writing recap of 2014, goals for 2015

Oh my god, I haven’t posted in so long! A lot has happened, so let me try to catch up.

At the midpoint of the year, the end of June 2014, I was feeling pretty good about things. I was in the CAAM Fellowship, and I was so fortunate to get an amazing mentor in Kourtney Kang. My day job was stable, and I was working on a new pilot.

I’ve continued to teach writing online. I love it!  I got to meet so many wonderful, talented people. Several of them did very well with their scripts, including placing in Scriptapalooza, the Austin Film Festival, and the CBS Writers Mentoring Program.

In August, I had a meeting with some agents at ICM. They had read my pilot, and they were nice to enough to chat with me. It was just an introductory meeting, but they said they liked my writing, and would read the next thing I wrote. They said these days, you need multiple pilots. One sample isn’t good enough. I pitched them the pilot I was working on, and they seemed to like the concept. I asked when would be a good time to send them something by. They said Dec, or Jan at the latest.

By the end of the year, my writing had slowed down. My day job was stressful and depressing after my boss resigned, and I was creatively stuck on my pilot for a several months. It wasn’t until the very end of the year where I started to get back on track.

I had 3 goals for 2014:

  • Write at least one great pilot script.
    ALMOST – I think I got about 90% finished with the pilot I started. I think it has potential. Kourtney liked the idea. It’s very grounded and personal, based on my family.
  • Write another pilot or spec.
    NO – I didn’t write a spec, and my pilot took longer than I wanted it to. I’m not happy with my productivity.
  • Come up with an animated pitch.
    NO – But I did start drawing again.

By the end of the year, I was seriously thinking of switching to drama. One of my friends made the top 5% for the Warner Bros program, and if you make the top 5%, they invite you to a panel. They told him they take 6 drama writers and 2 comedy writers a year, and they get twice as many submissions for comedy than drama. Crazy, right? Also, I heard that the CBS Writers Mentoring program didn’t take any comedy writers this year (including 2 of my students who were semifinalists), because they couldn’t get any comedy people who would mentor. I felt like maybe comedy was just too competitive. Not that drama is easier in any way, but I think there are more jobs out there compared to comedy. Basically, the decision comes down to the pilot I’m writing. If something happens with that, great, then I’d continue writing comedy. If nothing happens with my pilot, meaning no agent, no writing job, no contest or fellowship placement, then I’ll try switching to drama. Or at least write some drama samples.

So on to 2015, and my goals. They’re basically the same ones I always make.

  • Get an agent.
  • Get staffed on a show.
  • Write 2 pilots.
  • Work on some other creative project: either a feature, a web series, or an animated pitch.

Good luck to everyone in 2015!

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