Tuesday, June 05, 2007

A Life in the Day

Seems a lot of people are on holiday or are just plain lying low, which is cool, always good to take a bit of respite from the old blog and chain. A writer’s routine can vary enormously depending on whether there’s a commission or if you’re just tinkering on spec. When there’s a commission, there’s no better feeling than the pressure of expectation and deadline, and this helps to keep a writer energised and focused. It’s like going a goal down in a football match; the fever pitch to get the right result just comes easily. When you don’t have this urge, sometimes it’s difficult to summon up the required spark to get the creative fires burning.

Here’s what I did today:-

Got up, turned on computer. Received a cheque in the post, hurrah! Think about last night’s Heroes a lot, which was truly magnificent. Also, mull over Gavin & Stacey, which I’m enjoying a great deal because of its characters and lowkey humour (sitcom is turning into comedy drama these days, which I’m all for), although many don’t like it for these very reasons.

While eating brekkie, watch an episode of Coupling from Paramount Channel 2 (Sky Plus! ‘mazing) as the style and tone is similar to something I’m working on at the moment. Also, Steven Moffat is a god, so there. Sneak a peak at E! News and The Daily 10, my guilty pleasures (the presenters are great and the snappy tongue-in-cheek style is infectious). Then, to the computer. Surf my bookmarks, check my bloglines, pour over email, read the news, sport & entertainment headlines. Did some revisions on actual paid work, amended the accompanying development document, and tweaked a treatment, just in time for lunch.

First, walk to the bank to lodge my script reading millions. Nice sunny day so stroll with my iPod and listen to Mark Kermode’s film reviews, only it’s James King (the Kermode's on holiday), which isn’t as good. On way back, stop off in Co-op for some food and ‘ting. Have lunch. Back to the office. Check email, and go over the morning’s work. Think it’s all good, so send to the producer. Start to check email every ten seconds, so get away from the computer, and read a script. It’s 128 pages long. There’s some fun and invention there but the writing is over stylised, and the story’s a mess. At the end, I'm confused but it’s ambitious and genre-bending, so it does have some merits.

Come back to the computer. Two emails. One from agent just confirming something I asked about, and one telling me I’ve got a place on the 4 Talent ‘Making it Big’ event at Channel 4. Unfortunately, I won’t be able to attend - boo! - as I’m taking next week off, yay! Surf the net, and look up the writer of the script I’ve just read as his name is familiar, in a vague sort of way. He’s got a listing on IMDB and has done a lot of short films, which leads me to his website, and this helpfully fills the blanks on who he is and what he’s all about. He’s got some talent but his script won’t be recommended.

Check messages. Expecting about six different emails about various projects and stuff. Nothing. Actually, one bit of spam. Time to make dinner and log off, for now.

Ah, the writer’s life, isn’t a gas?


Anonymous said...

Oh, Daily 10. One of my guilt pleasures to. Sal and the brunette are good but i want to punch the blonde. Same goes for Ryan Seacrest on E!News.

I hate having to wait to an e-mail, open it up, and realise once again there is nothing there. yet.

Lucy V said...

Wow, your day sounds spookily like mine except I don't have Sky Plus, everything I watch is shouted over by the baby who's favourite word is "THIS!", I don't have an iPod and I read 3 scripts and a treatment and I didn't go to the bank. So actually completely different ; )

potdoll said...

shame you're not going to Making it Big. i'm going and it would have been cool to meet you. some other time maybe.

Oli said...

I can relate to the e-mail checking. Mine's almost obsessive. It's worth it for that one that comes along every so often that actually is someone talking about one of my scripts, though.

Anonymous said...

So you're one of those who likes Mark Kermode are you?

Danny Stack said...

Ha ha! I don't agree with half the things he says, but for entertaining vitriol, he's right on the money. His rant on Pirates 3 was hysterical.

Anonymous said...

Heroes was magnificent wasn't it?

It's been great all the way through, but they seem to be taking it up a level as it reaches the finale.

My day was nothing like that. For a start, the 'got up' bit was a lot later!!

Anonymous said...

Okay, Danny, here's a question for you. After several hundred years toiling over various scripts while holding down a full-time job, I've finally decided to take the plunge and give writing a go full-time. But the sheer enormity of the tasks ahead is making my head hurt and, writing aside, I just don't know what are the very first steps I should take - aside from the writing, of course. Any sage advice for a writing toddler would be very welcome.