Hello people. It’s been a while. But anyone who’s been following my misadventures in filmmaking wouldn’t necesarily be surprised by such absences – if anyone actually reads this drivel – but I can assure you that I have a good excuse for disappearing since I last posted in December!
That’s right people. I last posted in December 2018, and now it’s March 2019, and suddenly the last three years is gone from the Blog – like some cosmic joke of losing one year of blog per calendar month. And gone is the existing look-and-feel too! And it was as much a mystery to me, as it was to others involved, as to how it could have happened, and progressively become worse, as we delved deeper into trying to fix things… – thanks to the lovely people who also tried to help me unf%ck a totally f%cked situation – But you’re probably asking, how could it happen? and What exactly happened? Well let me bore you…
As previously mentioned, in my last post, I was quite chuffed with the results of my efforts trying to keep up with my resolutions and goals for 2014; despite a challenging day job and the fact that I had to put some creative goals on hold in order to fulfil my non-creative life goals (such as relocating to a new country). it was far from easy. But with the help of some very understanding loved ones and friends, I was able to make them happen.
This year I am hoping will be no exception. I have distinct creative goals in mind and here they are.
CREATIVE GOALS FOR 2015:
I want to:
Finish / rewrite my Nanowrimo 2014 novel (MUTAGENE) and self-publish it. This will be the primary goal and will dominate everything else this year.
Write the entire first draft of a new feature script. It’s an aspiration, but I have some contenders that are jockeying for position inside my brain and fighting to get out.
Rewrite one existing feature screenplay for circulation. I have 4 perfectly good feature film scripts sitting around doing nothing. Each of them needs a rewrite. And I think I need to learn more rewriting skills, so I should definitely set about doing this. Nothing of mine is ever ready after one draft.
Read more more screenplays – and study 1 a month. I think it would be good to rebuild my grasp of story structure, style and pacing and help me to see the flaws in my own writing.
Circulate my short scripts for critical feedback and possible acceptance from a production company. Why have 12 of them sitting around doing nothing? it’s stupid. 6 of them are definitely worthy of production. They’ve just not found the right home to love them.
Finish the edit of one of my, as yet unfinished, short films. I have two unfinished films. Neither is perfect and that drive for perfection is why they are dormant and unfinished. Even if they suck I will get them to a point where I can at least put them out there for ridicule. 😉
Do more writing courses this year. I haven’t yet decide which area should dominate – screenwriting or prose – but I will have a better sense once I’ve dug into my Nanowrimo novel and looked at it’s imperfections.
Read more books and articles on my craft. I went through a splurge of buying more books last year. Buying them doesn’t help you if you don’t read them!
So that is more than enough to be going on with, even though it is not a nice standard number like 10 things to focus on. But I’m not bothered by convention. And don’t be limited by my rules. If you only have 1 goal, that’s cool. If you have 0 goals, that’s worrying to me – but I’m not you. If you have 20, then good luck. That’s a lot to manage. 🙂
You’ll notice that there isn’t much new film production listed above. It doesn’t mean that I can’t change my mind later if something good enough comes along. Right? None of this is set in stone. But each of these will help me to further my craft and contribute to my happiness and wellbeing – even though I’m setting myself quite a challenge. And to me, filmmaking is one of those goals that’s impossible to manage if it is collaborative and dependent on others. It’s fine if I come up with a solo project to work on, e.g. an animation.
So why do we need goals?
Why wouldn’t you want to push yourself? If you’re reading this, then you have an aspiration to create something. There’s a flame of desire that is most certainly flickering within, even if you can’t see it. And what better way to fan the flame then to set yourself some small, measurable and achievable goals that will eventually help you to find the creative path you really wish that you were on?
Specific – targeted toward a specific area for improvement.
Measurable – quantifiable or indicative of being able to measure progress.
Assignable – specify who will do it.
Realistic – you need to consider what results can realistically be achieved, given available resources / luck. So don’t hold yourself to ransom if they’re dependent on others. try to make them things that you can realistically achieve on your own.
Time-related – specify when the result(s) can be achieved in this calendar year so that you can later measure if you hit them. And yes, the clock is ticking. But if you pick smart, small goals, you can always set a specific date – like “I will enter this screenwriting competition, by the deadline which is: DATE”.
Should I share my goals?
You don’t have to share it. But if you do, you’ll be surprised by how many people who care about you may offer to help you or understand when you need to put your goals before their desire for instant gratification. And there’s always a benefit to be gained from putting yourself out there, to have people check up on you and make you stick to them.
Good luck with whatever you decide to do – if you choose to wing it, or if like me you’d like to set about defining your own goals!
If you share them here in the comments, I’d be happy to read them.
With Nanowrimo coming up – I thought it prudent to mention a new writing tool I’ve just become aware of: NOVLR. It’s a new free online novel writing tool, currently in need of beta testers. Fancy a go?
Not tried it myself, as I’m still deliciously wed to Scrivener (and also currently evaluating IAWriter – for use on my iPad mini, when writing on the move) but the feedback on the uncluttered interface seems positive.
Novlr feature screenshot
Obviously you’ll need web access. That’s the only downside to this – you’ll have to be connected presumably, in order to access all of the collected work / features. Not a problem if you can blag free wifi in a Cafe. But you’ll have to use the export features if you want to take copies of your work on the move, when you can’t guarantee access to the online tool. At least you can use it via tablets and mobiles. Great news for Nanowrimo writers who jump on to different devices or fancy a change.
Great Article from Chris Jones (Producer / Director and Author of the excellent The Guerilla Film Makers Handbook book series) – here on how to customise your Facebook profile to aid your social media marketing efforts and help promote your projects:
Things I am going to attempt to do each day, to get back into my groove:
1. Brainstorm each day – (gather potential topics for future exploration, especially at the end to fuel my next session – reviewing them at the start of my next, if not already motivated by an idea or scene)….
2. Write every morning before work, on the train and after work – as a minimum part of my routine
3. Make friends with my Inner critic – ask his permission to make mistakes and convince him to back off a bit 😉
4. Multi-task to keep me engaged, but only when encountering a creative roadblock
5. Write about the ordinary, my life, a journal, if it helps to put the time in and open that dialogue
6. Force myself to have new experiences – to help overcome roadblocks – new writing places? E.g. Lunch writing in different spots
7. Try visual collages – to capture an experience if I can’t find the words. Page through art /photography books for inspiration.
8. Create musical soundscapes that are evocative of the world or emotion I’m creating.
9. Visit a new place, walking, a museum, gig, listen to conversations, allow myself to watch and observe.
10. Nap, meditate, pray… to the old ones 😉