Welcome to 2009

The holidays were pretty good at WriterDad Manor.  It was the Peanut’s first Christmas which gave the usual festivities even more of a glow than usual; the Missus went on a baking frenzy that resulted in my waist size expanding by what feels like about ten inches; and my sister-in-law gave us a Wii as a family gift which, when you take into consideration the Xbox 360 already sitting in the TV cabinet, virtually guarantees that I will get no writing done if I don’t discipline myself.  It also guarantees that my wife will kick my ass at Wii bowling on a nightly basis.

As I face the prospect of not only a new year ahead of us but yet another year behind us (in case you’re wondering what’s going on with this whole time thing), I’ve found myself making the inevitable new year’s resolutions, the new wrinkle this time around being that I intend on actually following through on them for longer than a day or two.  They are, in no particular order:

Finish at least two screenplays this year.  And by “finish”, I want each of them so polished, a woman could apply make-up in its reflection.  I wrote a lot in 2008, but — aside from the Wedding Comedy rewrite and the latest pass through a spec I started in 2007 — they were almost all first drafts.  That’s all well and good, but it’s time to get something to the point that it’s ready to actually show somebody other than the Missus and my trusted circle of readers.  Ideally I’d actually like three polished scripts, but with a day job and a family, that’s pushing it.

Land a new agent. I’ll settle for a new manager, despite my reservations.

Go for more walks.  I love walking; a good hour-and-a-half walk in a park in nearby Encino almost always does wonders for my mood and fires me up creatively.  I can’t tell you how many story problems I’ve solved over the years during those strolls.  Since the birth of the Peanut in July, however, I’ve gone on exactly one such jaunt.  This needs to change.

See more movies.  The last feature-length film I saw in 2008 — either in a theater OR at home — was The Dark Knight.  In July.  Granted, the baby takes precedence over, say, The Wrestler (which is as it should be), but for a guy who wants to make his living writing Hollywood features, this is unacceptable.  I hope to find more of a balance this year.

Better manage my writing time.  Discipline, discipline, discipline.

Be a better husband and father.  I’d like to think I’m pretty solid in both departments, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement.

Cut my credit card debt at least in half.  No, it’s not nearly as bad as many folks’.  Yes, it still bothers me.  A lot.

Lose ten pounds.  You think I was exaggerating about my expanding waistline?  I suppose I was… but not by much.  If nothing else, this should get my ass walking again.  Hopefully.

Oh, and one more —

Blog more often.

So that’s it.  We’ll see how many of these I can make a reality this year.

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6 Comments on “Welcome to 2009”

  1. William Says:

    Again, you’re stealing my post ideas.

    Well maybe not. Your life sounds so much more settled compared to the complete upheaval I have experienced in the last month. I’m with you on the points above except for maybe the agent. Not even close to that yet.

    Definitely more films. I’ve been feeling very withdrawn from the whole cinematic experience and I don’t like it at all. It feels like I’m missing out. The Wrestler and Benjamin Button were on my must see list. I still would like to make that happen.

    Once things settle down here on the home front and we get more acclimated I’ll be able to concentrate better but if six months pass and I’m still saying that then we have a problem here. Must find balance in the coming month.

  2. K. Says:

    Welcome to the New Year,

    Hope it’s going to be a good one for you sir.

    The Obscure

  3. William Says:

    And of course, wishing you and your family a healthy and happy ’09.

  4. WriterDad Says:

    Thanks, guys — happy new year to you, too (and everyone else reading, of course)!

    William — yeah, aside from the occasional curve ball, my life is much, much more manageable than it was even two months ago. Sorry to hear yours is still up in the air, though I guess you have the whole moving thing to contend with. I’m not sure which bothers me more — the fact that I’ve seen so few movies, or the fact that, with a few exceptions (e.g., THE WRESTLER, BURN AFTER READING, MILK), I actually don’t particularly care that I missed most of them. Maybe ’08 just happened to be a weak year at the multiplex, in which case I suppose I should count myself lucky that parenthood happened to descend upon my household now. But either way, it sounds like both of us need to dive back into the cinematic pool again….

  5. Joseph Says:

    Hey,

    I really enjoy your blog and hope you keep all of your resolutions. I have the same problem with scripts. I can manage to first draft ok, but making them shine is where I run into trouble.

    I enjoyed Burned After Reading and Milk; however, I thought that the Wrestler was decent but a bit slow and had a very low budget student film feel to it.

  6. WriterDad Says:

    Joseph — That’s okay about the Wrestler; after the Fountain, anything Aronofsky does is going to look like Citizen Kane in comparison. 🙂 Thanks for the kind words. Hope you keep reading!


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