Forgive me, for I have sinned. This is my first blog in a month... naughty Dom!
The reason I've been so lax is because I have decided to challenge myself. But it's no ordinary challenge, oh no, I've deliberately made it hard on myself and come up with something that is going to push me to the limit as a writer. The challenge is this...
Each month I will start a brand new project and write it from start to finished first draft within the calendar month. Some of the projects will be TV pilots and others feature screenplays. When they are done I will rewrite them alongside a new project during another month, until they are as polished as they can be.
So now you're thinking I'll be writing two projects a month, one new and one rewrite... but I'm not stopping there, oh no. To add to the above I will also be replotting my young adult fantasy novel and finishing the first draft by the end of the year. Looking a lot more difficult now, isn't it? But that's still not all of it.
I will also be dealing with any paid work that comes in and even though it will have priority, my aim is to continue the spec work alongside it. Yes, I can see some late nights, early mornings and long, lonely weekends in my future.
So to recap, that's one first draft of a new project, a rewrite of a previous first draft, continuous work on my novel and any paid work that comes in. But why?
Well, last year started out with the best of intentions, as most January's do. I had a paid feature ready to begin, but as the year dragged on and the feature and life issues got in the way, I let my spec work fall away to the point I was only working on the feature. Silly!
This year I'm determined to complete as many finished projects as I can. I might not do all that I have planned, but I'm going to give it a damn good go.
In January I wrote and rewrote a spec TV pilot with my writing partner Anne-Marie Caluwaert which we entered into the Stage 32 Happy Writers TV Pilot Competition. We are so proud it made its way as far as the last ten.
In February I rewrote a sitcom I created with my other writing partner Lee Helliar, as well as plotting a new TV crime drama pilot to start writing in March. And that's where I am now, I have over half my novel replotted and I'm busy with my head buried in the first draft of the TV crime drama spec... which isn't going too great I have to admit (only 25 pages in), but which I'm determined to finish by Friday.
I had better get on with it then.
Don't forget to challenge yourself this year, push the boundaries of what you think you are capable of and then push them again. You can't afford to sit still... no one else will be.