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Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy New Year!

As the new year approaches – no, I can’t do it. I can’t even type that time-worn, clichéd sentence about making goals and resolutions, it just hurts my brain. But you know what I mean. January 1st feels like a starting line of some sort, doesn’t it? It demarcates the year.

Personally – and there’s not an actual date I abide by – Fall is the time of year when I feel inspired to rev up and set some goals. It was probably ingrained in me from so many years of school – clang went the bell, squeak went the corduroy pants and off we went with our peechee folders to make it through another year with a horrible hair cut and some new trauma to endure – oh sorry, I digress.

For the sake of thematic consistency and so Rouge Wavers can immediately grasp the Big Idea of this post, let’s stick with January 1st. The strike isn’t over, it's gotten nasty and nobody knows how long it will last.

But we do know that the more ready-to-go inventory you have as an aspiring screenwriter, the more attractive you will be to potential agents, managers or producers. After the last strike, there was a creative boom in Hollywood. And this time may be no different except that the landscape will have changed. Have you considered writing a Webisode like Marshall Herskovitz's Quarter Life? (Disclaimer: Herskovitz is my boss) What about a television pilot? An original HBO-type movie? The landscape is changing and it's changing fast. Will you be ready? I don't know about Rouge Wavers, but the Wave-inatrix is inspired and excited about the possibilities that may arise from this dark time.

We also know that all the big competitions are coming up with spring – Nicholl’s (a $30K fellowship, mondo publicity and tons of prestige) Disney ($50K fellowship, publicity and a jump-start on your career, potentially) Austin (cash prizes, prestige and publicity) The Blue Cat Competition (cash prizes, some publicity and great notes) Creative Screenwriting (cash prizes and publicity) and those are only the competitions off the top of my head.

So January is as good as any to look at the year going forward and ask yourself: how many scripts are in my arsenal? What kind of shape are they in? Which competitions shall I enter? What agents or managers will I query? What new ideas should I develop? In what way can I continue to network and to further my screenwriting education? How will this new landscape inspire and direct my strategy as a writer?

January is also a good time to look at the mirror and really ask yourself – do you want to do this be a writer thing? If so, what are you doing to further your career? Take stock, set goals and make the time to write. Treat yourself to a great book on screenwriting. Sign up now to go to a screenwriting conference or lecture at your local university. Check out some blogs you might not have heard of. And write. Because there’s no silver bullet, there’s no substitute. But there are opportunities. Don't miss them.

Happy New Year, everybody!

ShowHype: hype it up!

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Girl Clumsy said...

Hi Julie,

My name's Natalie - I'm a journalist based in Brisbane, Australia. I discovered your blog a few weeks ago and have been lurking ever since.

I've never really thought about screenwriting before (despite writing a lot of crap plays as a teenager), but now I love the idea. I still know nothing about anything, but I've found your blog inspiring (not to mention envy-inducing, but that's cool, I'm OK with my own jealousy!).

I wish you all the best for 2008 - may the strike be resolved to everyone's benefit and may the creativity roll thick and fast. I'll be cruising through often hoping for inspiration, information, and practical ideas on how to stretch my writing skills.

Cheers, Natalie.

Julie Gray said...

Hi Natalie! Welcome to a brand-new Rouge Waver! So glad you enjoy the blog; that's what it's all about :)

Happy New Year!