Have you ever had a dream?
It’s a familiar story: growing up, my family didn’t have a lot of money. I was surrounded by adults working hard in regular jobs they didn’t enjoy, living for the weekends.
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 special (I only jump out of bed when one of my twins tries to escape their cot).
I wasn’t sure what that would look like. But, as a child, I’d become accustomed to using my imagination for entertainment. It was a precious, limitless resource and highly personal. It certainly never occurred to me that I could use it to forge a career but, like many of my fellow humans, I certainly enjoyed stories.
Perhaps a little less like others, whenever I finished a chapter or episode, I’d delve into my imagination and inhabit that world. Sometimes as the hero or a new character of my own creation. I played out new stories and imagined my characters walking about in real life. And this has carried on into adulthood. I confess it has alleviated the tedium of many a boring business meeting.
Belatedly, I realised I wanted to become a writer.
I am a freelance writer, so that’s a good start. I usually write and edit articles, websites, brochures, sales pages and funding applications. But…
Specifically, I want to be a screenwriter.
It boils down to this: I love to be entertained. I relish the idea of my screenplay as blueprint, inspiring other creative folk to bring a story to life – and entertain me in return. When this collaborative process goes well, it’s greater than the sum of its parts. At its best, it’s magnificent – and so much better than I could make alone.
I want to move people. 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 meandering path, including quitting a well-paying, if stressful, job to go freelance, then conceiving twin boys. In December 2016, thirsty for creative output and to get some ‘me’ time going on, I decided to pick up the trail again… And here we are. I still write in varying capacities (and enjoy it) but I’m doggedly taking small steps along the path I hope will lead me to my screenwriting dreams.
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 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…