First off, I want to thank all of you who read this blog, and all of you who show up to read my Script Tip every day. Writing is meant to be read - so I’m nothing without you. One of the strange things about spending so much time avoiding work on the web is that I know all kinds of people that I have never actually met. Friends who are also strangers. Even though I am often cranky and hate all of the movies you love and love all of the movies you hate, I love you all and really hope that you succeed at whatever you set out to do in this new year. I want to hear about some script sales from you guys!
NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS?
Whether you keep your New Year’s Resolutions or not, it’s a great way to set goals and focus on what you need to get done in life. My resolutions for this year center around actually cranking out some new scripts. I spent so much of last year at festivals and conferences that I didn’t get to everything on my big To Do List. I’d planned on writing a half dozen new scripts, ended up with a couple new scripts and a rewrote a few older scripts. I planned on producing some of my own scripts last year, and revising my Action Book, and I’m still working on that. Hey, I also planned on writing two new screenwriting books... and those have flopped over to this year’s To Do List.
So, was last year a failure? Nope! I cranked out a couple of new scripts and did some rewriting... Without my big To Do List, *nothing* would have been to-done. I think the best thing you can do for the new year is to have a plan, even if things change. Especially if things change. Having a plan with clear goals allows you to get back on track after things change. Having a plan gives you goals to work toward. You may not cross off everything by the end of the year, but you’ll be able to cross off something. Without a plan you’re just spinning your creative wheels. So make up a big To Do List for 2008. You may not finish everything, but try to. Make sure your list is *possible* - this isn’t a fantasy list. Here is my list for 2008...
I have an interrupted kinda cool potential deal that could change everything, but here's what's on the list (that never quite gets done):
1) Finish the action book rewrite.
2) Get an agent or manager to take 10% of my money.
3) A spec called MANHUNT - kind of The Fugitive in Europe.
4) Finish rewriting STEEL CHAMELEONS.
5) Take a bunch of mostly unseen articles from the early 90s and compile them into a book on writing your own digital movie.
6) This spec called BETRAYAL about college kids on vacation... and then bad things happen.
7) My iPod movie - write the script, make the movie. This is a cool project I plan to do with my two oldest friends - the idea is to make a dopey little movie like we used to do when we were 20 years old... with the excitement of a 20 year old... but with the knowledge we have now. Then get a distributor for the film and make enough money to make another film.
8) A spec called DREAMWALKERS.
9) Rewrite an old spec called RAILROADED because it's about an LA to SF bullet train... and that's in the news.
10) Rewrite some other specs: DEAD RUN and HARD RETURN and whatever else I have time for.
11) Articles for a few magazines I have regular columns in plus new script tips plus the last 3 Blue Books plus way too many posts here and other places...
I’ll probably provide some play-by-play along the way on all of these projects... and I’m sure that a few will get carried over to the 2009 list. I’m really hoping the aforementioned kinda cool deal comes through - if it does I’ll tell you all about it. I just hope the other folks involved remember my name after the strike is over!
On the personal Resolutions list is *actually* get back on the bicycle and lose some weight. Get out more, be less of a loner writer, hang out with people who don't drive me crazy. I tend to be non-social, and I need to do something about that. I am also going to try to be nicer and more positive - sometimes I can be a dick and sometimes I can be too much of a realist while trying to help people - it’s the difference between bursting their bubble and guiding it in the right direction. Often online I take the bait and get into some weird battle with a troll that makes me grumpy to everyone else. Sorry - and I’m going to try not to do that. And I need a girlfriend... or a blow up doll with fewer patches. These personal things are not on my big To Do List, but I hope to get on the bike to lose the spare tire anyway.
Sometimes I find that listing the *steps* to completing a project is helpful - that way I feel like I’m completing more. I can cross off “Outline new spec” and “Treatment for new spec” and “Act one of new spec” and get some momentum going. Nothing makes me feel better than crossing something off my big To Do List! I’m getting closer to finishing that new spec!
This year I have a whole bunch of great things on by big To Do List for 2008. Some of those thing probably won’t get done this year, but many of them will!
I hope you achieve everything you set out to do in the new year!
TODAY'S SCRIPT TIP: Some other thing.
Yesterday’s Dinner: Had all you can eat Chinese food at China Wall in Concord with Wendy and her son Kyle... the coconut shrimp is great!
Movies: Hey, SOFT TARGET is on Encore Action tonight... please avoid it at all costs! It's nothing like my script! But it was one of the two films from my screenplays that were released in 2007... I hope to equal that in 2008.