Today we’d like to introduce you to Mike Flynn.
Mike, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’ve been writing since I was a kid. Short stories and poetry was an escape and allowed me to expand my imagination. I never thought it would lead to a career as a storyteller, but here we are. It also went hand-in-hand with my love for film and television.
When I got to college, I knew I wanted to embark in a career in storytelling but had no direction. I spent the summer after my freshman year in the library devouring books on screenwriting because I remember what the written word did for me as a kid. It was then that I started writing every day. From there, I held internships in college at various studios, production companies and, through a strong support network, found myself in TV writer’s rooms in Hollywood.
I took that experience and worked all kinds of odd jobs until I made my way onto TV and film productions as a production assistant. Hard work and persistence pays off because I was able to swing from PA, to show runner’s assistant, to writer’s assistant and finally staff writer. From the time I graduated college to receiving my first professional writing credit took about five years.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It hasn’t been a smooth road but what journey to greatness is? I’ve had some personal losses along the way but the most important thing to have on your side is support from family and friends. Your hustle may not necessarily reflect in other people’s eyes as success, but if they see you trying your best, no one will give up on you if you don’t give up on yourself.
There were moments where I second-guessed my talents, whether I was good enough to make a living as a writer, but I couldn’t see myself gaining the gratification in any other profession that being a storyteller offers.
We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
I’m a writer-producer for television and film. I mainly specialize in writing and producing one-hour dramas in television, with a focus on family and character-driven stories. I’ve been fortunate to work on shows that explore the American Black family and what it means to live in a country that doesn’t always see us for who we are. Our beauty, our pain, our triumphs and missteps. That’s what I proud of the most. And being a Black writer in Hollywood, from the South, allows me to tell an array of stories from my own perspective while keeping a universal appeal to a wide audience.
What were you like growing up?
I felt that I was an observant child, always on the inside looking out. I guess I was trying to understand the world around me and beyond. I was into sports, playing baseball, football and track. Sports were an outlet to release pain and aggression that I didn’t necessarily know how to express until I discovered writing. I also found that I love food, eating and cooking it.
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