The Writing Journal #19

We all know the adage “time flies when you’re having fun”. Well, apparently, time also flies when you’re evaluating your career path, as the last seven days have raced past without me realising until my calendar handily reminded me that it was Writing Journal Monday! Whether this means we can now equate “career evaluations” with “fun” remains to be determined, but what I can say is that this rapid turn of speed has been good news for some of my targets but not necessarily for all of them…

Target Number 1: Write 3 short stories

Another form of fiction took up my creative time this week as I began the process of editing the first draft of my novel. It’s something I had aimed to do this month but, as you may recall from a previous entry, was something I was unsure about as it was something I have never done before. Whilst I have redrafted feature scripts dozens of times, novels present a different challenge due to their structure and the way they tell their story on the page. Add to that the creation of a whole new world (no scary CGI genies, you’ll be pleased to know…), with its own mythology, people, cultures, etc., it all felt quite overwhelming. However, I am fiercely passionate about this story, as well as the stories that can lead from it, and I am determined not let it fade on a hard drive, so I dedicated more time to it this week in the hopes of finding a breakthrough.

Where does this leave the short stories? Same place as last week, which initially sounds like grounds for panic but in the grand scheme of things isn’t quite so bad. Part of the reason I felt confident in revisiting the novel this week was because of the progress I made with the short stories in the previous one. The next couple of weeks may prove to be a more challenging juggling act, especially as other projects come to a head, but for now both are in a good place and I’m confident that can continue.

Target Number 2: Submit funding application

By the end of the week, I came to realise that this particular target was the top priority this month and the most important for moving my career forward.

That’s certainly not how I started the week.

At the start of the week, I had decided that approaching agents was the more important thing to focus on in terms of career progression. Buoyed by recent feedback and developments, I convinced myself that now was the time to strike, while the iron was red hot and I stood the best chance of being snapped up as the next big thing in British screenwriting! However, as I sat down to write my pitch and do my research, the reality set in that the iron has barely just gone in the flames, let alone reached red hot status. Any blacksmith worth his salt will tell you that the two don’t happen simultaneously. It takes time for the iron to reach optimum temperature – assuming that the fire even lasts that long and isn’t extinguished along the way – and whilst it is important not to keep delaying and waiting for “perfect” indefinitely, it is also important to remember that you only get one chance at a first impression. With many of my current projects on the cusp of a decision, one way or the other, it seemed more sensible at this moment in time to instead focus my efforts on fuel to keep the fire burning.

As such, I’m in a much healthier place with this funding proposal, to the point where I am nearly in a position to submit it (pending a few tweaks here and there). I have settled on the funding and strategy I would most like to pursue, and have written the vast majority of the supporting documents needed to do so. With a bit of focus this week, I’m hoping to be able to cross this target off the list in next week’s writing journal entry.

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

With time and energy being siphoned away into the two targets above, I must admit that, for the second week in a row, this goal has been somewhat overlooked again. That’s not to say it hasn’t had any attention at all; I have some ideas in mind of people/companies to contact and ways to make the project more appealing to them. However, I have not committed many of these ideas to paper, or indeed researched them to see if they are as viable in reality as they are currently in my head. If I can apply the finishing touches to the funding proposal and have that sent off this week, that should hopefully free up some more time to really concentrate on these ideas in a more dedicated manner.

February’s goals are on the horizon, and already new ones are beginning to form for March. Add to that the quiet optimism growing around my feature projects, these next few weeks and months could soar past quicker than any other to date. Time to buckle up!

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