Second, this is a stupid idea. Stop reading this. And definitely do not do what I do.
I’ve been enjoying reading blogs about what people got up to this year, I’ve been enjoying those a lot, and I did think it would be spectacularly easy to do one myself. Of course it would: I have a trick.
Follow. Last year I did this thing, right, and by mistake believed I was supposed to report back at the end of each month. I was entirely wrong. But it took a good six months for them to say, William, look, it’s all very nice, but… And in those six months I had learnt something. I learnt that having to account to someone made me do things that were accountable. Most especially in the last week of each month. Oh, yes. I’m a demon from the 27th onwards.
Consequently I ignored these fine people and continued reporting back to the end of the project – and then I carried on doing it over on The Blank Screen productivity website. That version is a bit sanitised, a bit more careful, but it’s all there and it’s all true every month. And yep, 27th onwards, demon.
I’ve got this down now, I really have: when I’ve done something, I make the tiniest of notes in Drafts 4 on my iPhone and know that it is squirrelling it all away into an ever-lengthening document over in Evernote. Effort on my part: pretty close to zero. Result on its part: the demon run of the 27th onwards.
So doing you a list for the year should’ve been a doddle. It was an enormous doddle. Couldn’t have been easier. Open Evernote, select all, copy, paste, go make some tea.
I’m not stupid, I think the list is okay. I think I did alright. If pushed, I would say that I’m pleased with 2014.
But have you spotted the ENORMOUS FLAW yet? I have nothing in 2015. Not a bean. This year, not bad. Next year, tundra blowing across the hills. There should be a couple of books coming out, possibly even three, and I’ve been booked for some events that I am spectacularly looking forward to. But tomorrow morning I get back to this desk and I look at the very blankest of blank screens.
At least until January 27th.
If you’ve read this far, thank you and it’s been a treat talking with you this year. If you read on to the list, you’re mad and I am even now dialling NHS Direct to get you some help.
Writing: approximately 620,000 words
Filling the Blank Screen (September 2014)
The Blank Screen Guide: Blogging (January 2015)
Editing Catherine Schell’s autobiography (2015)
88 talks, workshops and presentations including:
Page Talk panel discussion at the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford
Representing the Writers’ Guild in the House of Commons for Parliament’s Birmingham Day
Promoted the Writers’ Guild at two RTS Mini-Summits including one at BBC Nottingham
Spoke at Combrook Readers’ Group for short story I’m writing for them
Performed three workshops at Original Writing Day in Newman University
Ran three-day workshop at Fircroft College
Many Young Writers’ Write On! group sessions for Burton, Birmingham, Rugby
The Writers’ Toolkit: produced one panel, spoke on a second, chaired a third
Three productivity workshops for the Federation of Entertainment Unions
One Steven Knight interview evening for the Screenwriters’ Forum
A separate Steven Knight event at the BBC Drama Village for the Writers’ Guild and the Royal Television Society
“Women in Theatre” panel discussion at the Birmingham Rep
Erica Whyman Royal Shakespeare Company event for Writers’ Guild
Royal Television Society Film and TV Summit breakout sessions
Fiction, drama and poetry:
Doctor Who: Scavenger radio drama released
River Passage: earned Arts Council England funding for poetry app
Wrote and shot “Ye Olde 3G” 30-second video promo: won an iPad Air
Thirty-minute stage play “Murder at Burton Library”
Directed “Murder at Burton Library” for Burton Young Writers
Resistance: radio, theatre and TV proposals; dozen script pages
Transferable Skills (4 pages of script)
Soundscapes education scripts (2015)
Wrote poem “My Curse” for Jo Bell’s 52
1x poem ‘Heart’ (100 words)
Revised novels “Man and Wifi”, “Transferrable Skills”
New novel “Men Win” 10,000 words
Seven short stories including The Book Groups for West Midlands’ Readers’ Network and The Flare, a GISHWHES short story by request
The Blank Screen: 1,229 articles
Self Distract: 56 articles
Guest blogs: 9
Theatre: 25 shows
Other (meetings, workshops): 54
Edited Write On! Magazine issues 3, 4 and 5
Radio Times reviews 10
Magazine tutorial feature re iPad
2 ecourses on productivity issues
1 Lifehacker UK article
Launched weekly email newsletter for The Blank Screen
Took over monthly email newsletter for the Writers’ Guild West Midlands
Four iPad software tutorials
MacNN: 30 reviews for US technology site
Wrote Writers’ Guild press release re Library of Birmingham cuts
Photoshoot for Writing West Midlands
Interviewed for From Croydon to Gallifrey podcast
Interviewed in Doctor Who Monthly
Chiefly great reviews on Doctor Who fan sites
Stonking review in Doctor Who Monthly: “Seductively gripping”
From Croydon to Gallifrey podcast interview aired
Radio interview: BBC CWR re anniversary of moon landing and TV history
TV interview: Russia Today
Became regional representative of the Writers’ Guild
Joined Royal Television Committee
Ran day-long workshops in London, Newcastle and Birmingham for Federation of Entertainment Unions
8 pages copywriting for PR firm
Joined Creative England crew site
Asked to judge RTS awards
Two-day drama meeting with Nadia Kingsley and Tom Wentworth
Na wrote a poem about me
Produced video for Parliament Day and the Writers’ Guild
Promoted the move to get Alan Plater a blue plaque
Produced 2x videos for The Blank Screen site
Writers’ Guild and Royal Television Society event invitation emails
Birmingham Rep theatre programme copywriting for Of Mice and Men and Solomon and Marion
Met with BBC to discuss general projects plus liaising with RTS and Writers’ Guild
Launched The Blank Screen mentoring
Room 204 Buddying Group: took over managing; ran two quiet social events