What kismet — today is Jane Espenson‘s birthday, which validates even more my choice to make her this week’s Girl Crush. Even though I say that it’s Joss Whedon who made me think that I could make a living as a writer, Jane Espenson is a more personal idol. Obviously there’s the fact that she’s one of the top-ranked female TV writers, but she is just so damn cool. She’s so well-respected, in fact, that she’s inspired a hashtag just for her special day: #JaneBday
It’s difficult to list Jane’s accomplishments without just rattling off her IMDb credits. Instead, here are some of the specific TV episodes she’s been behind:
- Firefly, “Shindig”
- Gilmore Girls, “The Reigning Lorelai”
- Battlestar Galactica, “Deadlock”
- Game of Thrones, “A Golden Crown”
- Dollhouse, “Briar Rose”
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer, “Earshot”
All through college I read Jane’s blog for tips on how to write for TV, though her insights apply to all genres and styles. She does an amazing job of encouraging young writers by providing updated information on the various TV fellowships, as she got her start as an ABC/Disney fellow. Even though she’s no longer able to write daily updates (including what food she’s eaten that day), she leads writing sprints on Twitter — everyone is invited, for ten minutes or an hour, to open up their current or new projects and just write.
This column seems to vacillate between silly and gushing — Jane gets the latter, because I so admire her and can only hope to have as prolific and exciting a writing career as she has. There really is nothing she can’t do.
It’s not often that you see so many celebrities taking the effort to warmly wish a fellow Hollywood luminary happy birthday, but the writers, actors, and editors who’ve worked with Jane over the last ten years all took to Twitter to trade tongue-in-cheek “Jane Facts” about her general badassery.