I thought it was time to write a brief update to follow on from a series of blog entries that I posted last year about collaborative writing.
I joined a Manchester community radio station exactly a year ago after seeing a call out for writers for a new soap that they were launching.
Initially approximately 15 people were at the first session. Everybody was very keen and enthusiastic to get involved in the project. After all, we’re all human ad our very nature is to want to be part of a group with a common interest.
As the weeks passed by the numbers began to dwindle until after three months it became a core team of six, including myself.
We had a list of characters with their own biogs and back story, we had a map of the road and various areas of interest such as a pub, cafe, bistro, farm and garage. Now to come up with a name.
We settled on the name ‘Station Road’ given that our radio station is next door to a train station and the fictional world that is our soap is meant to be local.
The next part was to now start writing the thing.
The team comprises of various writers from short story experts, comedy, theatre writers, novices and me.
Luckily I’d written a radio drama in a group for one of my modules on my masters degree so I was able to share the tools that we used in terms of
Happy New Year to one and all. Having spent the past couple of days procrastinating over what my first post of the new year should be?
A review of 2012?
A list of resolutions for 2013?
Discussing my experience working as a radio drama collaborative?
A round up of my favourite television programmes of 2012?
A prayer to say thanks for the world not ending on 21st December 2012, which would have been devastating for my youngest wee cub as it was his birthday.
Or quotes from my current favourite show Breaking Bad?
So, instead I just decided to write and see where it gets me.
I was reading my timeline on New Year’s Eve and 2012 wasn’t the greatest year for a lot of my facebook friends. For me, I felt quite sad that it was coming to a close, as firstly odd number years just don’t seem to work out that great for me. 2011 started off promising before a car accident, and a slipped disc ruined the rest of the year.
So 2012, started off pretty grim too. I was put on 90 days consultation at work and then forced to be interviewed for my job. This was one of the most stressful times at work that I have experienced in a long time. I was competing with my colleagues for a job, the threat of redundancy was a daily occurrence and at times it was difficult to carry on providing a first class service when you felt like a third class worker. Even more so stressful, is the fact that for the first time in many jobs, I actually really enjoy the job that I have, and working at MediaCity is wonderful too. Luckily, with a lot of preparation and my poor husband sitting night after night asking me interview questions I was prepared, and nailed the interview and tests.
The rest of 2012 was a breeze. I carried on with my MA in TV and Radio Scriptwriting and through that have met some of the most interesting people. I’ve sat through writing workshops, attended the London Screenwriters Festival and managed to attend the BBC Fasttrain event in November. I also had the most fantastic adventure in Europe during the summer, which saw husband and I experience our first holiday together with just the two of us.
All in all it was a good year and I was sad to say goodbye to it. But, odd number year or not I will be embracing 2013.
I don’t have any resolutions this year. The only thing I could think of tackling which I found problematic last year was trying to please everybody, and therefore over committing myself when I was busy. This year I will say no to friends and family when I am trying to meet deadlines, or am going through a busy period at work. Having the break at Christmas has been fun, but it also made me realise how exhausted I was.
I will carry on with the writing, not only for my MA, but other projects which I have got ideas about. I want to write a piece featuring a young protagonist (my Hollyoaks calling card perhaps?) and will write another radio drama.
I am also going to try and write in my blog more often. I didn’t want the blog to just be a self-indulgent thing, so will carry on attending events and blogging about them later (although that contradicts the rule of not spreading myself too thinly this year).
On that note – I am signing off to take the young cub to the Musuem of Science and Industry in Manchester. He needs to feel separation from his PS3 for a few hours.