As I write this, Christmas has come and gone and as is the human custom during the last days of the year, I am looking back at the good and bad of 2017. This isn't a new activity for me, I have managed to do some version of this since I was 12, scrawling out goals for the future. I find that if I write something down, my mind often files it away, sometimes working on it without me even realizing it. Often these goals take years to complete, but I have looked back on previous lists only to realize, to my surprise, that I have accomplished things I once thought impossible.
I managed to write, and produce two live radio horror anthologies this year. House of Shadows has been a great experience and also a great exercise in writing new material. Overall, the audience for the show continues to grow and people keep asking about it. It's a great deal of work mounting a production, even one as bare bones as HoS. However, when people are excited by something you do, it kind of gives you fuel to keep going with it. We'll see if I can muster the time and energy to get another one off the ground in 2018.
I also wrote for and performed in two live radio shows not produced by me. I valued working in a creative space where I didn't have to do everything.
I got to be in a stage version of It's a Wonderful Life. This was something I neither planned nor expected and after the project fell into my lap, was a kind of life changing experience. I got to meet some truly amazing people and I was able to perform in a proper play, something I hadn't done in nearly two years. I miss the theatre but I also miss just being able to perform and not having to organize and create everything myself.
I was able to work on writing pitches with Stephanie Yuhas and Matt Conant of Cinevore Studios to pitch multiple shows to TV executives. It was THE BEST experience and super helpful even though I haven't heard anything regarding the projects. I'm hoping to work more with them in next year.
My short screenplay The Hole, originally created for a HoS show, was a finalist in The Fear Awards. This was the first festival I submitted to this year and it began a barrage of submissions throughout 2017, both in festivals and in publications. I'm grateful that my work was a finalist, but truth be told, just submitting my work has given me the confidence to grind forward and keep working and submitting without fear of failure.
Speaking of failure...
I have been submitting comedy pitches and jokes to publications for the past several months and none of my work has gotten picked up. Although, I can tell when editors were charmed by something I wrote which is a plus. I might be wearing them down.
I was not accepted into the *Cabletown* Writer's Program which was kind of a relief. I wasn't looking forward to starving in LA while taking classes and writing for free in hopes that I can network that experience into a paid gig. I would have made it work, but...damn. It wasn't my ideal doorway. I got a kid and Shakespeare gotta get paid, son! If you can afford to green light a TV show, you can afford to pay a writer in development.
I submitted a comedic sketch to a contest in March and haven't heard anything back from them since summer. I didn't know if I "won", if the sketch got produced, or if everything fell through entirely. The worst part about submitting things is that, more often than not, you won't hear anything back at all.
Regardless, I press on.
Mostly, 2017 was a decent year. I accomplished more than I thought I would and all of my creative itches were scratched. As a matter of fact, there were more projects that I wanted to do in 2017, but time wouldn't allow it.
Personally, 2017 solidified a few other things for me:
Not trying means not getting
Waiting for someone else to fix things is folly: i.e. If you see something wrong, fix it or at least try. SEE: messy bedrooms, writing, democracy.
Being a 2 year old is difficult.
Being a 35 year old is difficult.
"If you're good at something, never do it for free."
Here's to a fun and prosperous new year! Onward and upward!