Monday, October 06, 2008

Let's play creative leapfrog

Been jumping from one project to the next a lot lately. I'll have a meeting or phone conversation about something, write or type up my notes - and then have to move straight on to another project. Deadlines are a wonderful motivating tool, but can also create frustration. At least they make prioritising easier; if a proposal is due tomorrow, you should be working on that today, not another project that's not required for another fortnight.

At times this game of creative leapfrog can be frustrating, other times it's useful. I find my subconscious does my best creative thinking, finding interesting solutions to story problems that would likely have eluded me if I'd tried to force out an instant plot fix. So having to shift focus elsewhere gives my subconscious a chance to work on such knotty problems. But moving off a project just as you're building up momentum can be right irksome.

For example, I had a meeting a few weeks back about an exciting gig. I'd have loved to been working on that and that alone ever since, giving it 100% of my time. But I've had other fish to fry, as the saying goes. I've rewritten my script THE WOMAN WHO SCREAMED BUTTERFLIES twice, after a couple of directors expressed interest in it. [Still needs another pass, but that'll have to wait now.] I took on some journalism, and did prep for that.

Talked with a publisher who interested in a project I pitched them back in August. That needs further development work, but isn't hyper-urgent so I've filed that back into my subconscious for now. Finished polishing my Red Planet Prize entry and pitch doc, sent that away. Talked through half a dozen Story of the Day ideas with my script editor at Doctors, need to polish three of those for formal submission - again, that's a job for later.

Wrote ten pages of notes on a feature screenplay for two friends. Wrote two pages of notes on a TV spec script for another friend, and gave verbal feedback on several more pitches for others. Devised a 100-word pitch for a documentary I'd like to make and submitted that to a competition. Got on the Lighthouse's Screenwriting for Television course thanks to a phone interview. Cue mad scramble down to Brighton last Thursday for the first day.

All of that in the past 17 days. Oh yes, and I wrote an issue of The Phantom comic for Egmont Sweden - that was my one paying job since my meeting in London. [Blimey, didn't realise I'd been quite so busy!] Anyways, I'm not lacking for things to do right now. Got a deadline tomorrow, another next week, and another the week after. Plus there's all the other projects mentioned above that need progressing. Looks like more leapfrog ahead. Onwards!

1 comment:

Lucy said...

A taxi driver once gave me some invaluable advice regarding leapfrog:

Never play it with a unicorn.