Most people this time of year make New Year’s Resolutions. Me? I do my best not to because I know myself and I know I’ll never keep any of them. I never have.
I do have some goals for 2014 though. One of them is to make it as good as 2013, professionally.
Personally, 2013 mostly sucked gas, especially for my fabulous wife, lots of loss and health concerns. I won’t bore you with the details, but I am hopeful 2014 is better for us that way and especially for her.
For my writing career, it was nothing short of miraculous. One sold script (with a writing partner), four production rewrite jobs, one cable TV series episode job, two produced films. I got to visit the set of one of those films for a day and see them film something I wrote. I never got to visit the sets of my first two produced films in 2012, even though I was invited. This year I got to. The producer was mega gracious and immediately asked a PA to get me a director’s chair and set it up next to his so I could see the monitors. The director pulled me onto the set and explained how he was setting the shots up. The crew was friendly and engaging. The actors thanked me for writing such a good script. (Whether they meant it or not is inconsequential) It was like hundreds of daydreams coming true. I pinched myself a lot that day.
My dark comic thriller sped its way to a 2014 start date with some amazing attachments. I got a nice acting job in a very funny film and enjoyed it a lot. It’s been three years since I did a film only as an actor and it was FUN. I directed my first short film. It was a ton of work and a ton of fun and the jury's still out, in editing now. I think it'll be funny. And this month, to put a big bow on the year and thanks to the Black List, I optioned a big commercial comedy to a very successful production company. And everybody paid me on time. A good year.
Uh oh. Did I dream it? I just looked at what I wrote and it seems too good to be true.
Well, I also got yelled at by my manager a few times. I didn’t write one original script the whole year. He also told me to either update my website (which I hadn’t done in three years) or dump it. I updated it and added the blog. I also lost out on some writing gigs and got some disappointing passes along the way, too. And I got rousted by US Marshalls at gun point while traveling on an AmTrak train, something I’d rather not have happen again. Hmmm, the list of not so good things is filling my head now, so I’ll stop ruminating about 2013.
GOALS FOR 2014:
Lose 40 pounds. Big one. Have to. For my health. For my family. For me. Not a resolution. A goal. This one is gonna be the hardest. Why I bought a treadmill and put it next to my desk in my office. It will NOT collect dust.
Write three new originals, at least one with my sometime writing partner Jeff Willis. (I’ll do a whole blog one day on how ultra cool this guy is and how much he deserves all the accolades he’s been getting lately.)
Have at least two films shot. (The aforementioned Dark Comic Thriller and a romantic comedy I wrote with Jeff that we sold last year)
Option a couple more scripts.
Get a couple of good rewrite jobs. Maybe get to adapt a book.
Maybe write a book. Maybe.
Get an agent. Yeah. I know. I still don’t have one. I have a wonderful manager though.
Couple of acting jobs would be nice.
Realize I’m asking for too much.
And the one that will happen for sure, keep trying to give back.
When I first started to try and do this writing thing a whole bunch of people in this business helped me out beyond what I could have ever expected. They encouraged me to keep at it. They championed my work. They got me through doors I could have never dreamed of getting to, let alone through. The help I received was staggering.
I promised myself I would do the same thing if I was ever in a position to do so. I’m not completely in that position yet. I’m still on the fringes of this business, but I do love to encourage writers and believe that there is room for anyone to succeed.
So… to my family, all my friends, colleagues, business partners, writers I know, writers I don’t know, I wish you all a beautiful 2014 filled with your dreams coming true and big pots of gold at the end of every rainbow. But mostly I wish you personal satisfaction, because that… is what pays the most.