The Writing Journal #17

February has arrived with an icy blast, and with it brought the final reckoning for January’s writing targets. On the whole it’s felt like a very productive month that I feel has laid some very solid foundations to build on for the rest of the year.

Target Number 1: Submit first draft of my latest feature to my producer.

Status: Achieved 😊

Of the three targets I set myself for January, this was perhaps the most time sensitive and therefore the one I am most pleased to have met. With my producer being occupied on another shoot for the whole of January, I wanted to ensure I was ready to pick up our discussions again as soon as he returned to his development slate this month. With the script now in his hands, having been honed and refined over the last month, it’s an exciting relief to know that it is on the next stage of its journey (hopefully!) towards production. There is still a long road ahead, as there is for any independent film, but such journeys can only be achieved one step at a time and I’m delighted to have passed on the baton, for the time being at least.

Target Number 2: Research funding proposals.

Status: Ongoing

Perhaps the wording of this particular target was a little too vague to allow for a more definitive status to be declared. “Complete a research document on funding proposals”, for example, would have been more appropriate in that sense. However, something as broad as research may not be suited to such definitive goals anyway. With so many different opportunities and routes opening and closing all the time putting a defined end point on such research potentially limits what you can learn from it and gives you false ideas about the options available to you.

As far as January is concerned, I was able to learn a great deal about some of the funding opportunities that are currently open to me, particularly as a Welsh screenwriter, and I am certainly more confident in the sort of applications I can feasibly make in the weeks and months ahead. Is it a comprehensive list? Probably not. Are there opportunities out there that are also suited to my current needs? Perhaps almost certainly. That’s not to say, though, that I can’t explore the options that I have for now and search out other alternatives at some point in the future if the ones I have now ultimately prove unsuccessful.

Target Number 3: Revisit my sitcom scripts, ready for wider submission.

Status: Achieved 😊

I’m so genuinely thrilled that I’ve started down this rabbit hole again as I’ve had an absolute blast revisiting this project and the stories/characters/jokes held within it. What started off as prep for a particular TV-writing competition has turned into a renewed faith and confidence in an idea that I had largely put to one side for reasons even I cannot start to explain. Maybe the market wasn’t the same when I first wrote the project back in 2013, or perhaps other opportunities came along which simply edged it onto the back burner, but as of this writing I am very keen to explore more avenues for this project with the hopes of getting it to television screens in the not too distant future. Which rather neatly brings me on to…

 

February’s Targets

Target Number 1: Write 3 short stories

Ever since taking part in the Singularity 50 project for the London Screenwriters’ Festival, I have been drawn to the idea of creating something from a series of short-form building blocks. A few ideas have been mulling around my head for a while now, and whilst I think they all have their own pros and cons, there is one collection in particular that I think is ready to be explored in more detail over the coming months. I have a list of ideas and some rough outlines to start from, so a goal of three short stories seems like an ambitious yet realistic way of kick-starting this project and seeing where it may lead.

Target Number 2: Submit funding application

Whilst the wider research is still a work in progress, the information I have gathered so far has given me a reasonable basis for a proposal that’s worth exploring more this month. There’s no specific external deadline for this particular funding option but since it is a follow up from recent meetings and discussions with the people involved, it feels more prudent to explore this option sooner rather than later.

Target Number 3: Find five companies to pitch my sitcom project to.

Continuing on from the above notion of striking whilst the iron’s hot, I’m also keen to capitalise on the reinvigorated enthusiasm I have for the sitcom by trying to find it a home. Whilst I have some companies/people in mind already, my hope is that setting this goal will focus that into a more viable list to help build even more momentum behind it.

 

With February being the shortest month of the year, there could be some close calls on these targets, especially in starting a brand-new project from (nearly) scratch. Add into the mix my sub-goal to revisit the novel in some form to figure out the next steps for that too, this could end up being a very busy few weeks. Best get cracking, then!

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