So in my last post about Kicking Off the Third Quarter”, Part I of III, I laid out my inner feelings on all the recent changes in my life that have made me feel super sluggish on the creative and professional front. But I didn’t want to leave it on that note.
So, I re-laid out all of the goals I wanted to achieve over the next five years, with the promise that I would also lay out the day-to-day activities that I’d engage in to make these goals happen. Didn’t have room for it in the last post, so here they are now!
The Malleable Middle, continued
2. Writing at least 2000 words of fiction a day.
Lots of authors out there write as much as they can per day, and I totally get that. I think if you hit 200 words a day as an author (which comes out to 70,000 words a year), and especially if you’re working full-time at something else, that’s pretty amazing. But since I don’t have to report into a full-time job, I’m going to hold myself to a higher standard.
For a while, I wanted to hit 5,000 words a day, but I realized that, for me, that’s way too much, lol! Plus I can hit 2,000 words a day without losing my mind and getting burnt out on a project. 2000 words x 350 days = 700,000 a year! That’s nearly 10 novels a year! Also, notice that I shaved off 15 days for the sake of “vacay days” and holidays, because we always need a rest! 😉 Pretty impressive, huh? Just goes to show that every little word counts!
3. Writing at most 1000 words of non-fiction (for my blog) a day
I really love blogging, and it’s a huge part of how I share my lessons, mistakes, and helpful hints as I take my creative journeys through novel-writing, tv / screenwriting, filmmaking, and travel. So I’m really trying to stay on top of my blog while also maintaing my 700,000 word a year goals for my fiction. Writing 3,000 words a day as a full-time job can’t be so bad… especially if you love it!
4. Writing at least 3 script pages a day.
So this is in addition to the thousands of words of fiction and non-fiction prose I’m supposed to be writing every day. Yeah, I know, I know! LOTS of writing going on. But believe it or not, I’m trying to break my tasks down into chunks so that I’ll have my target number of scripts by the end of the year.
I’m aiming to produce three 110 pg feature scripts, three 60 pg pilots, and three spec scripts a year. I have no clue if or how this is going to happen, but I damned sure am going to try. And when you think about it, 3 pages a day ain’t so bad!
5. Take at least an hour or so every day to do something related to marketing and networking.
According to Lee Jessup, having a writing career is 60% art and 40% career initiative. A part of that initiative is doing all the things you need to market your work, meet new people, collaborate, and share with others. Plus it’ll help to break the monotony and refresh my creative engines!
In addition to meeting new folks, I’m also going to be trying a whole bunch of creative marketing techniques for my novel and novella series. I’ll be doing quizzes, giveaways, contests, book conventions, book clubs, author collaborations, and much, much more, and one major promotion of mine will be kicking off this July 1st, so stay tuned!
6. Create a creative self-study course (a personal uni), which will start this July 2014.
My dream is to create a personal university that caters to my interests and goals. I won’t be able to enroll in any kind of formal class until next July 2015, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t start off my learning journey now! There are so many free resources, classes,books, and workshops available that there is no reason to wait. All one has to do is make the time.
Wanna learn special effects? There are so many programs and tutorials out there that there is no excuse not to start training yourself. Wanna be a better playwright? Start with reading, studying, and watching plays!
So that (and more) is what I’m going to do! I’m even going to give myself syllabi, homework, the whole nine! Here’s how I’m thinking of starting the year off:
- Foundational coursework in video game design, including programming, character design, and level design, at the Game Institute (which I bought a year ago)
- Foundational work in SFX for movies and games
- Learning and practicing the fundamentals of screenwriting and playwriting
- Learning the fundamentals in film production and production management (including how to run pre-production, production, and post-production)
- Growing my skills in novel writing and in independent publishing methods
- Expanding my marketing skills, outcome measurement skills, and knowledge in independent publishing
This is just the first year that I’ve laid out for myself. Each year beyond this will not only build on my skills but also build a portfolio that is a high-quality representation of everything that I’ve learned!
7. Continue to volunteer at organizations and events as much as possible!
You know how every major in school has an internship component? Welp, this is it for me, lol! I’ll be continuing on with my volunteering at the Screenwriter’s Network, and I might even try to volunteer my time at a talent agency after my baby is born! I’m also considering doing some more film work around Los Angeles as a PA or Line Producer with opportunities to grow. I’ll do anything to get some “real-world” experience in the fields in which I want to be successful!
So yes, a lot of June is about trying to implement these new initiatives, and getting more writing done, but it is also about clearing my plate and setting up my schedule for a very busy third and fourth quarter. As a part of that set up, I’ll be making a few very exciting announcements in the final post of this mini-blog series, so stay tuned! In the meanwhile, and as always…
Keep it indie,