30 Days down. 1 month gone. Only 11 months or 335 days to go. I don't think I've ever seen 30 days go by so fast. It's actually a little frightening that there are only 11 months left. One year seemed like plenty of time to get a lot accomplished in, but with one month of hindsight experience under the belt, 11 months is suddenly looking to be rather challenging. The thing that concerns me most going forward is my ability to maintain the pace I've established in this first month.
I was able to concentrate almost exclusively on the writing career for the month of September, working to establish and build a brand, but that's because I've had down time between my regular production work. As I look to move back into the production work force, the vast amounts of time I've had will become more limited. Working in production takes up 10-12 hours a day. That's half a day I won't have to work on the writing career. Even with that amount of time available to me, I haven't had as much time to devote simply to writing, as I would have expected. A lot of time has been spent maintaining and updating the website and connecting with others on various social media platforms. These are important aspects in ultimately marketing a screenplay, but if the writing isn't getting done then this time is largely wasted.
I'm hoping, in going forward, that this aspect of the career can take more of a back seat to the writing. I've certainly gotten nimbler on the website updating aspect and can do that in a about an hour now. The ScriptTalk™ portion of the site, however, is taking much more time than I anticipated. Even only shooting a half-hour interview takes up half of a day in commuting, set up and take down. Then there's time spent transferring and transcoding and just about a full day of editing. Still, I've managed to average over my page-a-day goal, though that doesn't necessarily mean I've been writing everyday. Once I'm back in my regular day job, that goal is going to be a lot tougher and I may have to rework future goals to maintain that pace. But enough with the concerns, what were the accomplishments for the first month?
On September 2, I made the following goals my priority for the month:
• Complete rewrites on Come Ups
• Complete the 2nd Act of Do Unto Others
• Write Episode 4 of Everyday Clowns
• Begin work on Logline/Pitch for Come Ups
• Business Cards
I made good progress on Come Ups, but fell woefully short of my goal of finishing the rewrites on the script. I'm just shy of the midpoint, so I still have half the script to go. The rewriting has been substantial and early results from a reading at Tuesdays@9 indicate I'm on the right path, but it's going to take a concentrated effort to complete the remaining rewrites any time soon.
I did not work on Do Unto Others at all. There simply wasn't time.
I did complete Episode 4 of Everyday Clowns in a last minute writing session that turned out very well for a workshop reading at the IAWTV.
I also completed work on the logline for Come Ups, which puts me ahead of the game when I finally finish the rewrites on that script.
And lastly, I ordered my business cards and have been handing them out dutifully whenever I've had the opportunity.
So the monthly goals are a mixed bag of successes and misses. While it seemed completely doable when I made the list, it now seems a little overly ambitious with everything else I was trying to accomplish simultaneously. On the positive side though, I cranked out about 51 pages of written script material over the last 30 days. This includes the massive rewrites on the first half of the second act of Come Ups, 2 pages on the Secret Project, 15 pages for Everyday Clowns Episode 4 and another 5 pages for another episode of Everyday Clowns. In addition there were 30 days of blogs, some of which had 5 or six pages worth of written material. So while I didn't hit all my stated writing goals for September, there was still a considerable amount of writing completed. Far more, in fact, than I had anticipated. All that blog writing, though actually very good for me -- especially the pieces where I had to analyze my plot structure -- cut deeply into my script writing.
I also managed to post 34 different articles on screenwriting to the website's News page, ranging from legal issues to pitching to character development -- not to mention all the other articles I've read but did not post. I haven't had this much immersion in one subject since college! It has certainly been a great learning experience that has reinforced some of my own beliefs and understandings about the industry, but has also challenged me in ways I hadn't foreseen.
In addition, I conducted and edited two ScriptTalk™ interviews over the last two weeks of the month and recorded 31 separate daily video blogs, including an interview with award-winning writer Matt Hoverman. Plus, I've 'attended' two online webinars on launching a screenwriting career.
Whew, that's a lot of accomplishments for someone who didn't make their stated goals! But wait, there's more.
On the social media front, the Facebook page has been getting some notice with a number of posts being shared. Over on Twitter, I've hit about 40 followers and have had a number of retweets and several of my tweets have shown up on Screenwriter Daily. And the website finally started getting subscribers toward the end of the month.
All in all, not a bad first 30 days for what started out as a spontaneous journey to sell a screenplay in the waning days of August. Now, what am I going to do for October?