Friday, October 10, 2008

I Turned Around and My Life was Changed

When I started writing I thought I was going to be a funny fiction writer. I was going to write the next Adrian Mole, one of my favourite characters. Then I had some success with literary short stories, so then I thought I’d be the next Margaret Atwood or Kate Atkinson and write a literary novel. Then I wrote and wrote and submitted and submitted and suddenly I had two published books both from my detective series. Then I thought- okay- I’ll be Sarah Paretsky. I wasn’t picky; I just wanted to be a writer. I’ve always been a bit of a jack of many trades and a master of none so everything was good.

Then by accident, mostly because I wanted to make an actual living at writing, I attended a radio script writing workshop. I started writing radio lessons in science. On a whim, after a couple of years, my writing partner and I took a chance at TV script writing. Now we have one television series (almost) behind us and a new one starting. We just found out we’ve been awarded a 26 part radio drama series, too, that will likely take us well into 2009.

This is how life is. One thing follows another and then when you thought you were the next Sue Townsend, you find that you are now a screenwriter. A bit of an unexpected shock, but a lovely surprise nevertheless. I’m learning and growing in a direction I never thought I would. It doesn’t mean that I don’t still intend to find my Adrian Mole or write a great literary novel because I do.

The moral of this story, said the woman who as a girl loved Aesop’s Fables, travel that unknown road with all of its twists and turns, you might find the thing you’re not looking for and discover it was just what you needed. If nothing else, it’s always nice to take in new scenery.


Karen said...

This post gave me goose-bumps and sent thrilling chills up and down my spine.

A well-written piece, and a BIG congratulations to you for your (well-deserved) successes.

Lauri said...

Thanks Karen. You know I'm a Capricorn and plan things until people around me must get on their knees and beg me to stop BUT most of the major changes that brought so many wonderful surprises at the end came as complete accidents. My planning wasn't involved at all.

Of course, that will not stop my planning. I must go now and plan a meeting I must attend tomorrow.

Tania Hershman said...

Lauri, I am in awe at all your accomplishments, all of which sound fabulous individually and even better all together. Congrats on the TV series, I love the way your life took so many new directions, accompanied, I am sure, by much hard work. Wonderful!

Anonymous said...

You really are an inspiration and are so down-to-earth about your success. I am delighted you are doing so well and am really grateful that you share your experiences with us!

Lauri said...

I often wonder, Selma, how my success would look if I lived elsewhere like my birth place. In many instances here I am stepping out into fairly unchartered waters that have little competition. At the same time, anything in the arts is an uphill battle here.

In America, I think books etc. would be easier to sell but I wonder if it would have been so easy for me to slip into tv scriptwriting.

The point is, a lot has to do with where I am. I'm not undermining that I work very hard and have at least a bit of aptititude but I'm realistic too.

Like I said, I still intend to write my big break-out novel, now I must just squish it between everything else.