Wednesday, January 08, 2014

SET YOUR GOALS FOR 2014

A New Year! A new start! But what goals are you going to set for your writing career this year? Do you set them high? Do you set them low? What's realistic and what's not? Let's examine your choices.

Aim high or low? I guess there's nothing really wrong with aiming high but as long as it's realistic. If you're a new writer and you set yourself the task of winning an Oscar, it's not going to happen...sorry!. Realistic could be aiming to land a commission for an episode on Holby or Doctors. That depends of course, on where your career is at. If you only started out last year and have only a partially finished feature it's highly unlikely anyone from TV will look at you. You could still keep the Holby and Doctors goal but how bad would you feel if you didn't realise it? It's all about keeping motivated and if you make it difficult for yourself you'll lose that motivation. Set your goal high by all means but set it so it is achievable. That may include getting a couple of short film scripts made, place well in two or three competitions, or simply finish that feature you started last year and write another. If you set your sights realistically you won't be discouraged when you don't meet them.

Aiming too low can also be bad for your motivation. If you're a writer with a reasonable track record and you set you goal to get an episode of Doctors and you actually get seven, you might begin to think you're a writing genius, or get over confident and become complacent. Mistakes will creep into your work and then when things go quiet again you'll start to wonder where it all went wrong. Disillusionment and a lack of motivation become your old friends again. If last year you wrote two episodes of Doctors aim for four this year. If you wrote a feature, aim for two in 2014.

Don't stretch yourself too much and equally don't make things too easy for yourself. Set realistic goals that you know you have a good chance of achieving, that way by the end of 2014 you'll be pretty pleased with what you have accomplished and be motivated for 2015.

My goals this year are to see one of my four features go into production, to write a TV episode and have it broadcast, and to write one spec feature and one spec TV pilot. Achievable goals? Not too low or too high? They are very realistic I think. Anyway, we'll see how well I do at the end of the year.

But what about you? What are your goals for 2014? Please share below.

Happy New Year everyone!

7 comments:

Leslie Grice said...

Having spent the last 12 months attending courses, LSF and committing as much time as a full-time working man can to studying the craft of screen-writing, after having had an interest for 10 years and not yet written a screenplay,I find myself slowly coming to terms with a process of writing, one which is 'me'. I.e. how to write with a structure and be creative as well, to find my voice and allow myself to be influenced by those films that move me intensely and have the desire to write as well as I can to those standards. To write at least one screenplay and really two that will move somebody to the point where at 2 o'clock in the morning, they can't stop turning the pages and to have them ready for the next LSF. Of course, being able to sell them in some way is not realistic (probably!) but if someone somewhere was able to read them and say,'This guy can write', and I could find 'work' of some kind, that's success.

Jake Clegg said...

I totally agree - goals should be realistic not fantasical and impossible.
My goals are to finish development of a spec TV pilot script, and then write it.
To revisit my blog, and start frequent posts about writing and TV shows - possibly reviewing some.
Get copies of the latests film & TV scripts on the market, to read and learn from them.
Finally, to use (and take on aboard), script reader comments about my work to improve it.

I'm certain they're realisitc goals to develop my craft.

Dominic Carver said...

Leslie: The more you write the better you get. If you don't have a lot of time then try and write 60 minute TV episodes instead of features. All you need to do is write a page or two a day and in two months you'll have a finished screenplay.

Jake: That's what I like to see, practical goals to improve one's work. It's great that you're very open to reader comments and working to improve your writing. Nice one!

inferiusscriptor said...

Here are my writing goals for this year:
Autobiography: Send 60,000 words of my book to editor end of Feb, finish by May. (I'm 36,000 words in)
Feature script – act 1 by March then complete by July. (am doing this under UCLA online class :)
I wonder – spec TV script (Pitched to C4) new outline & complete new draft – July
Rewrite monologue
Write monologue as Radio Script
I’d also like to be a writer for hirer on a project this year, which means sending stuff out there *eeek!*

Gary

Dominic Carver said...

Good luck, Gary.

Paul Woods said...

Great post Dominic, I have also set out my short and long term goals for this year.

Have a gander at http://allthingswriteandwonderful.blogspot.co.uk/2014/01/goal-setting-for-2014.html and have a great and successful 2014.

Paul

Kelly Zauber said...

This is a very hepful advice from an expert. I have been writing things a few years ago, but did not pursue it. I think I just need some motivation to push me through. But now I started writing again about home theater Austin Texas .