Four years. Four years is a long time. It’s a fifth of my current age. Four years is an Arts degree plus Honours. Four years is four children. It’s the number of years separating my brother and I in school. When he graduates next year it will have been four years since I left high school. Four years ago I won NaNoWriMo for the first time. Four years before that, I left my primary school. Four years is time enough to lose contact with everyone.
What about four years forward? Where will I be? I could be in many places. I could be on the street. I could return home and find myself working in the same fuel station I left. But these are not places I want to be. In four years I want to have finished a novel that could be presented to others. In four years I want to be creating diverse entertainment. I am Achilles, I want my name to live on forever, but I do not fight with a spear but words. In four years I want to be creating a legacy of ink rather than blood. Four years is too long and not long enough. What are the limits of what can be achieved in four years? Where can I aim to be?
In four years I want to be a screenwriter or a novelist. Or both. ¿Por qué no los dos?
It’s easy to say that I need to be writing to get there. Without words there is no screenplay, no novel, no story to present. But there is more, there is always more. Nothing is easy in this world of ours, not even doing nothing. I need to write. To read. To watch and listen. And to do more than just consume but to understand what I am taking in. Pay attention and take notes, learn to recognise nuance and lines and How Stuff Works. Learn the rules because that’s where you learn how to break them. Learn to dislike my own work and understand why.
I need to talk and I need to listen. Look for opportunities to put work out and hear the criticism that frightens me. NaNo and GISHWHES have shown me how wide one person can cast a net, how big the networks are if I am clever enough and brave enough to step into them. I need to start contributing and participating rather than watching, consuming, letting them pass by for fear I’ll fail.
Who should know about me? The smart answer is no one, there are no requirements in this life beyond what we create for ourselves and others. But that’s the easy way of confessing I don’t know. It is hard because I have no set place to be in four years, just an abstract image of what I will have created. So before I can answer this I need to reach out and learn more about the scenes I want to find myself in. Who looks at screenwriters, who are the people and places I should be aiming to impress? Where are the opportunities for us?