Monday, August 12, 2013
A couple of years ago, I was in a fantastic writers group for a little while. It was 4-5 people at each meeting, and I learned more from that group than I can accurately express. We were all on the cusp of something, and luckily for me I was the least experienced member, which meant I got the most benefit. It was may favorite thing about Sundays.
But then one member of our group got a big break, and suddenly he was off meeting and working so much that he had no more time for the group. Then another member started preproduction on a film he was directing. Then we just sort of... stopped. We always meant to start up again, but half our group got incredibly busy.
Because that's what happens when you start to do well. You get busy.
That's what's happened to this blog. Over the last month I had a novel to read and develop a pitch for, three rewrites to complete, notes to do for people who donated to my fundraiser, A web series to develop with friends, Comic Con to attend, dog walking jobs to do, and a social life to maintain. I only had two meetings, but I still ended up with no extra time in my day. Naturally, the blog comes in last place on my list of priorities.
That's a good thing. Not only does being busy mean your career is headed in the right direction, but it also makes me happy on a personal level. I love being busy. Last Christmas I wrote an adaptation for a novel I do not own the rights to because I had nothing to work on and I got bored. Yes, I wrote an entire screenplay out of boredom. It was my love project, and I'm super proud of it, but it's also an example of how much I hate not having something to work on.
I didn't really get it back when I was in that writers group. When one member suddenly took off and started seeing success, I couldn't figure out why he didn't still have an hour on Sundays to work with us. The truth is, every minute becomes necessary. These past few weeks, I had to schedule my days around writing time. I planned out exactly which days I'd be working on which rewrite.
I'm lucky in that time management is a skill I've learned from my time as a yearbook adviser, where I had to pay extra money from our account if we went past our due date. Now, if I say something will take me three days, it will probably take me two and a half. I leave that extra half there in case an emergency crops up. Then again, I was born the day I was due, so it's possible that I am genetically predisposed to being on time.
Juggling multiple projects and managing your time wisely is something you will have to learn to do as a screenwriter. Stuff falls through all the time, and even projects that succeed take forever to get where they're going, so you should always be working on the next thing. I think that may be one reason I like keeping busy so much: as long as I'm working on the next thing, I don't have time to be impatient about the last thing.
The short of it is, I don't know what will happen with this blog. I will keep it, and I will contribute to it on occasion. But I fervently hope that in the days to come, I'm too busy to post to it. Maybe when I finally get something greenlit I will be able to share some of the process with you. We'll have to see. In the meantime, I'll keep writing. You keep writing. Let's all stay busy.