2013 year in review, goals for 2014
2013 was an interesting year. Not a good year writing wise, at least as far as tangible results go, but really great for other stuff.
My top 3 goals for 2013 were:
- Be a working writer, and get staffed on a show.
- Write at least 2 new pilot scripts.
- Write a feature script.
How many of those did I accomplish? None! Not even close.
Here’s what did happen with writing:
- I finished up WOTV.
- During WOTV, I had to leave the writers group I was in, but afterwards, I returned to the group. Thanks for letting me come back, guys!
- I started a new pilot. I got the outline done, but didn’t finish it.
- My pilot that I wrote during WOTV, Mailboys, was a 2nd rounder at the Austin Film Festival. I went to the festival with several friends and had a great time! I need to write a post on my experience there at some point, but the panels were inspiring, the parties were fun, and I even took a picture with Vince Gilligan (I’m pretty sure everyone who went to Austin has this same picture).
2013 was full of non writing stuff, including these 2 main things:
- After being able to write pretty much full time during the Nick Fellowship in 2011, and then being unemployed for all of 2012, I got a full time day job doing design again. The job is very demanding, and it’s almost 50 hours a week, but I’m grateful to have a good, steady job. It’s hard to write because I have a lot less free time, but it’s also hard to write when you’re unemployed and trying to figure out how you’re going to pay rent and feed yourself. We all have to balance our writing with our day job, friends, family, relationships, etc. Even working writers have to make time to work on their personal projects, so no excuses.
- I bought a condo. I wouldn’t be mentioning this, except I had no idea it would take up so much time! Trying to get pre-approved for a loan, looking for a place, bidding, going through escrow, moving, and renovating – all that took up 6 months! It was like having another job, and I basically had no time to write from May till November.
Here is a completely unnecessary pie chart showing where my time went in 2013.
In the past, my goal was always to be a working writer, but it’s more of a wish and not a good goal because it’s not something that’s completely in my control. So to try to make my wish of being a working writer come true, here are my goals for 2014:
Write at least one great pilot script. I might have to write several to get one really good one that resonates with people, but I like where my current pilot is going, so that’s a good sign. I need to tweak the outline a bit, and then I can start writing pages. When I finish it, I have several agents I can send it to.
- PILOT OR SPEC
After that pilot, I have an idea for another comedy pilot, but I’m might try my hand at a drama pilot. It would make sense to write a dramedy, but who knows, I might try for something really dark. I was debating whether or not I should write a new spec script and apply to any fellowships this year, or if I should just focus on writing pilots. I’ll probably write a spec since it won’t take that long, either a Bob’s Burgers or Brooklyn Nine Nine.
- ANIMATED PITCH
For a few years now, I wanted to create a pitch for an animated show. Seriously, why haven’t I done this already? I studied illustration and animation. I did the Nick Fellowship and know people at Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and Disney. I’m going to do it this year.
Last year, I put way too much pressure on myself, and instead of writing being fun, it just gave me anxiety. In 2014, I want writing to be fun again!
I’ve been enjoying your blog for awhile, and I know one of these days I’ll see a post that announces you’ve been staffed on a show. I wish you luck this year!
I like your pie chart. It is necessary for my enjoyment!
Oh, cool. I was at that same BBQ at Austin.
Your list is something I’ve been talking about to a few folks. Used to be, everyone wanted to see a spec, then everyone wanted to see a pilot, then everyone was back to spec.
You’re on the right track. Have a few good examples of each. The logic being, specs to prove you can capture a show’s tone and character voice, and a pilot to show you can be creative. Agents can try and sell your pilot, but the spec would only be used for a sample. So you have to have a ball in every game.
Nice pie chart. I should have one for my goals for the year.