Monday, 2 January 2012

2012 - Bring It On!

London's New Year fireworks

HAPPY 2012!

Firstly, what do you think of my new banner? My mate Lee McGeorge made it for me, and though at first I couldn’t believe he’d used that terrible photo it’s really grown on me. Now I just need to persuade him that I need series banners as well. :-)

Secondly, a lot of people have stated that 2011 wasn’t exactly the best year. I have to agree. I’m going to refrain from whining but 2011 wasn’t the best year for me, it certainly had it’s ups and downs. So I’m going to do my best to make…sorry I WILL make the most of 2012!

I’m coming to realise more and more that my attitude needs to change. Actually I’ve been aware of this for some time and whether it was a case of being unwilling or unable to make that change I’m not entirely sure, but the change is going to happen, and it’s going to happen now!

I’ve spent the last few days thinking carefully about what I want and need to achieve this year, and here are the main ones.


Just some of the titles I plan to read this year!
Reading is so important for a writer-in-training, and though I love to read I know I can do more. I’ve noticed myself becoming more critical of my reading material. 
For example, the book I’m currently reading, and determined to finish reading today, really could have done with another proof-reading pass! Part of me is itching to take a red pen to all the mistakes that have jarred me out of the flow and send it back to the publishers.
In this category there are two very simple goals:

- Read at least 2 books per month. This shouldn’t be difficult at all. Since I’ve doing a lot of travelling for work I typically have one book going on the Kindle, and a paperback by my bed. I may also start doing some book reviews on here.
- Read more widely. Try new genres and read books that I wouldn’t normally even pick up.

I also need to limit my fanfiction intake! Once you stumble upon an archive of good stories it’s very hard to get out of it!


Signed posters from the best shows I've worked on.
Right now work is a major concern for me. I’ve been fortunate that since May I have had almost continuous theatre work, even though it’s been stage management rather than sound but still for the most part it’s been a lot of fun. However, because it’s been all fringe theatre since August, my finances have suffered greatly. 
At my stage on the theatre technicians ladder it’s not unusual to get stuck with the problem of either taking a decent job and as a result being unable to take theatre work, or take theatre work and really struggle for money, but at least you’re working in theatre.
So in this category there are four goals:

- Work on a show that lasts for more than 6 weeks. Until May, any theatre work I had typically only lasted a week and then it was back to hunting for another job. Working for Drama Studio London from May until the end of July was hard work but sheer bliss. I had assured and well paid work. Since then my shows have lasted 3-5 weeks which has been pleasant enough, but I would love nothing more than a longer gig to look forward to.
- Get onto a West End show. Even if it’s just for work experience at first, at least that’s a foot in the door. Better print off the CV’s and start doing the West End walk again.
- Become financially independent again. I’ve been guilty of using the Bank of Dad to stay afloat the last couple of months.
- Bunker down for the Olympics. Originally I’d intended to skip the country for the Olympics, go and find some work in New Zealand to escape the Hellhole that London will become in the coming months. I’ve heard some worrying talk that theatre is likely to decline during the Olympics so I will need to either be secure on a big show by the time it comes round or just skip town! 


My new writing journal. Great start eh?
This is the major one for this year. As much as anything I’ve got to get myself into better writing habits.
So here’s the plan:

- Minimum of 15 minutes writing, 5 days a week. This is one of those habits that can be a great starting point. I spend far too much time thinking “I really need to write this, but I don’t have enough time”, so I’ve got to force myself to start using shorter amounts of time constructively.
- Finish everything I start. There’s a stack of short stories that I’ve started writing this year but have not yet finished. This is not good enough and must be remedied!
- Write the 1st draft of The Pirate’s Daughter. This novel will get written! I know I’ve been threatening it for nearly two years now, but this is the year that it will happen!
- Blog more regularly. The first few months of this blog produced a lot of rubbish but I’m now working to change that. Rather than use this blog as a journal, I want to use it to blog about more specific things; reviews of shows and books, dedications to inspirational people, documenting the growth of my orchard, and my new series, Pirate Profiles.
- Migrate to WordPress. I’m not entirely sure why I want to do this, but I do, so will be working on that over the coming months.
- Get paid to write. Or at least look in to possible avenues of getting paid to write. A lot of the US bloggers I follow make it sound relatively easy to find work like copy-writing over there, but I have no idea how to go about finding such work over here.
- Sort out my desk! It’s become a dumping spot again, not ideal when it needs to be a spot of creativity and business!

So there you have it. I think that’s the worst of it.


    What do you want to do with this year?