James Moran wrote a post about writing-related things he’d like to do. He stole the idea from Paul Cornell, and I’m going to steal it from him. It seems especially appropriate at this time when thoughts turn toward goals for the coming year. (And even if I wasn’t thinking about it before, the fact I have to complete my self-assessment for my day job before the end of next week definitely shoved my mind in that direction.)
The easy ones are having a manuscript accepted, hitting the various bestseller lists, being able to quite the day job. What I’m listing below is a bit more ambitious, things I’d like to do and may — or may not — ever get a chance to try.
Write a series. If I can get my act together, finish some books and get published, this might be possible. I’ve got some in my head, but part of it is actually sitting down and doing it. There is some hesitation because I’ve read one too many books where I look at the supporting characters and go “sequel”, but I also love a good series where there is a solid continuing story thread.
Write a movie. I’ve dabbled with screenplays for years, though I have to confess I’m not completely comfortable with the medium. What I see in my head when I’m writing is cinematic in nature, with long shots, closeups and a musical score, so I think you can understand the urge. Living in Los Angeles, however, I know how low writers tend to rank in the food chain, which leads to the next thing on my list.
I’d like to direct. If I got my hands on a video camera and pulled some friends together, I probably could do this one. Sure, it wouldn’t be wide distribution (or any distribution beyond YouTube), but if I made the effort, I probably could.
Write a column. If I could find a venue, this is also something I could do. It would take some organization on my part and a firm commitment, but I could do it. A blog is a sort of column, though much more free-form. What I need is a topic and a plan.
Do a podcast. This is in the works, and hopefully I’ll be saying something about it soon. It’s somewhat fannish in nature, but I also think my take on the subject genuinely has something different to say from the other podcasts is out there. Stay tuned.
Take a master class. I’m going back to screenplays here. I’d like a chance to work with someone like Aaron Sorkin, Richard Curtis, Russell T Davies or Steve Moffat for the chance to pick their brains and a chance to see how their mind works up close. For that matter, I wouldn’t mind working with James Moran, Phil Ford, Paul Cornell or Chris Chibnall, all of whom I hold in great respect as writers. Ultimately, you find your own style and voice, but there’s so much to learn from watching others at work.
There are others things, but then we really get into the realm of “That’s never going to happen,” such as writing a James Bond film. Looking over the list, though, all of these are possible in some way or another if I’m willing to stretch and take chances. That’s something to think about.
What’s on your list? What things would you like to do?