Before anyone gets a chance to think it, I want to let everyone know that I do not have an obsession with Scott Myers at Go Into The Story. I wanted to write my writing goals for 2013 long before I saw his ten part series on the subject and decided to model this post on it. Plus, his wife made it very clear that I was not too come by their house again. However, she was nice enough to throw away the diaper I wore during the cross-country drive.
As I look back on my writing in 2012 I’m happy. I continued to grow as a screenwriter. I learned things that make my life easier as a screenwriter and things that will make my life harder, but my writing better.
Going to the Austin Film Festival for the first time in my life was a great experience. Hard as all hell on my body, but great for my mind and spirit. Being surrounded by others that struggle and hope, love and achieve, in screenwriting 24 hours a day is a surreal world I want to visit again.
I began to use and have fun with twitter as a networking tool. Besides finding new friends, it’s given me lots of laughter and awesome conversations. It also gives me a lot to ponder. Just like when I lived in Los Angeles full-time, there are people who I find I don’t like but they have a lot of power and can help me reach my goals. A big part of why I left LA is because I found myself kissing those people on both cheeks and smiling. Every time I don’t follow those people on twitter I congratulate myself. It slowly gets easier to do because, every day, I become surer of who I am and who I want to be.
Starting a blog was another thing that I did this year. Being old enough that I grew up in a time where my exposure to computers was confined to the school lab a couple of times a week, it was something I never thought I’d do. Being open and honest to the world about things so personal was a doggone miracle.
Finally, the best part of screenwriting this year has been that even the first drafts of what I’ve written this year has gotten consider ratings from people I trust. Yippee.
Assessing Where You Are
Where I am now is not where I want to stay as a writer, but it is where I am and I’m proud to have gotten this far.
I like the things I’m writing. This year alone I’ve tackled issues like racism, elder care, and women taught that their only power is sexuality. The best part about writing about these things is that I can do it in an entertaining way. The preachy bone that was located in my right arm between the radius and ulna has been removed and stored in an empty coffee can for use responding to non-fiction issues. However, if I could write comedies that are actually funny I would dance a jig. Hell yes, I’d settle for a dramedy. I would still write about serious issues that effect my life but to be able to make people laugh while I do it would make me do a happy dance that would last for days. (I miss Perfect Strangers.)
I’m scared. I don’t know what 2013 holds for me. Being one year closer to my death is not what scares me. The possibility of having another year go by without anyone saying they want to invest in me or my scripts. To have the art gone. That’s what scares me.
Where Do You Want To Go As a Writer
I want to rewrite the scripts I already have so that they get at least strong considers. This will get me a manager and perhaps an agent. I would also like to sell one of my scripts by August so that I can afford to go to the 20th anniversary of the Austin Film Festival.
Unless, Homeland or Game of Thrones or another earth shattering television show calls me up to say, “Hey, you’re disabled and black so the WGA will pay for you to be on our staff. When can you get here?” I’d like to write movies. I enjoy it. It’s challenging and they were my rebellion as I grew up.
I will still write specs but what I want to write adaptations. I love to read and if I could turn a book I love into something that will bring it to more people to enjoy that would make my heart grow three sizes that day. There are two adaptations I have in mind right now. From the moment I finished Feed: The First Book of the Newsflesh Series by Mira Grant I’ve wanted it. I’ve seen how to write the visually stagnant blocks of typing, emails, and internet blogs. I’d down play the zombies using them as a weapon and focus on it as the political thriller it is. The zombie moan I would let out if I got that adaptation would have the neighbors two doors down grabbing their machetes, or wondering just what position I was trying out from 50 Shades of Grey. For years, I’ve wanted to write the screenplay for The Face by Dean Koontz. I know he hates his books being turned into movies because of his experience with the Hollywood culture. But maybe, just maybe, I could get him to realize that giving the rights to a black woman who has never had anything produced in Hollywood would be the biggest “screw you” to the establishment he can send. No, I ain’t above it. If my mom, had sex with him I’d use that instead.
Having come so far in the last year I don’t want to spend money on the credit card for screenwriting classes or events I can not afford. Since there is little I can afford, I will only accept and take on debt for things that will unquestionably help my career. Things like posting my scripts on The Black List, professional consultation with No Bullscript, and creative juju/kicks in the butt from Screenwriting Master Class.
Because of my disability I will have to find a manager and agent willing to work with me around or through my limitations. I will try to limit my pity party when rejected because of this to no longer than a day. I will not fail to recognize that because of this I will have more confidence in the partnership between my representatives and myself. There will be communication and belief between us that few others will have so quickly.
Lastly, I will have to decide what I will need to be offered so that I can move back to LA full-time without feeling guilt for leaving my mom alone to care for my 97-year-old grandma.
This is pretty damn public don’t you think?
I’m glad I got this out there. I will embrace and work toward these goals. I will pray (carefully) on them too. ‘Cause if prayer works for bacteria why not me?