Contemplating my next spec project. I'm juggling two ideas - one a returning TV drama series pilot, the other a script for a 60 minute TV single. The latter was inspired by a holiday cottage in France where I stayed for a week during the last World Cup in 2006. [Excuse me, I'm still beaming with patriotic pride for New Zealand's exploits against world champs Italy yesterday.]
Had a quick look at my blog entries for June 2006, to remind me what the gite looked like. The BBC had given me a first broadcast drama credit with a 13-minute play on Radio 4. I'd just finished the first two trimesters of my screenwriting MA, collecting four distinctions - but wasn't sure how valuable it was proving. Hard to see wood while in the middle of a forest, I guess.
Fast forward to June 2007. I was getting rejected by the Writers' Academy [and rightly so!]. My big 2000AD book THRILL-POWER OVERLOAD was finally published in hardback, the capstone on six years' work. I'd finished all the taught modules on my MA [four more distinctions] and was about to embark on my final project. Only three years ago, but feels like a lifetime from here.
[Caught up with a bunch of Screen Academy Scotland graduates last Friday night. Lots of people still plugging away at their dream of becoming working screenwriters. Some have enjoyed great success on the film festival circuit with shorts. Only a few have pursued TV like me. But we all share the writer's journey, set against the need to make a living.]
Fast forward to June 2008. I didn't get selected for the BBC Sharps masterclass, but did get a great little script out of it called THE WOMAN WHO SCREAMED BUTTERFLIES. After a successful trial, I was preparing for the Doctors shadow scheme in Birmingham the next month. And I went to the Screenwriters' Festival in Cheltenham, where I had the worst migraine of my life. Ouch.
Fast forward to June 2009. I finished the third and final draft of my script for the Lighthouse TV team-writing workshop. Learned a lot, but that draft was like polishing a turd. Felt disillusioned with screenwriting, unaware my first commission for Doctors was only a few weeks away. Busy preparing to help teach new creative writing MA. Calm before the story, in many ways.
And now it's June 21st, the longest day of 2010 for those north of the equator. I'm writing a third draft of my second Doctors episode. My second radio play is done and dusted, waiting for broadcast in August. I've got a lovely agent, Katie Williams at Blake Friedmann in London. I'm busy knocking on doors, maybe one of them will open to reveal new opportunities soon.
I've come a long way in four years, but there's a lot further to go, so much more to be seen and heard, experienced and learned, written and rewritten. I don't know where the path leads but I'm enjoying the view along the way. Been quite blessed in many respects and I'm grateful for that. But enough looking backwards - face front, it's time to press ahead. Onwards!