Cardiff TAPS

This weekend, I shall mostly be on a TAPS Continuing Drama course in Cardiff.

TAPS is an industry training scheme for writers. For two-and-a-half days you get taught how to write a Continuing Drama (with particular emphasis on Emmerdale), and then you go away and write a short drama using the Emmerdale sets.

Some of these even get filmed and shown to Important People.

But that’s in the future. Or not, depending on how well I do.

More important, is this:

I’m going to be travelling up the night before, that’s this Thursday (the 28th). Should be arriving in Cardiff about 9:30pm – so if you’re on TAPS yourself, or are in Cardiff generally and fancy meeting up on the Thursday night, let me know.

Screenwriter Training

An interesting post the other day at Tim Clague’s gaff on training courses got me thinking.

In any job you get, there’s a training budget.

If we’re professionals, then we should have a training budget too. For things like screenwriting courses, conferences, residential workshops and so on.

(Or, if you swing that way, on script reading services – that’s part of the training budget too. I don’t bother myself, because I think that money spent on script readers by writers is wasted. YMMV.)

So what’s best practice? If we were in charge of a business, we’d pay for our employees to go on training courses – how much would we spend on them?

Well, Tim’s had an ask around, and best practice in the training industry is 2% of income.

So as a screenwriter, you should be spending 2% of your salary on training yourself. That’s £400 a year if you earn 20k. Or £600 if you’re on 30k.

Obviously you could spend more or less, but that’s a good figure to start from.

Now there’s two ways of looking at that. You can either count your salary as what you earn from your writing, or add in what you earn from your day-job (if you’re not supporting yourself from the writing just yet).

I say: do it from the day-job. After all, a decent company is going to be training you for responsibilities yet-to-come, not just helping you to do the things you’re working at now.

So invest in your own future. Figure out what you’re going to spend your training budget on this year.