Farewell 2017

A belated happy new year if you are reading this.

One of my goals for 2018 is to blog every quarter.

I’ve been checking out other writers websites to see what content they generally post.

Firstly, because I’m dead nosy and secondly that I’ve become quite militant with my writing time. I’ll divulge more about that when I post about my current regime of #100daysofwriting.

I enjoy reading what my fellow writers have been up to each two to three months of the year. So, I’ll be trying hard to do that too.

First update will be posted during the early few days of April.

Now I need to get off my ass and do stuff that I can write about. Plus I need to emerge with a bang from the post-Christmas hibernation that seems to be calling me during these cold, wintery nights.

But in the meantime, I thought that I would write about 2017 as it proved to be filled with a few highs and a lot of lows.

January 2017 began with a meeting with a television production company as a result of a script that I sent to a producer there. It was a good experience for me, but at the time I had nothing to pitch for the telly. I’ve been concentrating my writing on radio and stage. But, every meeting is a valuable contact who when the time is right I will go back to.

In February I was invited to a second storylining workshop for a well known northern continuing drama series. It was a joy to sit in a room for a whole day and talk about the soap, the characters and then write a story document. I received excellent feedback on the back of it and found the whole experience to be super-productive for me.

I also spent a week in Spain with three other female writer friends which was one of the best things I’ve done. There was something truly magical about being with amazing women and I came away from it a much better person.

At the beginning of April I received one of those rejections which completely floored me. The writing life is one hundred rejections to one yes, okay that might be slightly exaggerated but you get the idea. I can’t even remember what this one was as I submit my work to so many outlets.  But the blow was tough and I remember taking a couple of weeks away from writing and wondering whether to keep going.

Then I received a wonderful email from a radio producer which changed my mind and thrust me back into my creative world. Someone liked my work and invited me in for a chat. The discussions are still ongoing as I write so I won’t divulge too much on here, but the rarity of a yes to something does give a writer a sense of validation.

July was a huge month for me. My stageplay Bleeding with Mother was in the Greater Manchester Fringe Festival and it was a bloody brilliant production. I retained the original cast members and brought in Emma Bird as director who is talented, friendly and absolutely delivered the story that was in my head when I wrote the play several years ago. It was my debut as a producer which was challenging at times. However, it was great to be in charge of production as I wanted it to be as professional as possible. We even got nominated for Best Drama at the Greater Manchester Fringe Awards, and I got runner-up for Best New Writing.

Three days after the curtain went down on Bleeding with Mother, I went on a three week road trip to USA. From rehearsal rooms in Manchester to driving down the Pacific West Coast Highway. Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, LA and Vegas were some of the stops. Highlight was visiting Santa Cruz (aka Santa Carla in The Lost Boys) and even better for me that my boys were equally as geeky about visiting it.

I loved the outdoor camping in Washington state. Picturesque lakes, trees and little towns. I wasn’t so keen on LA and Vegas where I felt there was something missing. A soul perhaps.

In September I was shortlisted, interviewed and given a place on the Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse Playwright’s Programme. A 12 month development with this fabulous theatre which was co-incidently the first time I’d gone to a theatre as a 17 year old A’level English Literature student.

I also participated in Hyde Festival Theatre‘s 24 Hour Plays. On a cold, dark Friday night I drove to Hyde at 10pm to meet four actors and four props. I then went home and wrote through the night to produce a 15 minute play. The script was delivered at 8am and the actors rehearsed through the day and performed to a packed out audience that night. What a rollercoaster that was. I was having nightmares for the week before the event. I kept dreaming that I would fall asleep at the keyboard and have nothing to present in the morning. Luckily, it was all good on the night thanks to strong coffee and haribo starmix.

October saw me back in London and observing a real-life writers room experience which was superb. It’s made me even more determined to keep doing what I love to do.

The remainder of the year was mostly reading and being all consumed by a busy day job. Thankfully a rested Christmas brought with it some much needed down-time to start writing a new play. Watch this space.

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