Be the word

quadruple threat
An early inspiration for my efforts (image by Hirschfeld)

Apologies for the lack of a post last week. We had to travel to a different time zone for a family function, and the jet lag really took its toll on me. It’s tough to compose something when you can barely stay awake.

But I’m back, rested, and ready to get back to work.

Among the items on the “list of stuff that needs attention”:

-continue working on the horror-comedy outline

-work with latest batch of notes on the comedy spec. Hoping to have that latest draft done sooner than expected.

-research potential representation firms to query

-look into setting up at least one networking event for SF/Bay Area writers. Previous ones were pretty successful, and are great for establishing connections.

-Among the comments that came in for the comedy spec was how it might benefit from a table read. Never did one before, so investigating setting one up. Anybody out there who’s done it?

There are a few other items going on, but those are the dominant ones for now. At first glance, it might seem like a lot, but it doesn’t feel that way to me. They’re all just parts of the machine that is me working on making a career out of this.

I think the biggest factor here is time management. I do what I can to allot a certain amount of time per task. Work on my own stuff for an hour or two. Spend some downtime at work researching reps and prodcos, then send out some queries. If an idea hits when I’m not actually writing, I jot it down immediately – mostly because I don’t trust myself to remember it a few hours later.

One caveat – If I have to do notes on a friend’s script, all attention is diverted to that. If they were reading mine, I’d want them to be just as focused on my script, so the least I can do is return the favor.

Now, I totally get that no two writers have the same schedule, so everybody will tackle things their own way and at their own pace. Maybe you can only spare an hour a day for anything writing-related, or you get up earlier than you need to because that’s your designated writing time. Any and all of it’s fine. You do what works for you.

The important thing is to be doing something. Anything that helps you along.

Also remember, and I can’t stress this enough – everybody’s path is different. What works for that other person might not work for you, and vice versa. Don’t stress out over feeling like you’re running behind. The only person you’re competing against is you.

Not sure where to start? Easy. Be a writer and write down what you’d like to accomplish. I suggest starting small – list three things you could do today to help yourself out. Write three scenes (or three pages). Send out five query emails. Contact the writer of that logline you liked in that online forum.

Get into the habit of giving yourself stuff to do, and there’s a good chance you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much stuff is actually getting done.

By you.

I’ve written about this before…

orson typewriter
I suppose I can spare a minute or two to chat

Currently in “full speed ahead” mode with the latest draft of the dramedy spec (coming along nicely, thanks for asking), so felt this was an opportune time to dip into the archives and offer up a few posts from the past couple of years.

Also made a point of trying to find the ones that are directly or semi-directly connected to this script.

Enjoy.

Moose, squirrel, and two guys in drag

I have written, therefore I will edit

Go for the hard turn

One scene, three points

I’m here, but need to be up there

Even better

Progress is coming along nicely. I was able to make some changes to the new beginning I worked on yesterday, and it really meshed with most of what I had written before.

And it also seems like it will only need some minor readjustments here and there to really bring it up to speed. Which means I can finally focus on moving forward.

Regarding one subplot of which I was very concerned, I realized I might be able to tie it in with another, thereby tying more of the whole thing together.

I like when this kind of serendipity happens.  Or is it?

-Regarding GHOST TRAIN, I didn’t get a chance to read it during those brief minutes between traffic reports because the Adobe Reader in my studio computer appears to not be working. Knowing this company the way I do, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s been removed altogether.

So I’ll have to read it at home, and with K heading out of town, I’ll have plenty of spare time to do that.

As is typical of my scatterbrained nature, I also forgot about the remaining Black List scripts. Hopefully once the Adobe reader is working again in my studio, I can knock a few of those out of the way.

-I think I’ve mentioned Scriptshadow’s Amateur Friday before, but just in case you’ve forgotten, the site’s moderator chooses a script from those submitted by his readers (accompanied by a note explaining why he should pick this script), reviews about it and posts his comments. A lot of the time the script is made available to the rest of the readers as well.

I sent in DREAMSHIP and WOK & ROLL aka the Chinese restaurant script. I’ll be surprised if he picks either. But you never know.

-Movie of the Moment: a completely forgettable B Western called MAN IN THE SHADOW from 1957. It was on Encore’s Western channel, and the only reason I watched it was because Orson Welles is in it. He appears to be about 40 or 50 pounds shy of his TOUCH OF EVIL weight. This may also be around the time he appeared on an episode of I LOVE LUCY.

Apart from him, there’s nothing unique about the film. I’d heard Welles had been in a Western, purely in an acting capacity. Poor guy. His wunderkind days were far behind him and he probably needed the work to fund his own projects.

Can you imagine being the director on that film? I wonder if the guy ever asked Welles his opinion about how a shot looked. I guess that would be like coaching a community softball team with Tim Lincecum as your pitcher. (That’s the long-haired SF Giants pitching phenom, for you out-of-town baseball fans.)