I’m not entirely sure why but er, um, I haven’t written a speculative screenplay (plays, I have done) for err, um, five years. There you go. I have no more secrets.
What the merry heave-ho have I been doing? ‘Cos I’m pretty sure I call myself a writer a lot of the time.
There’s been some very masterly prevarication going on*; so good, I didn’t really see it. I mean, I’ve been busy doing writerly things, including theatre script-writing. The wise counsel of script consultant Philip Shelley last week made me blush: “Before all else, get yourself a new calling card script.” That’s what I’m working on at the mo (this is my break after a 5h stint, I promise!)
But I’m here ‘cos I wanted to show you how EASY it is not to write your new spec script, day after day…for a very long time indeed, without even noticing.
Here’s Gill’s Blush-Making Guide to Not Being an Unwriter:
- A great theatre show might get your work some attention from screen professionals, BUT it isn’t a screenplay
- Doing courses and reading experts’ blogs are not writing your screenplay
- Treatments are not your screenplay
- Teaching writing isn’t
- Housework CERTAINLY isn’t (tho’ parenting, love, loss and life all do help)
These are all things you rightly want (scripts onstage, networking, learning craft, working with writers, a clean home & a balanced life). They are ALL GOOD. But I did them AND I AIN’T GOT NO SCREENPLAY. And I do very much want to write – er – screenplays.
So, don’t let those other things eat up your screenplay-writing time. Just throw them some nuggets if you must…
* Here’s the answer to how my five years got eaten. I’ve writ a very big play about “quantum mechanics ‘n’ life ‘n’ shit”, crowdfunded £2,000 R&D for it (thank you, again!); worked in Whitehall for a year (and various other clients the rest of the time); writ & run GLITTER KNICKERS (see earlier posts if you managed somehow to miss that one); escaped a Helen Archer-style scenario (you either get that or you don’t) & raised a 2,3,4 and 5 year old (the same human, in ever-changing form). I’ve done well in competitions, written 3 film treatments, run a writers’ group, had a few smaller shows on of existing work, written & pitched several treatments and done lots of reading about writing. And bought a house. So that’s the to-do list done. Now it’s time for the er…what did I come in here for?