Ride The Wave

Today marks the sixth wave of submissions that have been sent out, like little hopeful messages in bottles thrown errantly out into an uncaring ocean, all in the hopes that one will be found by that one person that will see it, resonate with it, and decide to join me on this journey to publication.

Because that’s a key thing to remember here: even if I do find representation in between the mountainous piles of (virtual) rejection notes, it’s simply another step towards the eventual end goal: getting the damn thing into your hands.

Whether it’s via a brick and mortar bookstore (kicking it, old school) or through the magic of the magnificent inter webs, delivering it to your Kindle, all that matters in this long (arduous) endeavour is that you can read it, absorb it and, hopefully, enjoy it.

Just today I came to a double-edged realisation: I’ve been submitting longer than I thought. Also, time is a cruel, harsh mistress. *cries deeply as, like sands through an hourglass, yada yada*

In the time I have been sending Temporary out to agencies, one particular agent (that I had high hopes for) has actually switched to another agency. Its also been about six months since I contacted him at his previous agency. So, why does this matter?

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Once You’re In, You’re In.

I’ve been taking the time recently to try and get this new podcast (which I spoke about here) in order before launching it into the world, ready to deliver you some aural pleasure.

In between these recording and editing sessions however, I’ve been making my way through a book, simply titled, ‘Getting Published’, in the vain, naive hope of finding a treasure trove of hitherto unknown information that would transform me from hopelessly lost, to an expert navigator, detailing all I needed to know in order to traverse the choppy waters of literary representation and publishing.

Purchased at the same time as I bought the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook 2016, another hopeful attempt at taking a semblance of control over my writing career ambitions, it’s somewhat fitting that the book was written by somebody who actually runs The Writer’s Workshop which, for long time readers of this blog, is the place I actually sent my manuscript in for some editing assistance.

Having read about a third of the book so far, I’ve been left with a pretty indelible feeling as Harry Bingham charts out the processes I can look forward to. From polishing the manuscript to seeking literary agents, compiling an attractive synopsis/cover letter to dealing with publishers, this book has already covered quite a bit of ground and, as much food for thought it genuinely provides as I read through and ponder upon it, it does leave me with one prevalent concern: just how in the hell am I, so insignificant and unconnected as I am, going to do this?!

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Reject The Status Quo

The status quo is a dangerous and easy thing to become accustomed to. It allows for complacency and laziness; an over familiarity with the status quo achieves nothing more than personal and creative stagnation. You may look at what is happening in your life and wonder, “Where is my progress?”, “Where is my momentum?”

I know I have.

It may be lacking because of an subconcious acceptance of the status quo.

I’ve been begrudgingly learning this lesson over the past few weeks, with unwanted frustration growing during my Brazilian Jiu Jitsu training. Recently I’ve been stuck in a rut, with people able to shut down or counter my game based on my, now, relative predictability. What I used to do worked every time. Not so much anymore.

So what happened? What’s happened within the given status quo, and could it actually be a good thing?

What can my BJJ training teach me about this new personal obstruction, and how, exactly, does it tie into my writing? What life lesson is there to glean from this?

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A Year And Change.

It’s hard to believe that just over a year ago, last August, to be precise, Nick and I were over in Indianapolis (hit the jump to scope the first blog on my Indy Adventure!), supporting my short film, First Date.

Flights, hotels, overbearing custom control (oh, the memories…), sitting on panels, fighting, food (so much food!) and a cavalcade of films and board games all blended together to make a hopeful trip a memorable one. Not only that, it made it an important one.

It was a trip that forced me to reflect on who I am, and what I want. It had me reassessing a number of elements in my life.

It was the first time that I had been a part of a festival to any degree; it was also the first time I was able to support a piece of art that I had helmed, with the help of many artistic friends throwing in to make sure it came to life. The panels were a lot of fun to do, and I got to meet and interact with a bunch of interesting filmmakers. I’ll also be the first to put my hands up and admit two sad truths:

  1. I didn’t belong on those panels, given the wealth of experience that I was flanked by.
  2. First Date didn’t make any sort of indelible impact, and has failed to segue into anything else since it was filmed, oh so long ago.

And that is a particularly sad, and harsh truth for me. I put a lot of myself into First Date; time, effort, money, and faith (blind, blind faith), but unfortunately all it kind of amounted to was experience.

I relished being on a set, and having actors come in and bring to life characters I had written, speak words I had crafted, was a special feeling, one I will hopefully experience again some day – but ultimately it was all an experiment that can be chalked up to experience.

This trip opened my eyes, however, to a different path that interested me. A total refocus on what I wanted to creatively explore; a new world that I wanted to be a part of.

Writing.

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Receiving Feedback With Grace (Not The Person)

As I wait for Thea to get home, and for my friend, George, to come over later on in order for us to all experience the greatest party of the summer, WWE’s Summerslam (!!), I’ll take this opportunity on this beautiful day (which you can see below) to let you guys in on a little secret that people, usually myself included, often ponder upon: just how should you receive feedback.

A Summer Day in London

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Feedback Monster; A Glimmer of Hope.

I’ve been getting dribs and drabs of feedback from the beta readers who currently have a copy of my manuscript, Temporary. Some of it has been delivered in a cordial, friendly, manner, other parts were provided in a very straight forward, direct, way.

Sure, a lot of it (the majority, in truth) have felt like numerous sucker punches to the gut; or, to make it more relatable to what I know: a choke finally being sinked in under my throat, after having been fought off so valiantly for so long.

Its had me feeling like this, captured so perfectly by my man, The Doctor:

Crucially though, whether the beta readers were providing positives or negatives all of it has been given constructively.

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Lost In Velen.

Oops.

Somehow an entire month+ has slipped by since my last blog, wherein I reviewed Andrzej Sapkowski’s The Last Wish, in preparation for playing The Witcher 3.

Why? What’s been going on with my life and, more importantly, what’s been going on with Temporary to explain the unexpected sabbatical?

Well, the answer is oh-so-discreetly alluded to above: I’ve been lost traversing Velen, Novigrad and Skellige in pursuit of Ciri, filling the boots of monster hunter extraordinaire, Geralt of Rivia.

As lost as I’ve been within The Witcher 3’s expansive, impressive, detailed, and immersive lands, losing myself amongst its lore, people, and cultures, things haven’t entirely stopped on the Temporary front. Far from it.

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