The +/-

As I settle deeply into my bear-like cave (which is my mind! Whoa…), ready to continue my long, quasi hibernation-esque meditation, tempered with perseverance and sprinkled with a healthy garnish of doe-eyed naivety, waiting for literary agents to get back to me with either good or blegh (official term) news, it has given me the opportunity to ponder my personal framing of receiving rejection.

Rejection is a part of this game, and it’s an element that I am becoming quickly familiar with. Some might say we’re becoming bosom buddies. Others would agree. Like BFF shit. In truth, I actually prefer receiving a bonafide rejection. A lot of agencies don’t have the time or inclination to send you this formal, kind announcement, letting you know that you no longer have to hold your breath on them. Because, y’know, continual breathing tends to be a good thing…

Since being officially recognised as depressed, I’ve been going through a lot of emotional introspection and reflection whilst waiting on these potential acceptances and rejections. It’s a turbulent time to be throwing yourself out there in a creative way, opening yourself up to rejection whilst trying to deal with these other elements.

I travelled back home to try and reconnect with my roots, having an awesome time and saying goodbye far too quickly for my liking, and have dedicated many accumulated hours in pondering what I want, where I’m going, and just how to deal with certain voids I have and demons that haunt me. So, when rejection e-mails come through it’s always a conflicting feeling.

giphy

Yes, I’m grateful that I’m no longer on tenterhooks and can cut the cord with that particular agency, but at the exact same time…oh man, another rejection?

And yet, recently, in the run-up to flying away, I had become the recipient to a few more…uniquely written responses.

Spoiler: still rejections. BUT, the wording, the phrasing, the intent…I believe I had just encountered the positive/negative.

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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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Stop Signs & Deadlines.

Welcome to 2017.

So, here’s a fun factoid: at this point in time I am beholden to no-one and, honestly, that’s how its been for the longest while. It’s also the reason why I’ve been so infrequent with my blog posts, writing, and overall progress. The only thing I’ve managed to really dedicate myself to is my geek critique podcast, ‘Sweet Story, Bro.’

The cruel irony is this: the podcast I created to help me embrace stories on a deeper level – to help me become a better writer – has, for the longest part of 2016, overtaken any sort of actual writing.

The podcast still serves its ultimate purpose. I have definitely grown self aware as a reader since its inception, and I have undoubtely learned from how these writers have chosen to tell their stories. I love engaging with narratives beyond ‘I liked it’/’It was good’ and the opportunity its given me to engage with like minded geeks – shoutout to #PodernFamily on Twitter! – and, perhaps most importantly, it’s fun!

Granted, as much growth as the show has seen since its debut (and format tweakage/evolution) last year on January 4th, I’m still naturally pushing for further growth. For more people to treat their ears to its aural sensations, if you will. It would be a dream if ‘Sweet Story, Bro’ could continue to evolve, to create a dialogue amongst writers and fans, perhaps even rake in a little cash to help with server and equipment costs via Donations and fans using the Amazon links for their online purchases (what a validating feeling it was to see people had been doing exactly this over Christmas!)

The podcast has, undoubtedly, been my greatest success this year. And as stoked as that makes me, it’s a double edged blade as its stolen from me the focus and drive I should have been investing into Temporary.

You know, the book I’ve been working on. One of the primary reasons this blog exists.

And so, like most, in the interest of using this time of year for some key self reflection and introspective dissection, its become clear to me that my habitual self sabotage, coupled with enviable levels of procrastination (emphasis on the pro), wrapped up with a pretty ribbon crafted out of a lack of personal accountability has led me to seeing the end of 2016, like most people, as a bit of a disappointing damp squib.

So, what the fuck do I intend to do about it?

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It’s In The Blood.

I’m sad to say it, and ashamed to admit it, but there has been virtually no progress with Temporary in the time since my last blog post, Pivot – though, if you’re interested, I have been providing minor updates via my podcast, Sweet Story, Bro.

I’m acutely aware that it’s been almost a month of inaction, but it was while providing a brief update to Temporary during the intro for a future episode of my podcast that I realised I had a topic to share that I haven’t blogged about yet, and considering that Write Steve Write is the HQ for all major updates for my writing, Temporary, and, only because I love you (yeah, you, gorgeous), some travel writing, I wanted to provide a further update on what’s going on and why I have yet to shift it into gear the way I’ve been meaning to.

Hell, sticking to that analogy, I’m still obsessively checking mirrors. I haven’t even shifted into first.

So why?

I’ve not been myself recently.

You just know when something isn’t right? When something feels inhereably…wrong. Yeah, that.

Fun, right?

A few weeks ago I felt weak. Incredibly weak. Like, ‘blacking out at BJJ’ weak. ‘Couldn’t do the warm up’ weak. Something was up. So, I’ve been trying to figure out what, exactly, caused me to feel so fatigued. So drained.

It’s because of this that the past few weeks have revolved around beautiful (grey), warm (raining), British Summer days as I traipse to the Doctor’s for scans, prodding, and (multiple) blood tests.

It’s a good thing I don’t mind needles and like post-jab lollipops.

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‘Cause Baby, You’re A Firework.

Since yesterday’s blog (‘Breadcrumbs‘), I have since written in the necessary…well…breadcrumbs that I spoke about.

It didn’t take long in the end, thanks to the in-depth search features that Scrivener offers. I knew the scenes I needed to amend, popped in there the right search term, and sprinkled those goddamn carb cubes where they needed to go, done in a (hopefully) subtle way, so as to not completely signpost what’s happening, whilst still acting as enough of a clue that will leave the reader with an ‘Aaah, shit, that makes so much sense!’ moment.

I’m thinking of trademarking that, by the way, so don’t you go stealing the ‘Aaah, shit, that makes so much sense!’ Moment™.

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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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