2018 Retrospective

I haven’t been updating as frequently and I apologize to anyone who’s been wondering about my status. At the end of the year, I always like to reflect, so I took some time to figure out what I’ve been up to.

Here’s a quick breakdown of what I’ve actually produced/finished over the year:

January –
February – Released “The Revolver” – a short story
March –
April –
May – Released “Remembrancy” – a short story
June –
July~December – Worked on “Footprints in the Snow” – a feature-length thriller

Summary:

So it looks like I can divide 2018 can be divided into two halves. The first half of the year I was focused on writing short stories. The second half of the year I was focused on writing a spec screenplay.

1. A collection of short stories (unfinished)
2. A contained thriller (finished)

I abandoned the short story project(released two shorts, but have several half-completed works), but I finished the thriller screenplay. Which is generally more successful year than previous years because I actually completed a project.

It’s been quite an underwhelming year I supposed. I’m not super happy with the results. Mainly because I know I didn’t give it my all. There certainly were times when I could have put in more work, been more committed, been more focused, etc. Alas.

What I learned:

So, now that the year is over, what did I learn?

1. I am a drama writer.
I can write screenplays, comic books, theatre, televison, but not necessarily NOVELS. I want my writing to come to life – I get a lot of energy from the possibility of seeing my words made into reality. I don’t want my writing to be the end result – it’s cool, but I love the synergy that comes with other mediums.

2. I need to develop discipline
That’s probably my biggest flaw right now as a writer. I have several bad habits as a writer, but most can be resolved with discipline. My discipline is just not where it needs to be and I need to address it if I’m going to hit my writing goals next year.

3. Enough practice, time to produce
I was really quiet this year in terms of putting out projects. In many ways, I took the year off to practice writing prose. The year before that, I was also struggling with certain elements of writing. I’d take time to study concepts, plot, scenes. But next year, I’m going to put everything I learned together and just write the damn thing.

Rules/Takeaways for Next Year:

1. You’re never going to feel like it. Do it anyway
Do I always feel like writing? Absolutely not. But if you want to be the best, you have to work overtime.

2. This is your story. Tell it how you want
I spent a lot of time with indecision and doubt in terms of my projects. Seeking outside validation for stories. Wanting confirmation that it was good enough. The best situation that I feel is analogous to writing is the restaurant chef. A chef cooks the dishes. If a diner doesn’t like what the chef is cooking, they can go somewhere else. In this regard, I’m giving myself the authority to trust my gut rather than outside opinions about my work. Granted, I still have my trusted group who gives me feedback.

3. Collaborate with Talented People
I want to surround myself with people that inspire me to do better. It’s tough to meet those kinds of people, but I’m going to make it a priority next year to reach out and collaborate with talented, hard working people.

Anyway, that’s the wrap up of the year! I hope everyone can have a special time with their friends and family these holidays. It’s certainly not all about planning and preparing for WORK. You gotta spend time with loved ones. I hope you all can have a safe and happy rest of 2018.

-Peter

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