Watching TV is great right now (whether you do it live, with DVR, or an illegal stream). Reading TV criticism is great right now (whether you do it on your phone, on the computer, or in the newspaper). It almost makes you want to, you know, write for TV. Work your way into a writers' room and craft jokes with a crew of like-minded talents. Or develop a pilot yourself and create something that millions will enjoy and talk about. Something to spark a hundred think pieces. Something worthy of a hashtag, a trending topic on Twitter. If the desire is in you, the next question becomes: how?

Curiousity about this very question led us to seek out industry vets for advice. Writers for shows like Arrested Development, Dexter, Saturday Night Live, The Americans, Nurse Jackie, and more explained to Complex how they came up and what they learned. They shared wide-ranging stories about how they broke into the biz, and no two were alike. There are no hard and fast answers to questions of success, no easy solutions to waking up as a showrunner, but there are common factors. Luckily, they deal with drive and a willingness to try.

Here are the rules for success from TV writers.

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As told to Tara Aquino (@t_akino), Matt Barone (@mbarone), and Ross Scarano (@RossScarano)