Tonight is a monumental night for me, as I have finally finished the first draft, some might say the ‘vomit draft’, of my manuscript, Temporary. What originally began as an idea for an eight issue comic book has grown and evolved into something more: bigger, better and more exciting, providing a new path and passion for me within a life that has had numerous roadblocks, obstacles and gatekeepers appearing unexpectedly (like a random battle in Pokemon) over and over, getting in the way of the dreams and life goals I strive towards.
The story behind the initial creation of the sheer concept of Temporary is an interesting one, filled with sighs and protracted disappointment. But its growth and resurrected, Phoenix-like life, has led it to becoming a wonderful, 112,191 word project, spread over 194 (A4) pages.
Its been an arduous journey and, like with most creative endeavours, has been filled with starts, stops, problems, and life somehow getting in the way, as well as procrastination and, importantly, dedication.
What matters, what truly matters at its core, is that I never stopped completely. I may have stopped for days, if not weeks, life allowing, but I never gave up. I ground away at it. Every time I could, I put myself into my office, into that creative work space, and I tried. I would grind away at it, even if I only came out the other end with 500 words. My mindset? Hell, that’s 500 more words that weren’t there at the beginning of the day!
I recently had a conversation with a friend and mat brother at Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. His passion was waning, it was being challenged, and I said to him that it doesn’t matter if you give up a million times, if you hate it and threaten to never come back, as long as you do. If you come back a million and one times, that’s passion.
We equated it to the mats: every minute spent on the mats is another minute towards progression; achieving a new stripe, or a new belt promotion, or simply getting better at a pass or submission. It’s all time dedicated towards achievement, and that’s how I feel about writing, especially in regards to wanting to turn it into a life.
This was a project that I adapted 11 months ago, when I decided to participate in my first ever NaNoWriMo. The intention of NaNoWriMo is to complete 50,000 words over the course of one month, November. I didn’t manage this. But, as prefaced, I also didn’t give up. So what if I didn’t make the word count within November? I would, one day. And I did. My initial word goals extended from 50k, to 80k, to believing I would be finished at 100k, then 110k, and now, finally, it’s completed at 112k. I’m sure that with editing, adding and subtracting sentences, paragraphs, if not pages, this word count will rise and fall over time, but goddamn, this is a personal achievement for me!
I’ve got plans to write and release a prequel short story that would tie appropriately into Temporary, and I have intentions to release that for free when the time is right. With the first draft finally complete, the next question naturally becomes: what’s next?
How do I get it published?
Should I just self publish?
Oh dear God, just what do I do?!
There are number of available options open to me, some easier than others, and the fear of the future isn’t something that I can afford to ignore. I finished my debut screenplay in January and, after having put it forward into numerous competitions and receiving mostly positive feedback, am no closer to making it. With a novel, I figured that the only person I would have to rely on would be myself: if nothing gets written, there’s only one person to blame, after all. Now, however? Now it opens up and the question, as ever, becomes the problem.
For now though I’m going to allow myself to bask in the simple achievement of completion. Not everyone can say they’ve written a book or a screenplay, though many say they would like to try. Even more start, but don’t finish. I have somehow managed to stay committed enough to do both, and before I drive myself crazy wondering just how I might get this manuscript into an editors, then a publishers, hands, I’m going to take the rest of the night off, pop open a Coke Zero, and enjoy the rest of Starrcade ’85.
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I’m very interested in opening up a conversation with anyone who may stumble upon WriteSteveWrite.com and want to know more about Temporary.
If you’ve got any questions, would like to know more about the story, its world, its origins or its backstory, I’d love to hear from you and discuss the book, so please don’t hesitate to get in contact or use the comments section below!