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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Wonder For Years

Turns out the pursuit to live a creative life is a constant struggle between managing fantastical expectation vs reality and the need to get some damn food in your stomach on a daily basis.

It’s also one that should see you take influence from everything you can draw from.

I’ve written before about the importance of being able to take that influence, that inspiration, from a number of different outlets. Limiting yourself to only one, in a world so rich and abundant with great stories, told in wonderfully engaging and, occasionally, dynamic ways is akin to blind stupidity. A tunnel-visioned idea that if you’re not writing, well, you should be reading, right?

There’s truth to that, make no mistake, but in a world where some of the best stories in the past decade have been told through not only novels but cinema, comic books, and video games, then actively depriving yourself of these experiences simply because of the form they are delivered in just highlights a pretentious refusal to accept their potential.

And this brings me, of all things, to one of my favourite bands, The Wonder Years.

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Hobbled New Year.

I flick the switch and watch as the fluorescent light flickers with an audible ting-ting-ting, flashing multiple times until, mercifully, it decides to stay on.

Surveying the room – a downstairs basement long forgotten – I notice the lone desk situated in the middle, a weathered leather chair situated on the other side of it.
Dust had decided that this was its domain now and blanketed everything in a fine, undisturbed layer. If it were snow, you might think it was pretty. As it stood, it only made me want to sneeze.

Walking over, I observe the computer sat proudly on the desk, the only thing on it bar a notebook. Leaning in, I find the power switch on the back of the bezel and with a single press am reassured when a familiar chime booms through in a pleasant sing-song tone.

The screens blue hue joins the fluorescent yellow as I pull the chair out and take a seat. Picking up the book, I use the back of my hand to cast the dust aside, opening the cover and taking pleasure in the crack the spine lets out.

All my notes are still there. The computer still works, and my story was ready to continue.

“Let’s do this,” I say to myself, ignoring how alone the walls make me feel as they absorb the sound. “Let’s do this, 2018, you sonovabitch”

***

So it’s a new year. 2018. The future.

The last time I updated was back in the long, long ago of 2017 – before November came and went, before Christmas consumed my December, prior to my being promoted to purple belt (!!!), and before New Years brought with it a mixture of merriment and punishment…

So what demanded so much of my time?

Lean closer, I don’t want everyone to know just yet. Just you, because you’re special. Not like him. He’s awful.

*hears disgruntled objections*

Huh? Oh, nothing. Just saying how great you are!

You see? Quick now, let me tell you what you want to know…

I’ve been working on a new story.

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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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