First off – congratulations! If you’re reading this, you’re one of my fellow survivors of 2016. Everything around us may have gone to hell in hitherto unimaginable ways, but we’re still here. Let’s all try and take care of each other.
Towards that end, we need to acknowledge that this new year of 2017 is going to pose challenges the likes of which most of us have never seen in our lifetimes – and that’s on top of the usual challenges, hopes and goals of a new year. It would seem that New Year’s resolutions are more important than ever this year. Trouble is, New Year’s resolutions never work. It’s a function of how we think about them; we have some general notion that we need to get in shape, we miss that first day at the gym at some point in January, then assume that we’ve failed and abandon the project. It’s a way of thinking that’s practically guaranteed to backfire, and I can’t afford for that to happen.
So I won’t call them resolutions, since I’m sure my resolve will be tested, will ebb and flow, throughout the next 365 days. But all of the following are things that need to happen, that I’ll be working on this coming year at whatever pace turns out to be possible. Let’s call it the to-do list:
- Get new headshots. It’s been a while.
- Start the next writing project. I’ve been primarily researching for the next few months, and the time has come to get stuff on paper. Here, at least, I can point to a modicum of progress – I set aside some time on New Year’s Day to start the series of Royal Court brainstorming exercises with which I work out the details of the plays I write.
- Submit more. I’m currently at what I refer to as the “stockpile” stage of my writing career; I’ve written a bunch of scripts over the last five years, only two of which have been produced. And part of the reason for that is a reluctance on my part to submit to companies unless they met certain arbitrary criteria on my part – proximity to New York, a certain professional profile, and so on. No more – playscripts that aren’t being read aren’t being produced, and playscripts that aren’t being produced are just especially elaborate doodles.
- Be more aggressive about seeking representation. This has never been my strong suit – I’d rather not sell people on my ability to do the work if I can just do the work instead. But this isn’t the most helpful strategy, and now that I’m involved in two creative pursuits which require people to advocate on my behalf in order to accomplish my goals, I have to get over this internal hurdle.
- Try and prevent my country from being completely taken over by fascism, and my planet from being rendered uninhabitable from human greed and stupidity. (Ideally, this would go hand in hand with number two, above.)
- Eat more fruits and vegetables.
You’ll note that I didn’t mention the usual “lose ten pounds.” It’s not that I don’t need to – I figure that if I get anywhere close to doing all of the items above, I’m bound to have burned some calories along the way.
Posted on January 2, 2017
by Michael C. O'Day