Changing Tactics

Eight years ago, I made the decision to start taking my writing more seriously. After a summer spent working on a showcase featuring rising performing arts talents and seeing one of my favorite actors make his own writing dreams come true, I knew that no matter how much I had on my plate, I can make the time to make my own writing dreams become a reality.

In several ways since then, that has slowly come to be. I’ve written and published two books, I’ve written work that has been produced for stage, and my screenwriting is already generating some minor wins in the form of my film debut last winter and my first feature-length screenplay becoming a quarterfinalist in a screenwriting competition last spring.

I’ve managed to have done a lot over the last eight years, and yet I still feel so far from where I want to be, and I think a lot of it has to do with how my mentality has changed since the 2016 presidential election. Here we are, now a month away from the next (and an obviously crucial) election in the United States, and I’m nowhere near close to having my third novel ready for release; not by a long shot, which is personally discouraging, seeing that I haven’t released a book since the week following the last election.

While the years since the last election is when my script writing has really started to take off, I suddenly found it difficult to write my own fiction; my own book. We as a nation have been on a whirlwind of gaslighting, undone progress, injustice, and now a mishandled pandemic over the last few years, and it has all made it difficult for me to focus. You may find that odd to have trouble escaping into a reality where circumstances are significantly better than yours, but when it’s a reality created by your own mind, it becomes a tug of war when your own personal gateway may or may not easily let you in.

At the start of this pandemic and having to work from home, I like many saw the opportunity in the darkness to finally tackle time to get back into the creative work I’ve been pursuing for the better part of the last decade. While many creative writing projects have come about over the last six months, it still hasn’t been enough when my own personal prose has remained mostly unmoved.

But even if I were further along with writing my book and other fiction as well, I already know that I can’t really approach putting it out into the world as I have before. Not to say that anything is stopping me, aside from the fact that no matter how many times I change my approach in getting the word out there, I already know for a fact that it’s not going to land with as much impact as I would ideally hope for. In other words, can’t keep doing this on my own anymore.

So here’s what’s going to happen going forward. I’m going to remind myself why I made the decision to take my creative writing more seriously and really work on doing just that. I need to focus on my book and other short fiction ideas I have up my sleeve. I’m going to continue with what I’ve been doing in my pursuits of being a screenwriter and keep writing and applying for opportunities where I can show what I can do. I’m going to keep attending workshops and panels that have proven useful over the last six months. I’m going to keep an eye out for collaborators who legitimately understand the meaning of what a collaboration is. Regarding that last one, let’s be honest: As much as I am honored to interview hardworking creatives, it would be next level if I could work alongside them.

This blog is not going anywhere, but I’m not going to be as insistent as posting every week as I used to be. I’m not going to apologize for that anymore; not when there’s work to be done. I’ll still be putting out content online like I always do, but just know that there will be a lot going on behind the scenes.

I owe this to myself. While I’ve made good progress so far over the last eight years, it’s time to kick it up a notch. And if you want to come along for the ride, don’t just tell me. Show me. Showing me that there’s support out there as I enter the next level of my journey will mean more to me than any verbal assurance.

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