So this is a first. Sometimes I’ve written right before or after my birthday, but never ON my birthday. Yes, today is my birthday, and much like my blog post from last year, I have thoughts about where I am in life as a writer and as a human.
Since last year, I shelved that one novel and began another, I’ve written my first feature-length screenplay that has already been submitted to a film festival in New York, I’ve applied for that same writing program as before for the second year in a row, I’m already whipping up ideas for what to write for the stage this year, and on top of all that, I have a full-time job now.
In many ways, a lot has changed. The fact that I accomplished a goal I made to myself at this time last year about finally writing a screenplay is remarkable in of itself. Unfortunately, it has been within the last few days where that lack of fulfillment has risen again, and with that, a sense of fear.
Many thoughts have crossed my mind. Why is it taking me so long to write a new novel? Will my screenplay be good enough to join the sudden mass appeal for Asian American stories for film that has erupted in that last six months? Will my application actually go somewhere with this second attempt at going for the writing program? Will my stage play ideas lead anywhere significant? What constraints will my job impose when it comes to continuing my other job as a writer?
That’s only just some of what is on my mind right now, and by now, I can understand if you’re tired of hearing the same thing about how unfulfilled I feel and how I should have done more in my life by now, based on expectations made by no one other than myself. But I am officially in my late 20’s now, and so there’s this added pressure to get as much done as I possibly can within the remaining years of this pivotal decade of a human’s life.
What I’ve realized these last few days is with this feeling of lack of fulfillment, I believe part of it is due to a lacking support system. Sure, more people have found out about me and my work within the last year, and that is absolutely fantastic, and I’m grateful for those who’ve chosen to come along for the journey. But until the people that I know in my own personal life start showing support with their actions and less with their words of praise, then anything that they say means nothing to me.
It’s hard when I really think about it. I envy Stan Lee, who died having experienced something that most creatives don’t get to experience in their lifetimes; the joy of seeing people enjoy their work. The fact that my current age is plagued with a club that nobody wants to be a part of is not at all reassuring. I guess to put it bluntly, don’t wait until I’m gone from this world before really supporting my endeavors.
This is a call-out to everyone reading this post. If you haven’t read either of the two novels I’ve published within the last five years, go buy them, read them, and review them when you’re done. I don’t make a lot of money in writing, so if you’re able to, please make a donation to my Ko-fi campaign. If you haven’t already, please vote for whether I should make my debut novel, A Moment’s Worth, available in a physical copy format this summer for its fifth anniversary. And of course, share everything I just asked of you to people that you know if your life.
I’m one of those people that struggles with asking for help, and so it’s taking a lot for me to bring myself to do this again. But it’s my birthday, and there’s nothing I want more than more people – especially those that I know – to actually show some support for everything that I’m doing. At the end of the day, those are the people who will actually mean something to my life; not the people who spoke nothing but praise and just stood idly by, but those who spoke with their actions.