of American and worldwide television and is a consultant to production companies and networks in the U.S. and abroad . Shows written or produced by Brody have won several awards including - yes, it's true - Emmys, Writers Guild Awards, and the Humanitas Award.

2 thoughts on “Before You Dedicate Your Life to Facing the Blank Page…”

  1. Wait a second! That’s why I wrote my best line: “WRITE TO TELL A STORY AND NOT SELL A STORY!”
    It’s kept me in the writing game for 56 years! Plus! gs

  2. How many times I gotta say it?! “Ya write ta tell a story, NOT sell a story!” gs

Comments are closed.