For screenwriter and comic book author Amanda Deibert, success came quickly after she self-published her work on social media platforms.
Amanda studied screenwriting in school and started her career as an assistant writer for a television show. Then, she started to make comic strips based on her life and posted them on a social sharing site for women in comedy. One caught the right attention.
“I put up a comic about my life. DC [Comics] approached me and asked if I wanted to write a Wonder Woman comic,” she explained. “Then, they started asking me to write other stories. Eventually, I was able to get a DC Super Hero Girls graphic novel.”
What Amanda learned from the experience was the importance of “just doing the thing instead of waiting for the opportunity.”
It’s necessary, she says, “to be vulnerable enough to try things and be okay to fail … whenever I have done that, that’s when I got to do tremendous things.”
Today, Amanda has a successful career as a comic book writer and television screenwriter. She is the author of several DC Super Hero Girls graphic novels and Teen Titans Go! comics. She is also currently a screenwriter on He-man and the Masters of the Universe for Netflix.
Accepting her vulnerabilities and pushing herself past her limits remain critical aspects of Amanda’s process.
“I still have to remind myself that if there’s something I really want to do, I can just start doing it,” she explains. “It’s the only way to succeed even if it’s also a way to fail.”
“It’s scary, which is why it’s so easy to say, ‘I’m not ready.’ But then you could sit on something you love for years,” Amanda says, adding that even when writing sci-fi, her work draws from her own experiences.
“You don’t think you’ll find a lot of things to relate to, but He-man is about friendship and finding your [chosen] family after a lot of loss. You realize that there are a lot of common threads, even in fantasy, because there’s commonality in humanity.”
Amanda dealt with loss early in life.
“I was a Daisy and a Brownie in Central Florida,” she explains, remembering how much she loved the badges and the uniform, as well as the friendships she developed. “Then my mom got sick and passed away.” Suddenly, her whole world was different. “I would have happily continued on if my family didn't experience upheaval. My mom got ill and I needed to be home more caring for my little sisters.”
But Amanda knows the importance of Girl Scouting, which she is excited to share with her own family. In the fall, she will be the troop leader of her daughter’s Brownie troop. But she already has experience acting as a role model for Girl Scouts.
In 2019, Girl Scouts of the USA partnered with Warner Bros. for the Cookie Pro™ contest, which offered a special behind-the-scenes look at DC Super Hero Girls to the Girl Scouts who submitted the best graphic novels about their cookie selling experiences. Amanda was able to speak to the winners of the Cookie Pro Contest, connecting her past as a Girl Scout with her present as a screenwriting hero. She was able to inspire the Girl Scouts with her story.
Amanda herself finds inspiration through her family. Her wife, Cat, is a comic book illustrator and collaborates with Amanda on her graphic novels. “I write the scripts,” Amanda says, “and she makes them look beautiful.” Originally, a lot of Amanda’s comics were about their life together, whether that’s about their family’s holiday travels or, more personally, their biological clocks.
“It’s so important for girls to share their stories because you can give ten people the same premise and everyone is going to come at it differently because we’re all different,” she explains. “You’re sharing a part of yourself.”
She also believes in trying new things.
“Once I was asked to write a 24-hour global climate change broadcast. It was a 500-page script and while I was intimidated, I said yes and learned a lot about climate science. I ended up doing it for four years,” she recalls.
“If somebody asks you to do something and it is at all appealing, go ahead and say ‘yes.’ Girls are often taught to ‘make sure you’re qualified; don’t overreach.’ But go ahead and do it!”
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