Monday, January 14, 2008

Direction

Sometimes I wonder where my career, or lack of it, is going. I write good stuff, strong character driven pieces, with sizzling dialogue. Yet after seven and a half years I'm still struggling to find that all important first foot in the door moment, the one that will launch my career.

Writing part-time is hard, and it's even harder to make contacts in the industry when you don't have any to begin with. I'm not the most social of people and I do find it very difficult to keep conversations going. So why should the industry be run on who you know rather than what you know? Surely the quality of television would greatly increase if talent was all it took? But no, you have to sell your self too. I've learnt this the hard way. You have to put yourself out there, make contacts and make sure people are reading your work, and most importantly make sure that work is good.

I know what I shall be concentrating on this year.

9 comments:

potdoll said...

Have you thought about advertising your scripts at Bournemouth uni for the film course to direct?

Might be a way of making future contacts and also something else to send out?

They say overnight success takes three years don't they?

good luck.

Piers said...

Ten. Not three.

Lucy said...

I know people where it's take 22. But they've got there. Whatever it takes! Preferably not mass murder tho, you live too close to me.

potdoll said...

I meant TEN! Three to go....

Paul M said...

I think in this country it's extremly difficult to make it as a writer, just because we have such a limited scope to shoot for, only five or so mainstream channels. Yes of course it's difficult full stop, wherever you are. But here I'm sure it's ultra-hard, because I'm guessing that for something to rocket to the top of the heap, it's got to stand out a mile, in every aspect or maybe like you say, if you know the right people, nudge nudge wink wink and all that. There is a load of competition and I reckon they are great writers out there and you may be one of them. But I think there is an x-factor that they are looking for.

I haven't read anything of yours so can't really comment on whether it's some aspect of your writing that could be the reason that you haven't yet broken through. All I know is that with my writing, I've thought yeah this sizzles, but it didn't. I've got to the stage where I'm now always unsure whether it really is any good. But one thing I do know is each draft gets better than the last.

Do concentrate on networking and making valuble contacts etc, but my advice is make sure you've really got the product, because it's king.

The best of luck this year.

Jon Peacey said...

"I'm not the most social of people and I do find it very difficult to keep conversations going."

I've managed to take this to the 'nth' degree... I only talk to people I already know and I only know people that I already talk to. Once the conversation's got going, fine; but starting that conversation...?

As for quality issues: I don't have a single clue as to whether I'm any good at this writing lark, all I can do is make sure is that what I've done is as good as I can make it.

All the best...

Tim Clague said...

But the good news is that as a writer you have all the skills you need for 'working the room'.

You understand characters and you create great dialogue.

The secret is to bring these skills into your conversation. Once you know that it is easy. Contrast that with people in other industries / careers who don't understand that it is the hero (you) who has to push the story forward.

Dom Carver said...

Hmmmm, never thought of it like that, Tim. Good idea!

Jon Peacey said...

But what if you don't have the skill for entering the room in the first place?