This update was originally sent out to Cavan’s newsletter earlier last week.
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I hope February is treating you well. Thought it was time for another little catch-up. We’re already half-way through the month and it won’t be long before I have to jump onto a plane for LA for a very special announcement. But more on that later. First up, here’s an update about my last month.
It’s been a busy few weeks. Since we spoke, I’ve written the second issue of the licensed mini-series I mentioned in the last Cavletter, plus heard back about the 80’s franchise I also teased in January. (I can’t wait until I can talk about what these things actually are!) I’m pleased to say that the series was green-lit and the script for the first issue is going to be delivered today!
Work is also continuing on the Horror Noir creator-owned comic I mentioned last time, and eagle-eyed readers may have noticed tweets from Corin Howell talking about a secret horror project we’re working on together. Are they one and the same? Well, time will tell, but in the meantime here’s a sneak peek of Corin’s incredible art.
Issues two and three are written with issue four in the works. More on that soon.
I’ve also worked on edits for the last in my Warhammer Adventures series of kid’s books and written another 10-page strip for 2000AD. Which character I hear you ask? Well, you’ll have to listen to my interview on the latest episode of the 2000AD Thrillcast to find out!
Oh, and then there’s a certain other top-secret project… I can’t say anything else about that yet… but I’ll just leave this here…
Goals, Goals, Goals
So, I promised I’d share my goals for 2020 with you. Here we go!
Goal 1: Write first draft of YA Novel
I’ve been walking around with an idea for a YA novel in my head for years and after a couple of mis-fires want 2020 to be the year I finally get it down on paper.
However, I’m trying to be realistic as, glancing at my calendar, I already have a lot on my plate and don’t want to spread myself too thin. I’m not expecting to be able to get it ready to a stage when I’m happy for my agent to take it to publishers, so will try to get the first draft done by the end of the year. I’m also not going to kill myself to start working it until at least April, as I have a number of projects on the go that need my attention (including much I’ve talked about above!)
Goal 2: Sell a new creator-owned comic book
I entered 2020 with two creator-owned books greenlit and want to enter 2021 with at least one more. I have a number of coals in the fire at the moment, but need to either turn those into commissions or work up some new pitches. My plan is to have a number of pitches ready to show around at San Diego Comic Con this July.
Goal 3: Complete and deliver three TV pitches.
This one is well underway, working with George as part of our Strange Matter creative studio. Pitch one was delivered the end of January and pitch two is being delivered in a couple of weeks’ time. We’re throwing around ideas for the third, with two or three concepts fighting for top spot at the moment.
Goal 4: Disconnect more
My first three goals are project-based, but this one is a work-life balance thing. It’s fair to say I’m busy, but that also means that I have to be wary of burning out (especially if I’m going succeed with goals 1 to 3!) so I’m making changes to the way I operate online. I’ve already left Facebook, my assistant Sarah taking over the running of my author page. With twitter, I’m making use of Apple’s Screen Time capabilities, only allowing myself 45-minutes a day trawling through my feeds. Twitter is my biggest time-sink, and while I love interacting on there, I know I can and should use my time a little more wisely. (But don’t worry, I’ll still be around talking nonsense!)
And then, digging deeper into Screen Time, I’ve set my phone, macs and iPad to go into downtime after 10pm every day, cutting out all apps except for calls, messenger and a few reading or listening apps such as Comixology and Audible. The other apps don’t reactivate until 9am the next morning meaning I’m forcing myself to disconnect and relax. My morning walks have definitely improved, the urge to check my phone every twenty or thirty steps gradually fading away.
A few days in and I’m already feeling the benefit. I’m more focused and less frazzled, and can be present when I’m getting the kids off to school or chilling with Clare in the evening rather than constantly reaching for my phone.
I’ve also had the benefit this week of spending some time with my buddy Mark Wright, who some of you will know from our Doctor Who work together. Mark was down to see the girls perform in Annie at school, Chloe taking the lead role. I need to take more breaths to enjoy what I’m doing now, rather than just rushing headlong to the next project. In the long-term, it’ll make me more productive too.
So those are my goals for 2020. I’ll be checking in with you about them from time-to-time in future newsletters.
Now, I better get back to it. It’s half-term next week and I have a lot to do before I run for that plane.
Just think, the next time I email I’ll finally be able to talk openly about Project Luminous!