Freudian Script: Work-Life Balance

Freudian Script: Work-Life Balance

Another junior doctors' strike, another blog post from me! My theme, however, is one that is relevant to all professionals but particularly writers of all stripes. I am talking about the mythical work-life balance. What is work-life balance? This term is most commonly used when talking about the proportion of life spent on employment compared to family, hobbies and rest. It is most often applied when talking about how jobs can be all-consuming and gradually take over your entire existence, like a life-sucking parasite. Ahem. One of the reasons the junior doctors' contract negotiation is so emotive is the discussion of Saturday working - is Saturday a normal working day or is it special? Retail jobs, for example, mainly consider Saturday a normal working day, as do the police. Professional jobs consider Saturday a non-office day in the main, but people may be working from home. Schools and childminders definitely consider Saturday a non-working day. Writers do not enjoy such demarcation lines. Professional writers can...
Read More

The Road To Hard Work

The hardest thing about writing is "breaking in". The main point I'm gathering from my reading on the subject is that it's more like chip-chip-chipping at the door rather than fetching an axe - Shawshank over Shining. In that vein, some excellent comment on these issues from the British industry: Lucy V on how to get read - including querying anyone and everyone, and making your own works. BBC writersroom on their role as the "interface" between writers and the industry. Bottom line: be patient and persistent. Phill Barron's #scriptchat on agents is also worth a read (if you can navigate the transcript - I advise searching the thing for "phillbarron" to skip to the relevant bits) and introduced me to Mandy.com, where one can find work - paid and lo/no fee. And How to Hustle from Michelle Lipton - the guide to getting work, which basically involves putting in the effort to be seen and to be known. All before you land the gigs actually...
Read More

Along the byway

Of course, it's the time of year for summaries and conclusions, personal achievement counting and reflection. I have finished Steampunk Assassins. By which I mean it's with my beloved director and editor friends and I suppose there might be One Final Draft to complete. I have made a start on The Greenwich Problem for Laughing Stack 2011. I ran the logline past my director, extrapolated the plot of the pilot and shaded in the main characters' traits and tics. He was very enthusiastic - and, as I trust his tastes, this pleases me greatly. I'm also going to try my hand at a Rom Com feature spec - we'll term it Baking Lawyer. That has a beat sheet but nothing else at the moment. Military Monster needs a complete overhaul before it can have anything going for it. I need to take a step back on Asylum and write a beat sheet for the pilot before I sink further into the intricacies of plotting...
Read More