In this week’s episode, I get to pull back the curtain on the elusive world of writing for television and movies with my guest, Katiedid Langrock, and share some behind-the-scenes on what it’s like to write for major animated series, including Barbie, Paw Patrol, and Hello Kitty.
Katiedid is a screenwriter, television writer, longtime syndicated humor columnist, adjunct professor, author, and writing coach. Shows she codeveloped have been nominated for a number of awards, including an Emmy for Best Children’s Series and multiple NAACP Image Awards, and she won the 2020 Diversity Media Award for Best Kid Series. She recently worked as a writer or head writer for shows on Disney Jr., Nickelodeon, and Amazon, and just published a humorous book on pregnancy called Baby Bump Bucket List.
Katiedid is also location independent, so you know I had to talk about that! We discuss her year traveling the country in an RV while working on Hello Kitty, as well as her philosophy on taking risks and living a bold life. You don’t want to miss this episode.
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Transcripts for Episode 106
These transcripts were generated by robots, not writers.
Katiedid: I think anytime you have the audacity to put yourself out there and try something just a little bit on the margins, a little bit left of center, it makes other people extremely uncomfortable and it makes them nervous. And what it reflects in others often comes to you as not the most encouraging thing sometimes. But what it has paid back has just been amazing. Every great adventure I’ve had in my entire life, from moving to Australia at 19 for a year, it’s just like everything I’ve done has been knowing that it’s not necessarily the step I was supposed to take. And yet everything I got out of it was such a gift.
Stacy: Welcome. I’m super excited today to bring you the very first interview of season five. This is the first of many absolutely amazing interviews that I have coming up this season. And I’m bringing in some really interesting people, really interesting voices, stories and life situations, which in this particular interview today, I think you’re really going to enjoy because I’ve never had a guest on that has this type of background, who has lived this life of really just choosing to lean into the goals that she has.
Stacy: So let me introduce you to this week’s guest. Katie Did Langrock is a screenwriter, television writer, longtime syndicated humor columnist, adjunct professor, author and writing coach. Shows she co developed have been nominated for an Emmy for best children’s series, multiple NAACP Image Awards, and won the 2020 Diversity media award for best Kid series. She recently worked as writer or headwriter for shows on Disney, Junior, Nickelodeon and Amazon, such as Paw Patrol. My son loves that show and Hello Kitty and just published a humorous book on pregnancy called Baby Bump Bucket List. Katie Did, I’m so happy to have you on today.
Katiedid: I’m happy to be on. Thanks for having me.
Stacy: Our discussion today evolved out of a just personal conversation were having and talking about our individual career paths. And you made a comment, and I hope I’m not butchering this quote, but you said something about how one of your talents is that you’re able to bring silliness to things. It was something like that. Like the fact that you can kind of bring joy and fun and silliness in this kind of children’s world that you work within. And most people I know lose that part of themselves when they grow up and get into their careers. So I’m so curious to know from your path. How did you end up working on these amazing shows and in this industry that all of us know is really hard to get into.
Katiedid: It is hard to get into. Thank you for the question. I can go away back in the sense that I remember watching Sesame Street as a little kid and talking to my mom, being like, Super Grover is hilarious. And my mom was like, you know, someone writes those lines. And I was like, what? Get out of town. So from that kind of very early nugget of understanding, words are put into those muppets mouths and then playing in the backyard, it was just something always really exciting and fascinating to me that I just love to do. And I love watching our children, I think, the same age and still watching them kind of come up with that imaginative play is just so satisfying for me. And it was a very big deal when I finally got to work on Sesame Workshop projects. It felt like a full circle moment.
Katiedid: So for me, I went to school for creative writing, and I had a minor in film, but there wasn’t any connections out in Los Angeles or anything like that. So it was quite the leap of faith when I showed up. There’s a software that you write screenplays on. I hadn’t even heard of it at the time, but I showed up with $86 to my name and sent my resume out everywhere, which is not how you do things anymore. And I got a call on day three from a company called KCET, and I did not know what it was, but turned out to be the local Los Angeles PBS station. And that was my first entry into it. I got the job as the assistant to the head of development for that PBS station. And really that set off the trajectory. It met the people that then took me on to go do a movie.
Katiedid: And it’s all just gathering experience and gather experiences, gathering people who like what you do and believe in you and who will take you to their next journey. Take you to their next journey. Yeah, it’s kind of the way Hollywood works.
Stacy: I think. It’s the way everything works. I mean, you got me thinking about my own career trajectory and know, I wanted to go from being a teacher into being a writer, which I don’t know, at least this is for me. I didn’t do creative writing. I did professional writing for my graduate program. But I felt like I was always kind of fed this narrative that you can’t have a decent living as a writer and you’re always going to kind of suffer. I know when I wanted to make that transition into being a teacher, I did kind of in a similar way to, you I set this goal of sending out 30 query letters in 30 days, which anybody who’s ever written a query letter knows. It takes many hours to craft a good query letter. And I kind of just, like, blasted it everywhere. And I got one opportunity out of that.
Stacy: And then there was another point where I had an opportunity in another city, and even though I hadn’t secured it, I worked with my graduate program to move it to online, which they’d never done before. I moved across the country all in this. I think I’m going to get this, but I think I have to be there to get it. And we’re going to get to hear more about your story as we keep going. But what I love about your story is that you’ve had goals and you just go for it rather than just kind of hoping that it all unfolds. Were you aware of that when you made that leap? Or how has that played out in your life, both there and in other ways?
Katiedid: I certainly knew I was taking a bold step, and I knew I was going there without any connections, and I knew that it was very unlikely. As far as the message you’re told of any kind of success, I also knew I would be very upset with myself if I didn’t try. And right after college is such an easy time to take a chance, I think. And I think I’ve always had the attitude, props to parents, that I’ll survive this. So maybe the success that I’m looking for, I won’t necessarily hit, but I’m going to survive this journey. Like, this will be okay. This isn’t going to be a negative or harmful thing to go put myself out there and try. And when you were just talking about your work journey, it was making me think that there aren’t any clear paths in Hollywood that guarantees you anything.
Katiedid: So there’s a lot of messaging about, go become a production assistant, become a writer’s assistant, try and be the personal assistant to this person or that person. None of these paths guarantee you anything. And I sort of did that dance of getting close and winning screenwriting competitions. It’s another path and trying to capture it. And I didn’t have the career I fully wanted when I got pregnant with my oldest child. And it became this moment of, is this a moment where I have to quit? A lot of people do when they finally have their child, if they do have children. And instead I took this moment to Pivot. So I wound up looking around for toy companies, and there was a toy company called Mga Entertainment whose big thing right now is the Lol Surprise Dolls. But when I started, they were just kind of beginning their entertainment department.
Katiedid: So I went in with the sort of hope of what you were just talking about. I went in as a social media person with the intent to pivot to when they officially made their entertainment department. So all that was in my head when I took this job with this brand new baby saying, okay, I’ll write your social content, knowing that you’re building this out, knowing they have la lupsi, knowing they had brats. And when it becomes to fruition, I’ll have had the background to have them take me over there. And that’s exactly how it worked out. It was very lucky but it’s sort of that hope kind of what you’re talking about. If I think if I play my cards like this, it will benefit.
Stacy: I love that so much. You said lucky, but it was strategic actually. Right. You had a hunch that this might turn out, but I think the safer bet would have been to go get a job somewhere.
Stacy: But you bet on yourself in that situation. So it’s such an inspiring thing. And I hope people that are listening to this will hear that. Because a lot of times, making it in any industry means that you have to risk. Not like you have to actually put yourself in a situation that it could go either way. But being able to go in the direction of making it, that risk is inherent to that journey. Do you agree?
Katiedid: A million percent. And there’s something I don’t want to say shameless, but there’s something a little where you just have to have this kind of courage to not let that imposter syndrome voice or that I’m going to be embarrassed or just kind of put yourself out there into the world and feel like I’m trying it. We’ll see. And not self reflect in any kind of I feel like cultural negative way about what you’re trying to do because I don’t know that we’re always the most encouraging culture to putting yourself out there into the world and trying something different.
Stacy: Yeah, it’s so true. It’s so true across, I’d say, all industries. So I’d love to get a little bit behind the scenes because I don’t know and most people don’t know what it’s like to work on television or on a movie. And I know that you have been in writers rooms and you also work from, I think, a home office a lot of the time. So give us a little insight into what it’s like to work on a major children’s television show. What it’s like to work on a movie. I’d just love to hear a little bit of the behind the scenes there.
Katiedid: Sure it is different on every project, which makes this question a tad tricky to answer, but in the sense of a writer’s room is my favorite place on earth. It’s just this creative bubbling stew of delightfulness and there’s usually a chalkboard with jokes written all over it and crazy ideas. It’s the safest place to pitch out your most nuts thoughts and have people not look at you weird. It’s a lovely environment. And often things that we will never take ever in a million years do spawn someone else thinking, oh, yes, because you said that, I thought this. And so no idea is a waste of time and space. So a writer’s room is what will come together. You either might do something called a story summit where you are figuring out your whole TV show what it is, or the whole season what it is, and figuring out the episodes of the season before you dole it out to individual writers to do.
Katiedid: Or you might have one just for the episode itself. I got extremely lucky very early in my career where I was just a PA on Mad Men, and Matt Weiner, who was the creator of that show, just liked me and would let me come into the writer’s room and see how they mapped everything out and had this huge grid of every character. And when the character would arc, when their big moment was on which episode, and just this whole beautiful system that I use to this day. But so that’s the writer’s room experience. A lot of writing winds up being quite solitary, especially where I am, which is in the kids space where you’re kind of handed an episode. You’ll have a story editor, which is the job I had on Hello Kitty, which is that’s the person you’ll hand it into, they’ll write, rewrite, give notes.
Katiedid: They’ll also give it to all the executives, compile those notes, get it back to you. But that’s often the only person you’re dealing with when you’re writing for children’s. Disney still has writers rooms, but not many places, so it’s different. And then on a movie I’m on animated film right now. It’s entirely independent. It’s just me and the executive who’s hired me. So it’s very different. It’s extremely isolating. And that note process, which can be tricky, you really miss it when you’re all by yourself because you’re like, do we like this? Is this going the right direction? So that feedback is missing to a degree, which is both freedom, but also you just got to rely on yourself, which can always be a little tricky.
Stacy: I’m listening to you talk, and as a writer, I like to be alone. I need to kind of get things down and then get input. And I’m curious, when you went into this field, were you already, like, a collaborative creator or is this something that evolved out of you? Because I could see that being so fun to work with other creative people and create together. But I’m also thinking about how my own brain works and how much I love my silent, like, literally silent. I often put in earplugs.
Stacy: How do you balance that in the creative process?
Katiedid: I think every writer knows that the far off look of when you’re just thinking and you have to tell people, no, I’m actually working, but you’re just kind of like sitting back with your head off into the distance, gazing, because that is such an important part of the process of just the time to be in your head and think. They are different things. As far as the writers room, the truth is, when you’re in this industry, I’m not just writing a book for myself that I’m going to put out into the world. In the Hollywood industry, you are not escaping a million trillion notes. You’re not escaping the input of both the writers that are above you. And frankly, in my opinion, if you’re doing a good job, the writers below you, everyone’s sharing their thoughts, but also various executives from various different groups, from production companies to distributors to everyone.
Katiedid: So I think learning to take notes was probably the first step because it can really hurt your ego, and it can just, if not your ego, just sort of your feelings. In a way. I felt very passionate about this story I was telling, and you’re making me pivot, and that makes me sad. Or you’re taking my character where I didn’t particularly want her to go because I love her, and they call it the industry for a reason. It really is that industry. So I think part of the process is having to accept the endless input of others. And when I think that’s accepted is really I think when the writers room can become fun and not just a clobber session of all of your dreams and hopes, it probably does happen in that order. As far as how just your brain works, it does sort of feel like you’re firing in two different cylinders, where here is this high energy, everyone’s eating, everyone’s just saying ridiculous things, and you have to go fast.
Katiedid: And at the end of the day, you are then allocated a script often, and that’s your then quiet time, and that’s your alone time. And sometimes you go into it and you’re like, man, everything we thought would work is not working in my head now that I’ve had time to sit with it, or perhaps the total opposite, where I wasn’t that thrilled with what we came up with. And now that I’m sitting with it, oh, I see these connections I can make. I can actually do something really substantial and fun with the hand I was just given.
Stacy: That sounds beautiful. I can see why you enjoy that.
Katiedid: It’s a good time. Yeah.
Stacy: Okay, so switching gears a little bit at the time of this recording, so we’re recording this about a month or so before it will be published. There’s a lot of turmoil in your industry, and I know it’s not just this little period. It’s been going on for a while. Who knows what will happen in the next month or so before this episode goes live? But I could see that somebody that’s looking at somebody like you, who’s working in this industry and has worked on really amazing projects. You’re working on animated movie, they could look to you and think, how would I even get there with all that’s going on and how difficult it is to break into this industry right now. But before we hit record, you and I were chatting a little bit about the kind of shift in the industry right now and how we’re shifting away from gatekeepers, which is happening in publishing, too.
Stacy: Interestingly, right? Because in the past, the publisher gets to determine the merit and worth and value of a book, and they get to decide whether that book goes to market. And in the last ten or so years, that has drastically changed with self publishing. I mean, it’s been happening before that, but I think the last ten years, it’s drastically changed. So I’d love to hear a little bit about your perspective as somebody who’s working in Hollywood, who’s working as a writer, who currently is in an industry that’s largely on strike. What do you see as the opportunity of that?
Katiedid: That’s a great question. So I feel like I need to explain that technically, even though it impacts all parts of our industry, I am not on strike as a children’s animation writer. We’re not covered by the Writers Guild. The same thing with the animated film isn’t covered by the Writers Guild, but the Writers Guild strike. And now the SAG strike is impacting everything. And one of the things that there was lots of questions about, what can we do? What can’t we do? But the positive thing that’s coming out of it is the real emphasis on independent creation. So we’ve had these big guys, right? We’ve had the gatekeepers and the studio system and all these streamers and everything that’s just kind of crunching and suffocating a little bit the creators. This has always been a very hard industry to break into, in large part because of all of these gates everywhere.
Katiedid: And now it’s an industry that’s hard to break into, and then once you’re there, you don’t necessarily can’t survive it. It’s not a sustainable thing to stay in. So there’s lots of reasons people are on strike, and I’m absolutely for it. But the neat thing is that there’s a true reevaluation about how we should go in. And to a degree, this has always existed. When I first got out to La. They were absolutely looking for plays. They wanted to find the playwrights because they were considered the genius of the moment. Then they were looking for books and they’re looking for comics. They’re still kind of looking for books and books even before they even get published. There’s still a lot of desire for original IP, but the truth is that the desire is for proven ideas. So you have people I believe Blippi just did it himself, which is a vastly successful phenomenon of just a man in orange suspenders who is entertaining children in a way that kind of reminds me of like Tiwi Herman of our youth.
Katiedid: Right. It’s just going out there and creating yourself. And that has always been the secret path. When I joined Mga Entertainment, which was the toy company, I felt like I’d found my own kind of back route into the system. But the idea of creating yourself has always been there and has always been sort of the secret sauce. And now because of this more like advertise and spreading awareness of maltreatment in just aspects of it, I think a lot more people are like, yes, why are we participating? The talent is here. This is the talent pool. Let’s go craft and create. And that is something that’s always accessible. And now gosh just with the program that you and I are talking on right now. The things that you can record and make and do and the ways in which you can get your words out there is just endless, truly, if you have the desire to do so.
Katiedid: So that’s exciting. That’s exciting that there’s so many paths to get voices out there. And that really, I think is the wonderful takeaway is that we don’t need another and another sequel. What we need is fresh voices. And I think that’s going to be the great thing that we get out of this strike.
Stacy: It’s such a good way to look at it. I mean, obviously it’s a difficult situation that’s happening within the industry, but a disruption always leads to something. And the hope would be that something will be more voices getting out in a positive outcome. But all of what you said really resonated. Just to go back to the earlier point that I made between the parallel of publishing and Hollywood today, there are so many ways for people to share their story, their message, their creative work. I mean really kind of endless ways. And whether that’s a book or it’s some kind of online creation, podcast, video articles, social media, there’s so many ways. And for me, in my own business, I’m curious if this has been true for you too. And maybe this was just because I was younger in my twenty s. I always had this idea that opportunity had to bestowed on me.
Stacy: Somebody else had to come to me and say, here, I’m going to give you this opportunity because you’re worthy of it. And there was a point in my trajectory where I had an AHA where I was like, oh, I actually don’t have to wait for somebody else to give me an opportunity. I could just go do it. I don’t know why that didn’t hit me before, but it took me some time to get there. Did you go through that at all too as you journeyed through your career as a writer?
Katiedid: Oh, 100%. I think that’s a hard thing to discover that I’m allowed to do this. And I think, at least for me, I think I was waiting for some type of awareness that I was decent at what I was trying to do. Just some kind of feedback like, is this okay? Am I doing all right? But yes. I was thinking about my friend Henry. So I have been in a writers group for over a decade, and when I left La. It was the one thing that I was devastated to lose and one of the hard to say benefits of COVID But one of the nice things I personally got of COVID is it all went online. So I got to join again, which has been such a joy for me. But this beautiful group of writers and one of the guys in our group never decided to try that path that I was told is the only path to do of the try to do PA, try to be a writer assistant, try to send your scripts and do contests, do this.
Katiedid: He wrote a script one day, and he’s like, this is an awesome script, and I’m just going to go shoot it. And he did, and then put it up online, and it got all this attention. And then he got his agent and his manager, and now he shot a movie, and now he has all these other, like, a real movie with a real budget and real actors, and he’s got a miniseries coming out. He’s got multiple movies coming out. All the names attached are things I’m not allowed to say, but they’re awesome. And for him, he decided to just like, I’m just going to realize that this is awesome, and I’m just going to do it. And I love that, and I wish I had discovered that earlier.
Stacy: That’s so inspiring. I love stories like that. And what I think is important about this story is he went through a lot to get to that point right before he was like, dang it. I’m going to lean into this amazing thing that I created. And I see this a lot with the authors that I work with. They get partway through their drafts or they even get to complete a draft, and they really have a lot of fear around taking that next step. And to your earlier point, it really resonated with me, this need to feel validated. And I kind of understand it in a way, because when you’re creating something, you’re not creating it just to hold within yourself. You’re creating it for others, to impact them, to entertain them, to connect with them. There’s something that you’re creating something in the world that you want to have a result in the world.
Stacy: And so I think it makes sense, this desire to feel that your work is good. But then I think there’s a point for a lot of us that we actually never get the message that it’s good, and then we’re not able to move past this kind of constant need for validation or for somebody to pick us. And I think that is a really critical step to take as any type of creator, whether you’re a writer, filmmaker, whatever, to be able to now have a deep belief in your own work and to be able to move about the world in that way.
Katiedid: I agree with you. I think it’s probably people reach that phase and that sense of self and confidence in various different ways. I do know for me in my own journey, joining my writers group was the best thing I’d ever done. And it was not the first one or the second one or even the third one that I had joined. And I had at that point had successes and I won contests and I’d had things that should have been able to tell me that I was okay. But this particular group of people were just so talented and also so engaged in learning. I mean, every single book on screenwriting and on story, all these people read. We actually met working at a store called the Writers Store, which rip, but it was a stronghold in Los Angeles for a long time. And so it was just this lust of learning and of understanding the craft, this real love of what we do.
Katiedid: And that’s all we would talk about all day at work. And then we’d go to our writers group and we would dissect each other’s stories, not from based on what I would want your story to be. Stacey or Stacey, you’re doing like, this is what I want your story to be. Katie did. It was a real understanding. What are you trying to accomplish? And because I trusted these people so much and was impressed so much by these people and understood this endless desire for learning and improving that we all shared, it was such a safe space. I think a good writers group is a hard thing to find, but I had absolutely found it in these people. And therefore when I was getting feedback of laughter or of feeling emotions that I’m going for being felt. And when they’re telling me this is good, that I could hold because these were people that I knew, both held me in the sense that they cared for me and they wanted what’s best for me and for that reason was not going to BS me and they’re also not going to be cruel for no reason.
Katiedid: They were just going to give me what it was, the truth of it, and were going to help guide me and bring it to where it needed to go. That when it got there, including my pal Henry’s short script that we’re talking about, before you could trust it, you’re like, yeah, it’s here. And that group, everyone in that group is successful, and none of us were where we met. And I think it’s because of that give and take and that real care that we both gave each other’s people and gave each. Other stories. So I think that gave me the confidence to just like, okay, now I have it. Because the feedback I’ve gotten is now a feedback that I genuinely trust and can’t just dismiss because of who it’s from.
Stacy: I love that story. It sounds so romantic, like this writers room, writers group. But you’re right that safe space and safe feedback and trusted feedback is so important. And I think whether you’re working on a script or a book, that’s just critical. It’s critical to the process. And as your confidence grows, you become better at what you do because you become willing to be more creative and experiment and try new things. Right.
Katiedid: Or you’re more daring a million percent. Yeah. You just take these risks more, and you’re like, oh, I didn’t know that was coming out of you. Okay, let’s go on this ride now. Fun. Yeah.
Stacy: So, speaking of daring and risks, one of the points that we connected on personally is our location independence and this kind of desire to be in the world in a different way, in a way that we define for ourselves. And I know one way that you’ve done that is living in an RV, traveling around the country. I think you did it for a year. And I’d love to hear a little bit about you as a location independent business owner and kind of how you’ve oriented yourself to I mean, I know within your industry, because it shifted. You can do a lot of that from a home office, which obviously enables you to be able to kind of live this lifestyle, but you could also be just doing that from one place. What has compelled you guys? Personally, I don’t think I could live in an RV for a year.
Stacy: So hats off to you. I think that’s so brave. But I’d love to hear a little bit about your just personal philosophy and why you guys made that decision, and what was that experience like living with a family in an RV for a year?
Katiedid: It was a lot. But if I may, I’m going to take it back just one step before then, which is that I lived in La for, I think, just shy of eleven years. And when I had my second child, when I had my daughter, my husband and I talked about it, and we just kind of decided we didn’t want to raise our children in Los Angeles. It wasn’t conducive to the lifestyle we wanted to give them. And it was scary for just I literally went to the Emmys with Project MC Squared and moved two months later. So it was such an OD thing to be like, I did it, I got in. Let’s leave. Because at the time, I did not know a single person. I knew a lot of people that left La. I did not know anyone that left La. And got to keep working.
Katiedid: Not one. And while I’m sure they existed. I had not met a single person that was successful at it. So it was very scary, this idea of moving across the country and just kind of crossing your fingers that the people that you’ve met and the connections you’ve made and the people you’ve worked with think you are worth continuing to bring into the room. And it was a big leap of faith. And for those first couple of years after we moved, I was again extremely fortunate that the people that I’d worked with before decided that I was worth it to keep bringing me in. But it was hard because I was the only person being zoomed in and everyone else is in the writers room and I can’t hear everything and I’m like, oh, I have a pitch. And they’re like, cool. Someone literally pitched that a minute ago.
Katiedid: But I’d missed it. And it was awkward and not the best. And I’m very grateful that people allowed me to keep my career. So there was that first step, but then the pandemic happened and everyone went online, and it was a massive shift on how we do everything. And all the writers room disappeared and everyone was in a zoom call and were home for three months. It started in March, right? And by May, I was like, I’m itchy. I need to get out of Dodge. Like, I cannot just be sitting still anymore. It’s stillness. Just I can’t. And so I’d never been in an RV before in my life. I kind of pitched the idea at my husband. To his credit, he will always at least entertain a thought. I think most of him is, like, hoping it goes away, because a lot of them do.
Katiedid: But he was like and I was like, let’s just go look at one. And then we bought it and set off not knowing a thing, not knowing any of the logistics of how it worked, all the gross stuff, all the fun stuff. It was an exercise, and certainly was an exercise in patience for the family. And at that time, I think when we first took off, I don’t think I had a job at the moment. Or maybe I was just writing a couple of episodes here and there for, like, Barbie Dream House or something, but nothing that was too time consuming. And then a couple of months in is when I got the story editor job, which is kind of on top of all of the writers, the head person that every script goes through for Hello Kitty Superstyle. And it’s on Amazon and having that much work while you’re sitting on a mattress that sinks and you’re kind of like this weird little hubble hole and your kids are behind a curtain and your husband’s trying to work and you can’t just kick them outside because maybe it’s 110 degrees or maybe it’s zero degrees and everything’s rocking and moving.
Katiedid: It was hard and it was hard to be creative in that space. It was very difficult. You’re also trying to do homeschooling, which was impossible at the time. It was a lot. But there is zero regret about it because while I think sitting in my very droopy mattress and trying to be creative was hard, that kind of constant stimulation. We moved every single weekend to a new location. We got to 37 states, I believe, on this trip. We circled the United States twice. We got to Idaho. It was just so much was given back that made, at least for me, the pandemic not feel so suffocating. It felt instead like it truly was just a constant nourishment from this adventure, which I’m sure is the only reason I was able to do any kind of creative work in that tiny space.
Stacy: Well, there is good. I don’t remember where I read about this, but I read something about a study that was done on our brains and how when we are in new environments, we are more creative. So it makes sense that if you are constantly being because your brain is forced now to process all this new information and try to categorize it and organize it and process it. And so I guess on that sense, even though you had a lot of disruption and challenge, your brain was alive, right? Because you’re doing this thing. Your story made me think a little bit about our first family international move to Thailand. And there were so many amazing things about that. I’m so grateful we did that. But it was like a hot mess disaster. Also, there was so much about that I was like, wow, I had no idea this was going to be so hard.
Stacy: But for us, it was like we made a decision, we did it. We stepped into that and it was so important. And I have to give this quote and I’d love to hear you talk a little bit about it. So I ask all the guests to send us some talking points. And you wrote this and I loved this so much. You said that we could talk about the audacity to give yourself permission to do daring things. And that word audacity has been kind of rolling around in my head since I read this. So it’s almost like a life orientation, this idea of not just permission to take a risk, but this audacity to do something that’s really big and really daring. How has that become an operating is that an operating principle for you as a whole? And what advice would you give to somebody who’s just not doing that and that feels really foreign to them?
Katiedid: I think it is. It is a compass in a way. I think it’s very hard for me to sit on an idea once I’ve decided it’s something I want to try and then not do it. And there is many things stacey, from my blue hair right now to getting to an RV that the people around you can think that’s weird or strange or how dare you? Even you can get how dare you? Because it is a break from the norm. And I think anytime you have the audacity to put yourself out there and try something just a little bit on the margins, a little bit left of center, it makes other people extremely uncomfortable, and it makes them nervous. And what it reflects in others often comes to you as not the most encouraging thing sometimes. But what it has paid back has just been amazing.
Katiedid: Every great adventure I’ve had in my entire life, from moving to Australia at 19 for a year, it’s just like everything I’ve done has been knowing that it’s not necessarily the step I was supposed to take. And yet everything I got out of it was such a gift. And I see this as far as advice, I had a writer. I was a head writer on a project, and there was a young female writer who every time she would hand me a script, man, did she knock it out of the park. And to the point where I was like, this kid’s better than me. She’s great. She’s really great. And when I knew I was stepping away from that leadership role, I talked to her, and I was like, do you want to take over? And I can train you. Because there’s been just a small handful, but certainly a handful, and almost exclusively women who really was like, you.
Katiedid: I see you. What do you want? Let’s help you get there. And so I wanted, now that I was in that position, to pay that forward. I was eager to. And she certainly had the skill set. And her response, unfortunately, from my perspective, was fear. It was just, I’m not ready for that. But you could be ready, and I’ll help you. I’ll mentor you. We’ll get there. It’s going to be great. And she ultimately said no. And I’ve seen this from my male friends. I’ve seen this from my female friends. I’ve seen this from just so many people over the years where an opportunity is handed, and I think the fear creeps in, the I’m not ready creeps in, and they ultimately turn it down. And from my perspective, it’s just such a shame because there is not a single thing I’ve ever done in my whole life that I’ve ever been ready for, and not a single job.
Katiedid: When I got to be promoted to the next level was I like, I’ve been waiting for this. I’ve been ready for years. I’m never ready. I’m always unqualified. But there’s just a belief that if I jump in, I’m going to be okay. I might be doggy paddling, but I will get to the other side. And it may not be the most beautiful butterfly stroke you’ve ever seen in your life, but we’ll get there. There’s a lot of just what you said earlier, a lot of betting on yourself of saying it’s going to be okay if I go into this. We’ll figure it out. It’s going to be fine. And I very much encourage anyone I meet to try and take that bet on themselves. Same thing with having kids, right? You’re not like, oh, I’m ready.
Katiedid: I’m totally prepared for this. You’re not like, ever. And I think allowing yourself to do things you’re unprepared for is such a gift that you can give yourself.
Stacy: Oh, I love that. That was just beautiful. Katie, Dave, you have such a cool story. I love getting to talk shop. I feel like we could continue for two more hours, but I got to end it now. And thank you so much. And I would love for our listeners and viewers to know where to find you. And what are you most excited about right now in the work that you’re doing?
Katiedid: Such a good question. Well, before the strike had some stuff out there that looked like was possibly going to get picked up. There were my own creations. So we’ll see what the strike in life and time brings in that regard. I’m excited about these books that I’m self publishing. I have if you go to Katiedidlangrock.com or writeinthewild.com, I’ve got just classes on screenwriting and where you can also follow my new shows that are being released and new books that are being released.
Stacy: We’ll be sure to link to all of that in the show notes. Katie did. Thank you.
Katiedid: This was so fun.
I really appreciate your time today.
Katiedid: It’s fun talking to you. Thank you.
Stacy: And I want to thank, as always, our amazing team that makes this podcast possible. Rita Domingues for production for just making sure this podcast turns out wonderfully. Catherine Fishman for project coordination and support. And Kim Foster for helping make sure everything that goes out into the world is error free. These three make the show possible, and I am really grateful. And if you’re still listening, I would so appreciate if you would take a moment to rate this show and leave a review. That’s the number one thing that helps me grow the show and reach more listeners. Thank you for being with us today, and I will be back with you before you know it. You can always access show notes, including any links mentioned in this email@example.com slash podcast, and you can connect with firstname.lastname@example.org on Instagram at stacey. Ennis or on Facebook at staceynis creative.
Stacy: Thank you so much for joining me this week. Here’s to building lives that are beyond better.