This series of daily posts, starting yesterday and going through next Friday (M-F), is an experiment. This is not about resolutions which we make on December 31 and break by January 30… or sooner. This is not about wish lists and ephemeral fantasies. This is about each of us — you and me — committing ourselves to ply the craft of writing day after day, to tell stories only we can tell, and to end up with a tangible product in our hand — a completed manuscript. Then start on another story…
Writing is hard. It just is. It’s a lonely occupation, far too often we get lost along the way, we have to fight off constant Inner Voices of Negativity, and the competition is stupid insane. In the face of that I guess what I’m hoping for in this effort is to enlist the entirety of the burgeoning GITS community to create a sum greater than the parts, a spirit of I Can Do That which grows and grows, and pours out into each of our little creative cups, feeding our souls and fueling our persistence.
Hence 10 posts. First and foremost, I believe the best way to identify simple, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely writing goals is to do a thorough job of self-examination, which is what we are doing this week, buttressed by some good, old-fashioned inspiration, which is what is on the docket for next week. But there’s also this: Each day I’m here bellowing at you is an opportunity. You may not be with us on Day 1. You may not catch up to us on Day 5. Perhaps it may take you until Day 10. But make no mistake: This is a Herald’s Call. The only way you are going to become a writer is by being a writer. And the best way to be a writer is to make goals… and meet the hell out of them.
If you missed the Day 1 post, you can catch that here.
Today: Assessing Where You Are
We started yesterday by looking back on what we accomplished in 2013. That part of the process is practical, aggregating our significant events and tangible achievements in the previous twelve months. Today we assess where we are as writers. This aspect of the process is more emotional, even spiritual.
Get curious about your Creative Self. Perhaps ask one or more of these questions:
* Is this where I want to be as a writer?
* Am I writing what I want to be writing?
* What do I want to write?
* What do I need to write?
* Is there a particular story I have surfaced about which I am particularly passionate?
* Has something important happened in my life this year which has shifted my writing perspective?
* Am I in touch with my Creative Self?
* What can I do to be a better writer?
As I noted previously, I am sharing my own part of this process with you and Friday I will make my own public proclamation of writing goals for 2014.
This year has been a challenge. As I noted here with the launch of Screenwriting Master Class and writing over 500 pages of lectures, I found myself immersed in writing about writing. Since that time, I have added more courses which meant more lectures. Plus, of course, this blog. Both ventures have been successful. But the question for me in 2013 was how to balance writing about writing, and writing fiction.
So I took up two projects, one a rewrite of an original screenplay, the other prepping another screenplay.
This will continue to be my challenge in 2014, especially as I shift focus somewhat on the teaching side toward more on-site Quest Workshops and on the writing about writing side with a screenwriting journal as well as at least one eBook.
More on that as we progress through this series.
How about you? Where are you as a writer? How would you assess where your Creative Self is just now? If it’s unclear, a piece of advice: Go into a room, shut the door, turn off all electronic conveyances, and ask yourself some of those questions noted above. What is your Creative Self calling you to do as a writer?
I encourage you to share your thoughts and impressions in Comments. And I put out a special invitation to those of you who are just starting on your writing adventure. We had a lot of feedback to yesterday’s post from writers who have been doing this for awhile, noting some significant events and opportunities in their lives this year. That was great to see. However we all start somewhere. Even if you have just recently discovered screenwriting or are contemplating for the first time giving expression to your creative impulses, stake that claim here today. As a bonus, I’m giving out batches of creative juju to all responders in Comments today!
Tomorrow we switch perspectives, instead of looking back at the past, then here today at the present, we extend our view toward the future… not 2014, but beyond… by asking this simple question: Where do you want to be as a writer?
See you in Comments!