Success Stories: APR'21 Getting on with it...

Getting on with it...

I would guess that; like many 'budding' screenwriters who have lives to live and day-to-day employment, I've spent far too long procrastinating about whether or not I can actually do this. Seriously - it's been over a decade for myself.

Over the years I've had flurries of activity from time to time, often on the same project - the one I started with when I signed-up for that first course!

Last year I got space and time. But as 2020 drew to a close and I was just beginning to think I'd missed my window, my company took the decision to furlough me (put the job on-hold, for those outside the UK reading this). In late January I was temporarily unemployed - so I started writing. Obviously I started with the project I've been messing around with for years (Duh !), but then I realised that the two Theatre Groups I've been involved with for the last few years had nothing to do - so I decided to write a piece for each and made the bold decision to properly test myself by making sure they were VERY different.

I guessed I might be furloughed for 4-6 weeks, so I also had a deadline. Perfect. Let's see if I can do this!

Now, before I go any further, I should point out that the two pieces in question were both designed to be performed on Zoom, so I had very little existing material to draw on. David Tennant and Michael Sheen offered something to guide me, but it was an awfully high bar and I certainly wasn't going to have anything but Amateurs (with a capital A) to work with IF I ever got them to the production stage.

However, after 5 weeks I had a light comedy completed and set about getting some readings, casting, rehearsing and recording done. It was about a rural radio station in Northern England and I have to say we had the same technical issues I suspect the real station may have encountered. But 3 weeks later, it was done and I was learning how to piece it together using Microsoft's basic Video Editor software. I think this was one of the most frustrating parts of the whole process, but second to me having to achieve my second goal ie: writing a second piece while this was all happening.

As "Barnydale FM" was being published on YouTube (as quietly as possible and without any fanfare), I was finishing the second piece and listening to it being read by a second Theatre Group. Being far more organised and having done it all before, this was a smoother process and that second piece, a home drama based around seven conversations taking place during the pandemic, was published today.

It's funny how hard you can work when you've a deadline, a goal and the ambition. It's remarkable (even to me) how quickly you can learn new skills!

"Life, Love & COVID" seems far more accomplished than "Barnydale FM", yet they were written and produced 3-4 weeks apart.

You have to start somewhere is a very common (and flippant) expression, but it's true for me. So my next goal is merely to remember that I HAVE actually started now. I just need to keep it up!

For anyone who's interested, both of these Zoom plays can be found on YouTube:

Life, Love & COVID

Barnydale FM (2 episodes)

Thanks for reading !

Keith Irons

Darlington, UK

James Welday

Great story, and you should feel so proud of yourself! My mantra has always been: be creative, no matter how you do it. Procrastination is truly the name of the game when it comes to us writer's, so it's great that you're putting your work out there.

Wally Wu

I am working on a TV show as well titled: Proper English....Procrastination has been my downfall and want to get things rolling too. Cheers and good luck

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