This week is the one year anniversary of Writer Emergency Pack. I wrote about it at our newly-redesigned site:

It was a test deck, full of typos and formatting errors, but it felt like something worth pursuing.

I showed the prototype to screenwriter friends, soliciting their feedback. I took several decks to the Austin Film Festival, passing them around during the live Scriptnotes session.

On November 3rd, we launched our Kickstarter campaign for Writer Emergency Pack. Within an hour, we were fully funded. Within days, it was clear we were onto something big.

We ended up with 5,714 backers, making us the most-backed card project in Kickstarter history.1

I originally wrote up the blog post as a look-how-far-we’ve-come retrospective, charting how in 12 months we went from an idea to shipping thousands of decks to writers and schools around the world. Basically, “Hooray for us!”

But writing is a process of discovery, and sometimes it forces you to question your central thesis.

Yes, things went well. But they could have gone better.

It’s easy to imagine an alternate history in which Writer Emergency Pack reached a bigger post-Kickstarter audience through better marketing and retail partnerships:

Every time I’m in a bookstore, I see a spot where Writer Emergency Pack would fit. Sometimes it’s on a shelf near the writing books. Other times, it’s near the register. But we’re not there, because we simply haven’t committed the time and resources to figuring it out.

We’ve had conversations with some smart retail folks, and even a tentative discussion with a potential publisher/distributor. But we’ve never gotten past talking.

The good thing about missed opportunities is that most of them are still out there. We can improve our marketing, retail and international distribution. The question is how. I’ve outlined some of what we’re thinking, but I’d encourage you to offer your own suggestions.

More than anything, I’d recommend writing up honest recaps of how things are going in your life. The process is cathartic and useful.

So often, we’re presenting sanitized versions of events in Christmas letters, or context-less status updates on Facebook. Writing up the longer version helps make sense of recent history, and offers suggestions for where you want to head next. Even if you never share what you write, putting words to these thoughts helps focus your attention in useful ways.

You can take a look at my full write-up on Writer Emergency Pack here.

  1. Oh, yeah: Exploding Kittens. That happened later.