Note: The following is a continuation from last week’s post. To read the first part, check it out here.
Although I was already making progress as an author of novels, I knew that I didn’t want to limit myself to just that. Through experiences in being around other creative spheres, I knew that I wanted to take my writing to places where it wasn’t just being confined to a page. Fortunately, while I was working on An Absolute Mind, an opportunity came up for me where I would return to the world of theatre, but as a playwright. For Christmas that year, I received my first scriptwriting software.
In 2017, the shift began. I started writing stories for the stage, and they were being produced. While the excitement of seeing my work come to life like that has never faded, it was monumental for me the first few times it happened. I’ve been in and out of the theatre world many times throughout my life; experimenting in several different aspects of it, ranging from being a stage hand, to performing onstage, doing publicity, producing, etc. But since college, I’ve always entertained the idea of taking my writing to the stage, and so to have that finally happen was so thrilling. (Side note: This year actually marks five years since I became a playwright, and you can read more about my thoughts on all that from this post I did earlier this year.)
Writing for the stage gave way to learning how to write for the screen; another goal of mine I’ve been wanting to tackle. Through experimenting with the screenwriting feature on my scriptwriting software, I decided to go all in on it. I started applying for screenwriting programs and competitions, and in 2018, not even two years after An Absolute Mind came out, I wrote a screenplay adaptation of it. While it has since been shelved, it is a project I hope to revisit someday.
With all this writing for the stage and screen going on, I was struggling with writing a third novel. Two attempts were made within the few years after An Absolute Mind, but nothing substantiating fully manifested, resulting in those projects becoming incomplete and shelved as well. I didn’t – nor do I still don’t – understand why it was suddenly a struggle for me to conjure a novel. Writer’s blocks weren’t manifesting by any means, nor was it due to lack of time either. While unsure, I suspect that maybe the response to my first two novels affected me more than I had expected, resulting in me possibly not feeling as sure of myself as I once was. Why write novels when there’s barely an audience to take them in?
All the while, I was still struggling with finding a job, and when I did get one, it became a next level balancing act. I suddenly got a taste of what it was like to make time after hours for your creative work, when so much of your day was on – well – your day job. But I managed my load as best I can. I struggled to rediscover my footing as a novelist, I wrote plays that were produced, and in February 2020, my screenwriting debut made its appearance to the world.
Given where we are at this point in the timeline, you can probably guess what came next. The following month, the coronavirus was declared a pandemic and the world as we knew it changed forever. I was suddenly working from home like many others, hardly going out, communicating with friends either through the confines of text messages or video calls. Early on, I also realized just how much free time we suddenly had; the amount of which we never really had before. In that, I saw the opportunity for creativity to occur, and so with the circumstances at large, I continued pursuing my writing for the stage and screen.
For the first time ever, I started receiving recognition for my screenwriting. I was placing in some of the competitions I was submitting my work to. Even though I still was getting turned down from a lot of places, this boost of validation definitely did wonders for me, as far as my confidence in my abilities go.
Within the same time period, after not writing for theatre for a year and a half, I returned once more to that realm as well, as I got to experience what it was like to write for the virtual space. In that, I wrote some of my best theatre pieces to date, and despite the actors never being in the same room, their performances still gave it their all and brought these stories to life.
It’s clear by this point that I was dabbling in different mediums of creative writing and having a good time with them. But what I didn’t expect out of this past year was to dabble in a medium I never thought I’d get into; writing for comics and graphic novels. It’s one that I didn’t grow up with at all (despite my parents being huge comic fans in their youths), and even though I’ve enjoyed reading some as an adult, I never saw myself as ever being on the other side of it.
Already it was something when I was a consultant for a comic book. Then suddenly, I found myself collaborating with my friend on a web comic. Not long after that, a project I had been attached to for a while by then, originally as an animated film, suddenly shifted gears into becoming a graphic novel, and I found myself in the position of not only re-writing it, but also writing a graphic novel for the first time.
And that’s where we are now: ten years of taking my creative writing seriously. As impressed as I am with what I’ve done so far, I’m looking forward to leveling up in the next decade. While I won’t say all of what I aim to do (for now), I hope you’ll continue to tag along on my ongoing journey as a novelist, a playwright, a screenwriter, and soon, as a graphic novelist.
If you are able to, I hope you can go support me in all that I do by leaving a tip over on Ko-fi. I do a lot of writing that I get paid very little for or not at all, and so this is a way of showing your support other than just reading my content. Donations of varying quantities and frequencies are greatly appreciated.
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