Monday, July 06, 2009

Don't hope things'll happen, make them happen

Back from That Fancy London where I went to Adrian Mead's Screenwriting Career Guide seminar. I'd blog all my notes but Lucy at Bang2Write beat me to it, so go read her account. The tip about targeting European producers was one of many good ideas I hadn't heard before. As always, Adrian was a wonderfully galvanising influence. He talks a lot of sense, such as the bouncers' mantra: don't hope it'll be alright, make it turn our alright.

He challenges people to confront the issues they're not dealing it, and to set public goals for themselves with definitive deadlines. So here's the three objectives I chose at the seminar. Short-term goal for this week: submit 2x two-page story of the day pitches to Doctors. Medium-term goal for the next three months: write a first draft of my TEALEAF project. Long-term goal for the next three years: get an original TV drama optioned.

Strictly speaking, the last one is wrong because it depends upon others to make it happen. These are meant to be goals you make happen, and getting optioned obviously requires somebody else [ideally, somebody else with money]. But there's no point aiming low and achieving the easy, that's not going to advance my cause. Deadlines for my goals - this Wednesday for short-term, September 27 for medium and June 2012 for Long-term.

Adrian's point about making things happen is all too true. The progress I've made in the first six months of 2009 stems from hard work, putting stuff out there and not taking rejections to heart. I've had plenty of knock-backs, but you can't take them personally. And where opportunities arise, you've got to grab them with both hands. Hiding in a corner and hoping you'll be noticed doesn't do the job, especially now. Onwards!

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