Invisible Influence

A few weeks ago, Kevin Smith almost died from a “massive heart attack” due to a blockage of his LAD artery – also known as the Widow-Maker.

Thankfully, he survived the encounter, even taking the time out from, y’know, recovering from said heart attack in order to tweet about it from his near-miss deathbed. Total Kev Smith move.

 

 

If he hadn’t pulled through, this would have marked the first of my personal heroes to have died.

This person who I have never met, but have been a fan of since I was teenager, has helped to shape me in countless ways, just as he has for thousands and thousands of others.

From his clever wordplay and irreverent pop-cultural observations to his commentary on everything through nothing helped to mould the way I view the world, myself, and how I wanted to be. How I wanted to write.

We are all an amalgamation of our experiences and influences. Kevin Smith just happens to be one of mine.

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Wary Jubilation

On Monday 19th February, after diligently working on it since November 2017, I completed the vomit draft of my second manuscript.

The very next day I was back to my ‘day job’, earning the cash needed to put food on my table and keep the lights on by [job description redacted] with [expletive deleted] [description redacted].

Because writing in the dark is hard, especially as my process sees me perpetually bathed in the light emitted from my screen.

What’s the alternative? Actually write with my hands? What are you, a barbarian?!

It was a tough reality check after such a personal high, to once again make my way into a day job that was always meant to be a temporary (no pun intended) gig.

Let’s just say it didn’t work out that way. Yet.

My therapist once asked me what I get out of my job.

Satisfaction?

Career ambition?

Happiness?

The answer surprised me.

Time.

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Turning Points.

November is only a few weeks away, and following that comes December. Then, as fast as that, 2018. We’re not even past Halloween (a grossly overlooked calendar event over here in the UK) and already the push is on for Christmas.
Time is cruel and never ever slows, much like the corporate agenda. (I mean, four months of promotion for Christmas? Are you serial?)

Temporary has been a part of my life in some form or another for a while now. Years, no less. I knew that the querying process would be slow – glacial even, though…global warming is a thing…so I don’t know how much that comparison really hits now – but I never expected to be sitting here years later, still processing rejections.
I had hoped that, given the months of graft and effort to finesse, submit, and query (you know, the hard work and emotional commitment of it all), it would have connected with somebody, anybody, by now. A connection that would lead to, at the very least, a request for a full manuscript that could then be rejected. As far as hurdles go, I’m still stumbling out the gate. Still, at least I’m OUT the gate. A story unwritten won’t get you very far, after all.

Doctor Who, stumbling

Here we see a visual representation of Temporary, stumbling hopelessly, but charmingly, out the gate.

But as the days get shorter and the weather turns colder, I would be lying if I said it didn’t bother me…that I wasn’t ready to exorcise this story and move on, clear, to the next thing.

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Content.

Longtime readers of Write Steve Write, those who have been with me on this journey chronicling my up’s and down’s as I write, attempt to write, and berate myself for not writing, know one thing: there is consistent inconsistency.

Despite long breaks between updates, I have been, somehow, continuously charting my creative (in)actions and progress. Despite all the noise, I still want to share with you all the pitfalls and victories as they come. But it’s tough. Ask anybody who writes, podcasts, blogs, vlogs, or commits to any other chosen outlet for their thoughts, feelings, and attempts to comprehend themselves and the world around them. They’ll tell you the same.

When I first started, I intended to provide a weekly update. A scheduled check-in. Resolute in nature, and militant in its precise execution.

That lasted for about, what, three weeks, maybe? It’s not that I didn’t have anything to say – though, with weekly updates, I think there’s only so much marginal progression you can share before it becomes rote  – but the fact that I was essentially shouting into an uncaring void can stymie even the best of intentions. And it got to me. How could it not?

Most who share a semblance of themselves with the world, throwing it out into the vast Mad Max-esque post-apocalyptic scape that is the Internet, want a point of validation. It’s human to want to be heard.

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Incoming Internet Trolls!

Some might argue the answer is to up the output. I can see how this would be the right solution for some people, but I don’t think it’s the right one for me. Why? Because I’m not content to create content.

There are others, however, who are obsessed with simply ‘generating content’.

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A Fleet of Fleeting Feelings.

TheEnd.jpg

Look what I did, you guys! I did a plotting-a-thon thing.

The process has been long and arduous, extending far past just sitting down with a notebook cracked open in order to scribble my mad, story thoughts into it. It included many months worth of research into subjects I have always had a cursory interest in but have never actively looked into: demonology.

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The Man Who Would Be King? Book It.

Sunday, 20th August 2017 saw the culmination of over a year’s worth of work, graft, and emotional and creative investment. It’s not something tangible that you can hold, like a novel (yet!), comic book or painting.

No, this art was crafted and moulded over numerous meetings, Skype/Facetime sessions (depending which one provided a better, less pixel-faced connection), and dinners. It was also born out of a deceptively simple concept, birthed, as it was, in the backroom of Vault Comics in Welling, during a podcasting session with then-stranger-now-friend, Kieron.

Now that some time has passed and I can look back on the events leading to this serendipitous meeting of mutual good fortune with an even eye, I wanted to recount them, connecting chaotic, unrelated events into a string of occurrences that suggest, perhaps, a sense of order amongst the chaos, giving you all a better idea not only at how this working relationship came about, but also the processes involved in booking a wrestling show whilst trying to maintain artistic merit, with all efforts going towards not only putting on a fucking amazing wrestling show but executing on an event that had dramatic purpose, heft, and resonance.

The Man Who Would Be King

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Stepping Stones, Empty Thrones.

Do you want to know a secret? A frustrating, annoying, internally – and eternally – sore spot of contentious reality?

This thing I want to do with my life, this wondrous ambition of wanting to, somehow, write for a career as a means of putting food on the table forever more? Well, and lean in close now, here’s the thing: there’s no ladder. None. Zip. Nada.

With a lot of other jobs and career paths, there tends to be a path. Some are more defined than others, with a clean chain of command. A hierarchy that is evident to those that want to clamber up that chain until they attain the position they so desperately desire.

Others…well, others are chaos, with no defined objectives and pathways.

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