It’s been a sombre start to the year, with the loss of the AirAsia plane on 28th December and the horrific news from Paris yesterday. Somehow when the clock strikes midnight on the 31st December, there’s always the hope that the New Year will somehow magically usher in a change for the better, but of course that’s rarely the case. In some ways, New Year is only an arbitrary marker in the endless continuum of time, and yet we seem to have a strong need to draw a line under the past at regular intervals and give ourselves permission to start afresh with renewed optimism and purpose.
I have to confess that I didn’t write as much as I would have liked last year – a few short stories and a few short screenplays is all I managed to get down. Starting a new job in the summer didn’t help, and it’s taken me a while to adjust and still find time to write along with work and family commitments. So I aim to be much more productive this year, and much more disciplined too. I have plans for a new feature script, and am determined to try and complete it over the next few months.
One boost is that a director has taken on one of my short scripts – a comedy about a flat-share that goes wrong – and with any luck, it will be produced and filmed over the next couple of months too. I have to say that the prospect of one of my stories actually appearing on screen – or at least youtube – is vastly exciting and it’s also encouraged me to think getting some of my other story ideas actually down on paper. I have a whole list of them…
While I enjoy writing, especially when it’s going well, I find the whole marketing side of it really hard. It goes against the grain to talk much about myself or my writing. Part of me just wants it to be miraculously discovered, but of course without me actively trying to promote my work, this is about as likely as seeing a flock of pigs sailing overhead.
What sticks in the mind is a comment from the winner of the Costa Book award for best newcomer, Emma Healey, who said that she rarely spoke about her writing while she was working on her debut novel, ‘Elizabeth is Missing’, because it was kind of embarrassing admitting to being an aspiring writer. I have every sympathy for such sentiments! So I guess my main resolution for this year is to be more confident about myself as a writer, but to make sure I put in the hours too. Wish me luck!