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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State Of The Podcast Address

This has been a long time coming, and I apologise for that. I wanted to take a moment out of our regularly scheduled programming – you know, the raw, honest blogging/state of constant confusion that is my writing process and attempts to find an agent and eventual publication – to host a state of the podcast address.

For those that aren’t aware, I host a geek critique story review podcast titled, ‘Sweet Story, Bro’. To the best of my knowledge, it is the only real show of its ilk. Breaking down stories into the elements I enjoyed as well as what didn’t resonate with me, with a primary focus on narrative choices by the wonderful authors and storytellers that crafted these tales in the first place, all in order to determine whether I found the story ‘Officially Too Sweet’ or ‘Just Not Sweet Enough.’

 

I loved doing the show. It was a perfect justification to dedicate time to all the stories I wanted to experience, whether reading, watching, or playing. Long time readers of Write Steve Write or ‘Sweet Story, Bro’ will be well aware that I feel inspiration can, and should, be sought from every medium. The idea of restricting yourself to only one narrative avenue is an antiquated idea that has no place when considering the depth we can now experience from different platforms, and the podcast’s story choices reflected this value.

The podcast was an outlet. It was a learning experience and an education. It forced me to engage with stories on a deeper level than I had ever thought of before, questioning why the creators made the decisions they made through copious amounts of research. It helped me to further my understanding of formatting and how important it is to be willing to listen to feedback and evolve. When scripting, it allowed me to address my feelings before getting in front of my loyal Blue Yeti microphone. When recording, I would stumble across a stream of consciousness that threaded together thoughts I wasn’t aware I had. It showed me how to be adaptable, but resolute in my personal ‘voice’. It helped me to grow and better myself as a podcaster and, as was always the point, in theory, as a writer…

And it is here that I found myself with a conundrum. Arriving at a figurative crossroads.

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The Great Exposure Fallicy.

Excuse the title, which I realise sounds like some sort of post-modern funk/jazz fusion band. That aside, I do feel it perfectly apt for what I want to talk about.

Temporary is in the bag as much as humanly possible. I went through once more with a fine-tooth comb to primp and polish it as much as possible with another grammar run through – which felt much like the Death Star run, looking for all those cheeky errors in much the same way Luke sought the exhaust port (is that dirty? It sounds dirty.) All that’s left now is to try and wait patiently for the agencies to eventually respond in kind. Until then I remain on my ‘stepping stone’ home.

In the interim, however, and in an attempt to cajole myself into writing more consistently, turning the practice into a resolute habit, I have taken to writing articles as well as offering my assistance as a narrative consultant to a gamut of differing potential opportunities. None of which offer any pay. Which is fine, to a point. Afterall, one does not simply walk into their dream job. But after years of stop/start chances (video games, anime, wrestling – all the fun, pop culture touch stones, none of the long-term monetary benefits of steady, loyal paid work!),  it’s hard not to wonder why one might bother working so hard for nothing in return.

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If only it were that simple, Joker, old chum…

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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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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.

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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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Wipe Out.

It’s been a month to the day since I updated the blog. A lot has happened since I last tried to capture my thoughts.

First and foremost, just to get this on front street…I’ve been stamped, man. Officially marked and recognised as ‘clinically depressed.’

So, yeah…there’s that…

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