Monday, 15 September 2014

2. Extreme Prevarication

Curses! Week 1 of being a world famous creative writer/games designer/copywriter all done and I’m not rich or famous yet.

The house did get dusted though, and the fish fed and the rechargeable cleaner fixed and my new glasses picked up and… and…

So I did a spreadsheet.

A timesheet in fact…

It’s fab, I record how many minutes I have spent on various things.  As you can see, I have my different projects, sub-divided into different task categories and also non-income-generating (ha ha) activities like chores, kids and time off.

And then I can analyse stuff… automatically!

So I can see at the flick of a formula what percentage of each day I have spent on book writing or research, game production or… napping.

Percentages aren’t great so far (61% productive)!  Still, it’s not just a tool for beating myself up with (or should that be “with which to beat myself up”… no that doesn’t get rid of the preposition at the end of the sentence. But it’s OK to do it now according to  OED . You’re still not supposed to start a sentence with “But” though.  It’s tough this professional writing lark.) 

Back to the timesheet - it is, in fact, quite motivational.  Instead of me just thinking I failed to write 10,000 words on Monday, I can now see why I failed and actually give myself a pat on the back for doing other productive thingummies that I don’t tend to give myself credit for.

And best of all – it showed me that in one week of “full time” creative existence I have done what it would normally have taken me five weeks to do when I was teaching, lesson prepping, marking, stressing, moaning etc.

I bet you all want one of these now, don’t ya?  You’re welcome to nick it or if you’re not so hot on Excel formulae, then message me on and I’ll send you a copy to prevaricate with ;-)

Finally, two little progress updates on tunnel digging – both regarding tunnel Tom (book and script writing – see blog 1)

The Piddletons - Kickstarter1.  I’ve got my first paid commission – script editing and developing on a great little cartoon called the Piddletons.  It’s a cross between The Simpsons and Fawlty Towers.  Now, I say it’s a paid commission – we’ve got to Kickstart it first.  Have a look at the vid for some draft artwork and the storyline and maybe sign up.

Kickstarter - the Piddletons
2.  I’m off to a room full of literary agents on Friday evening (Sept 19th).  They’re going to tell us things then we (almost) famous writers can talk to them (ahhh!) about our creative masterpieces and tempt them into our web of words.

Luckily, there’s wine.

I’ll let you know how it goes next blog-day.


Thursday, 17 July 2014

Start Digging

So this is it - after 24 years of teaching in secondary school I have two years funding to dig my way to... something else (hence the blog title - younger readers might need to Google "Colditz escape tunnels".)

It's a bit of a shame I didn't make it to 25 years service - we used to get a £50 M&S voucher from the local authority for long service - presumably to renew our corduroy jackets with leather arm patches.  Sadly, this motivational tool has been discontinued due to sarcastic comments.

Anyway, what will this occasional blog (fortnightly/monthly ish) witter on about?  Mainly my Earth shattering progress towards creative stardom - possibly to inspire/depress others about breaking out of whatever working life they want to escape from.  My three tunnels to escape are:

  • Tom: Fiction book and script writing.  Initially, this means finishing and marketing my paranormal action novels - the Jason Willow series and a picture book idea.
  • Dick: Designing and marketing games - currently a strategic card game and a board game concept. 
  • Harry: Working as a massively in demand, award winning, freelance advertising copywriter.
There's also a couple of side-lines like some invention ideas (from toast to toilet life-changing gadgets) but I'm kind of suspecting those tunnels will hit rocks pretty soon.

I'll probably keep a track of certain key progress measures... like rejection letters (publishers, distributors etc.), money earned (small space needed), alcohol units per week and that sort of thing.

Also, for the jaded amongst us, I'll likely have the odd thought about education (much like my last 24 years really) and whatever else I can vaguely link to the theme here.

So - time to stop now as it's 6:22 a.m. and I need to put on my teacher costume for one final show.