It’s been a while and I feel like I’m overdue for an update. Before I start, I have to ask you to please forgive me for the infrequency of my posts; I’m afraid it’s a hazard of being busy trying to make a living while you’re trying to make a life. And the irony of my taking away from what time I do have to pursue that life to, well, blog (are we still calling what I’m doing here “blogging” or is there some other cooler word for it now?) is not lost on me. But I do it anyway because it’s nice to have somebody, like you, dear reader, to empty my brain of these thoughts. Anyway, here’s what’s been happening:
I’ve “finished” two pilot scripts and started working on a third while I kick around ideas for a fourth with a friend of mine who is, like me, a regular working stiff with dreams of exec producing a show. I used quotes around the word finished before because while I’ve managed to type the words FADE OUT on the last page of each of them, I’m not quite satisfied that I’ve done everything I humanly can to make them as good as they can be. I actually don’t think I will ever totally feel that way about anything that I write, but I’m not worried about it either. Those two scripts (and probably the next two) I consider to be part of my “learning how to right a television pilot” body of work and not projects that I think have a realistic shot of being bought by anybody in the business. I just want to get one or two good enough to feel comfortable putting in front of an agent. All of that being said, I’m also preparing for the “best case scenario” by thinking about future episodes and episode arcs and jotting down log lines for them. Just in case, you know?
I feel like I’m getting better at this just by the doing. I reference my notes from Ed Lee’s classes and the books on the subject of television writing that I’ve bought frequently, but the act of writing and rewriting is teaching me lessons too. The work is hard sometimes, but fun all the time so, pretty much like the cliche, it’s about the journey. At the end of it, I know that I’m going to be able to write and sell an idea that’ll have at least 100 episodes in it and that people are going to want to make and watch, but I’ll be able to look back at how I got there and recall it fondly. I promise, you’ll be among the first to know about it when it happens.
The other thing that’s happening is that I’m getting an itch to get back to the novel. I’m scratching it by going back and reading the pages I’ve completed and making notes. I haven’t started any new work on it because I have a hard time finding enough time to work on the TV stuff as it is, but damn if it isn’t pulling on me pretty hard. I think that I will be a much better television writer than I ever could be as a novelist, but that doesn’t make me not want to try. And I think I know why: Jason Miller. More precisely, Jason’s debut novel “Down Don’t Bother Me.” It’s wonderful and I highly recommend that you get it and read it.
I know Jason from Twitter (@longwall26). That’s how I found out about the book. Well, of course, as soon as it came out, I bought the Kindle version and, as soon as I could clear enough mental real estate in my life, read it and loved it. And then I thought, “Damn, I can do this.” I don’t mean to say that I am as good a writer as Jason is, because I know that I’m not. What I do mean to say is that I’m capable of writing a novel good enough to publish. Here’s the thing: I also think that, with enough practice, I can hit a 95 mile an hour fastball. But that doesn’t mean that I should do that because, well, it wouldn’t be the right career move for me. So, for the time being, I’m going to stick to my knitting, as the saying goes. I’ll write that novel eventually. I plan to live a long time so there’s no rush.
That’s all for now. Thanks for checking in.