What’s My Age Again?

NOTE: This post is in turns an emotional outpouring as well as a personal, cutting to the core, dissection with how I feel/where I am at 30. Like my previous posts, I don’t pull punches, and I don’t want to self censor. Others have felt this way; some probably feel the same right now, but I just wanted to take a moment to capture and express my fears, hopes, worries and dreams on Write Steve Write.

With that in mind, enjoy…


It’s been 10 days since my birthday. Since this…

Honestly, I’m still accepting that I’ve finally ticked over into my 30s. No more will my age start with a 2 until I hit 200!

As I sit here pondering about all that I had dreamed of accomplishing in my 20s, all that I thought I would have done and what I thought my 30s would have looked like, I struggle at times to cope with the reality. All that I haven’t achieved. All that I thought I would be, but am not.

Kind of makes me feel like this:

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And then someone comes along, shows you what it’s like to be truly cared about, and does something amazing to help you usher in a new birthday, a new decade, a whole slew of new opportunities, adventures and possibilities…

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Matrix Dreams.

You may be familiar with how I use Write Steve Write as a personal journal in order to chronicle my progress, lack of progress, and inspiration when it comes to writing. Specifically when it comes to fine tuning my manuscript, Temporary, and its little brother, Shell.

I’ve set goals, missed goals, and hit goals during my time sharing all my wins and loses with those who care to read them and be a part of this long adventure, and I’m appreciative of everyone one of you who has taken the time to follow along.

For those of you who may be stumbling across this for the first time: Welcome!

If you’ve ever wondered what the process is like for someone with no industry contacts, and only a love of story to warm them during those long, cold nights, then you’ve come to the right place. You’ll be able to chart back every major turn and event I’ve taken with Temporary, right up until, hopefully, I’m able to blog about such incredibly positive things with Friends inspired titles like “The One Where I Get An Agent”, or “The One Where I’m Published and On An Awesome Book Tour, Please Come Meet Me!”.

Until then, there’s this:

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This Painting Is Done…

…said no artist, probably ever.

To be honest, it’s one of the hardest thing that I’ve encountered with every creative process I’ve been through; writing, screen writing, directing, podcasting, whatever the medium there’s always that lingering voice of doubt at the back of my head when I reach the perceived end of a project.

Is it really the end?

Just when, exactly, do you know that what you’ve been working so diligently on is at a point where there are no more tweaks to be made, no more major issues to be dealt with, to know that it’s, without any doubt, ‘done’?

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Shell.

Somehow we are almost through November, which means a few things.

  1. December is almost here, which means…
  2. Christmas is almost here (!)
  3. The deadline for the short story is up.

I’ve never entered a piece of writing into a competition before, and I’m interested in seeing how it does, especially as the theme of the competition is Superheroes. 

It just so happens that the manuscript I’m (still) working on, Temporary, is all about exactly that, which put me in a great state of mind for tackling this subject.

At first I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to stay within those themes and ideas, but having cultivated Temporary for so long, becoming somewhat well versed in Superhero mythology in the process, I couldn’t think of a better time to take some time away from Temporary and work on something new, yet immediately familiar.

Perhaps too familiar?

You see, Shell is set within the same Universe as Temporary.

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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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