Monday, December 04, 2006

Home again, naturally

Well, I'm back from That Fancy London and an intense weekend on the TAPS script editing for TV course. I'll blog at length about that in the next day or two, but not today - still need some time to process all the information. If anybody has an inkling they'd like to be a script editor, I can heartily endorse the workshop - you learn a lot, you met a lot of interesting people and it'll definitely help you decide whether or not script editing is the career you want to pursue. For me, personally, it's underlined that I want to be a writer and a script editor - but not at the same time.

In fact, I've already been down this road before, to some extent. When I was editing the Judge Dredd Megazine, I took to writing in my spare time. But when I took over editing 2000 AD - commissioning and editing 1600 pages of script a year - I quickly discovered it was using all my creative juice. I didn't have the energy to write for myself anymore, I gave at the office. When I quit editing to go freelance, I soon found the urge to write was back, like a field that had been laying fallow for several years.

Now, after six years of freelance writing for a living, I'm coming to the conclusion that I wouldn't mind some time in an office dynamic again. Obviously, the best of both worlds would be a writers' room situation where writers get together and collaborate on a shared project. Participating in the mentoring project has fueled that. Three would-be TV drama writers working with industry professional Adrian Mead, all three of us working to get the best from our writing.

I've got a monster deadline looming in two weeks, so don't expect a huge amount of blogging from me here for the next fortnight. Once I get this particular project out of the way, I'm going to scale back how much work I'm taking on. Barring the arrival of an offer I can't refuse, I don't want to take on any more novels in the first half of 2007. I want and need to concentrate on the project for which I'm being mentored, on my screenwriting MA and the pursing under broadcast media writing and editing opportunities. I'll still be doing some comics work, but everything else is going to have to wait.

I've already turned down a couple of offers of work, lucrative jobs that could help sustain my bank balance. If I'm to make good on my escape bid from the world of hackwork, now's the time. As the sad death of Doctor Who author Craig Hinton this past weekend showed, none of us knows how long we have and we need to make the most of our lives. When I lived in London I would often natter with Craig at gatherings of Who authors, and we sometimes ended up at the same dinner table. He was a kind soul and will be missed by many, many people. Rest in peace Craig.

No comments: