Have you ever had a big dream?
Mine is to create stories.
I’ve loved them in all their forms since I was very small. Every time I finished a chapter or episode, I’d embark on a journey, folding into my imagination and inhabiting that world. Sometimes as the hero, the hero’s love interest or some fabulous new character of my own creation. I’d conjure up my own worlds too.
Part of this sprouted from the fact we didn’t have a lot of money growing up so I got used to using my increasingly vivid imagination for entertainment. It never occurred to me that I could use that imagination as a career. No one in my family had ever done anything like that. Instead, I saw plenty of grown-ups working hard in regular jobs they didn’t enjoy, living for the weekends.
So I vowed to find a career I loved.
One of those careers I’d heard people supposedly leap out of bed for. I thought that would be pretty amazing (I rarely jump out of bed with glee for anything).
The thing is, somehow I’ve turned 38 and haven’t achieved that goal.
I am a freelance writer, so that’s a good start. I usually write and edit words for websites, brochures, sales pages and funding applications. But…
I want to be a screenwriter.
I want to write stories that I get to see come alive. I want to use my imagination and get paid for it. Plus, I’d love to move an audience (or a reader) the way I’ve been moved by stories. To get emotions fired up. To elicit an ‘Oh shit!’, to make people cry, laugh and feel connected to humanity.
I work at home part-time. I’m in debt, time-poor and sleep-deprived.
So you could say there are a few obstacles. You might even say it’s possibly the worst time to take on such an endeavour. But the idea of putting it off any longer is intolerable. I (REALLY) want to try. At least then I can say I gave it a good bash.
Back in 2011, I wrote a pilot episode for a thriller TV programme and it was shortlisted in a BBC competition. Ultimately, I didn’t win anything, except a modicum more confidence in my abilities. I was encouraged to keep writing, called a ‘writer worth noting’ – at first I wondered if they’d missed the ‘h’ but it turned out they thought I had some potential.
Since then I’ve taken a very meandering path. I quit my job to become a freelance writer, did OK at that then a few years in I conceived twin boys: an amazing, but all-consuming adventure. In December 2016, desperately needing that creative output and to get some me time, I decided to pick up the trail again… And here we are.
In writing this blog, I aim to:
- Explore what it takes to become a screenwriter
- Hold myself publicly accountable – in the hope it motivates me when the going gets tough(er)
- See if I can actually achieve what I dream of doing
Plus, it’s cheaper than therapy.
If you’d like to:
(a) learn how to write with no time, money or energy
(b) find out about how to become a screenwriter
or (c) watch me quite possibly lose my marbles in the attempt
Then please follow along.
I will (no doubt) continue to take a meandering path but I aim to provide insight, tips, musings, resources and possibly a dose of entertainment, or at the very least some schadenfreude.
The person you’ll be following is a mother to one-year-old twin boys, living in a place called Bearwood just outside Birmingham (UK) with a wonderful partner of 11 years. I promise to be real. After all, I don’t have the energy not to be.
P.S I love Instagram and share lots of writerly insight there – if you’re a fellow writer or creative come and say hi!
P.P.S It’s been a year! I’m now 39, the boys are two and I’m onto my second draft…