Monday, June 14, 2010

Outline Dare Day 5 - Both Eyes On the Prize

I think I've got my plan in place, but I'm going to take the notes with me to Duckcon and go over them while I'm there.

In the meantime, I was looking over some essays I've written but haven't posted, and I came across one I wrote a month or so ago. It was about how much I miss the Nicholl Fellowship Competition, now that I'm no longer screenwriting. And it really relates to this whole Traditional vs. Indie thing.

The Nicholl is a wonderful focal point for an unproduced screenwriter. It's not just prestigious. It also has this wonderful ranking system with which you can measure your climb. There's the famous "just missed" note from the coordinator, and the quarter finals, the semis, the finalists, and finally the fellows themselves. It's open only to unproduced screenwriters, it's not profit, and run by The Academy (you know, AMPAS? The Oscars? THE Academy?) and everybody knows about it. At best, it's only the beginning of your career, and it certainly doesn't lead to guaranteed production, but it's universally respected.

For me, a budding out-of-town screenwriter the Nicholl was the Unified Goal Theory. It was the thing I could set my sights on, and forget everything else. Because everything you do to win a Nicholl is good for everything else you may want to do later. You have to produce good scripts, and do it consistently, and since the readers are industry people, you have to gain some savvy about the needs of production and of the biz.

I had pictures of the Nicholl logo on my walls to keep me focused. Whenever I'd see it, I'd say "Keep your eyes on the prize!" and get to work. There is no one thing in publishing like the Nicholl to focus and motivate the pre-published - not in such a universal way. There are things equivalent to the Oscars - for the height of your career - but not like the Nicholl for the beginning.

But the thing that makes me really miss the Nicholl right now isn't about what's out there. It's about the goals inside me. My goals are split. I'm keeping one eye on traditional publishing, and one eye on indie publishing, and it's giving me a headache.

I need to commit to one goal. Both eyes on the same prize. As with the Nicholl, it may not be my final goal, but it has to be only one. And I've decided.

The goal has to be Indie Publishing.

The only comment on yesterday's post about the choice was "Go for it!" And that's what time it is. Time to stop dithering and do it. All hands on deck, all resources to the goal, all eggs in one basket, and all the pies aimed at one clown.

So, depending on whether I can get the images I want for the cover, I hope to put Have Gun, Will Play up on Kindle and Smashwords around July 1.

This does not alter my plans for Test of Freedom, which I hope to have up in August. (How early or late in August depends on how difficult this rewrite turns out to be.)

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