I was down for the second She Writes residency. The first was in May: a few days in a hotel with the other finalists, run by Lucy Scher from the Script Factory. Three amazing days of ideas, workshops and support, which got me thinking about the heart of my story. Following this, I wrote up a treatment and sent it to my She Writes group (we are in little support/feedback groups within the programme) and mentor.
I met my mentor in London on Wednesday. She's a fantastic, well regarded and actually very lovely writer for film, TV and theatre. She had lots of feedback for me on the treatment, all of it useful and energising. It's amazing how two hours with someone positive can buoy you up and inspire you. Issues I had been fretting about with the treatment disappeared, and questions I never even thought to ask of my piece have propelled new ideas.
Thursday and Friday saw the She Writes 'Industry' residency, a chance for us to meet with people from different disciplines within film. It felt like a very relaxed, open and honest environment, and it was interesting to meet people that you might not normally come across as a writer, like distributors and film festival programmers, as well as a screenwriter, director, agent, producer and casting director. We also had chats in our little feedback groups about our projects, and once again I was given questions to ponder which have opened up story doors.
Following this residency, there is a fair gap before our next official meetup, and our next writing deadline comes in mid September. I have another mentor meeting to come, and will no doubt meet some if not all my fellow She Writers, but mostly this time will be spent working alone on my project.
It's not been easy fitting the programme around my full time job, but I feel so keyed up at the moment that I have to make the most of it. I need to use the motivation I've built up over the last few days and make a push towards a first draft of my script. In an ideal world, I will do this by the end of July, giving myself August to redraft and get feedback. Fingers crossed.