It’s been some time since I’ve taken a step back and talked about what has been going on with my creative projects and myself. And while I’m glad I actually had the opportunity to post up some actual fiction here for a change, this has been long past time.
The more the game changes, the more it stays the same: both figuratively and literally. Let me start with the practical matters first. I need a job. That’s pretty much it. I need to find a job and do some volunteering that can help me get more contacts. The good news–aside from the fact that my worker is the first person to ever get a Mythic Bios business card–is that my social assistance program that I’ve been on for a while is actually giving me a little more in the way of concrete advice.
For instance, I have some websites now that seem to tailor more to the kinds of things I do or that I’m interested in. There was at least one job looking for a potential creative writing teacher: which would be a strange role for me given how I have been–and I am still–the student for so long. But that is one avenue. Another possibility that was given to me is that perhaps I can join a newspaper and help create or add to a column that matches with my “Geek” interests. This would be a major boon because I would have something out there in print, get more of my stuff out there, and potentially even get paid for it. I won’t lie: getting paid would be very nice at this point.
On the other hand, I am now motivated to really and truly start asking questions. What I mean is that even if I can’t get a job at one place or another, I can ask “interview” questions to someone about what it is that they do, what I should expect, what I would need to focus on with regards to my resume, and if they know anyone who is looking for anyone. I can ask questions. And I suspect there will be some business card trading. All of this is a focus that I have been fighting to keep clear as time has gone on.
I won’t lie to you. A part of me is scared: scared that I won’t find anything and that my help will run out. But there is another part of me that is also concerned that if I do get a job, it will me take away from the very Projects that I need to get to where I want to go: that my energy and my equilibrium will be so drained after practical work that I won’t want to do anything more. Of course I know a lot of that is utterly ridiculous given that I know what I can do and what I love the most.
Also, I need a change of pace. I need to make a new routine and schedule that will allow me to get out of my house, wake up earlier and have more time to myself and even get more opportunities to work with other people and explore again. It is exciting, even as it is utterly terrifying in a lot of ways. I have a lot of stuff I need to overcome and, in my way and in this past while, I have been endeavouring to do so.
The fact of the matter is this: in order to shape the life that I want and grow and maintain the relationships that I need, it is imperative that I reach my full potential: or as much of it as I can. And oh god is it terrifying to fight that anxiety, but invigorating to also realize that I have so much to actually look forward to.
And I do have things to look forward to. First, I am going to be getting Neil Gaiman’s Ocean at the End of the Lane soon. I look forward to finding it in, or near, my mailbox. It’s the first Neil novel in ages and I am going to enjoy it. I know that I will. Also, for the first and last time, and if all goes according to plan I am going to be seeing Neil personally–along with countless fellow geeks and fans–in Toronto itself: at the Danforth Music Hall. It is his last signing tour for the foreseeable future.
I had to go through some hoops: cancelling an Amazon order to get a Chapters-Indigo order so that I’ll have a proof of purchase and thus be allowed to have that book signed. This tour is also not a free one and it has cost $31. I know that bothers some people and deters them from going. But there was also something else that made me hesitate initially. That fear again. I’ve looked forward, so much, to meeting Neil but at the same time it scares me. It scares me because meeting the person who pretty much helped reshape my writing style in a very paradigmatic way is kind of intimidating. He’s not going to be the writer behind the narrative of his novels and Blog, or the tweeter of his Twitter, or the man in some of the videos I see online. He is going to be an actual human being–which he is–sitting for a long bloody time at a table or something signing books.
And I know I probably won’t sound as eloquent talking to him briefly as there would probably not be that much time. Okay. Fine. I’m going to be a fan-boy. Are you happy now? Neil is the closest thing to a hero that I have and this is his last signing tour. And it makes me sad even as I feel something kind of fitting about how the first time I meet him like this will be the last in a while.
The fact is, I just hope that when I do get my chance to meet him that I can just say to him, “I am really glad I finally got to meet you.”
Now, that aside, let me go into some of my creative matters. I have been insanely busy. I have been working on my Twine novel. Novels are fucking intimating. When you make a novel, you make sure to have an outline of plot and character, or you will go crazy. Also, as you’ve probably heard before, you cannot write each novel in the exact same way. I outlined to you what beginning this Twine Project has been like, and it has more or less continued the exact same way. I am still writing it all out by hand. I have decided all of my creative projects worth making need to have that “automatic first-draft” experience of being ink on paper before being typed into another draft.
But this Project … I set out to expand on the details of all the plot-branches in relative order: from upper all the way to the lower tiers. I have finished about six of the places I want the player-reader to go to and there are about nine or ten more places left that I need to expand on. Also, I did something different: I decided to write the happy ending before anything else. It is the closest thing to a utopia that I have made, and I am not sure that anyone is going to get to it.
Sometimes when I look at what I’m making, I sometimes feel like it is getting too long and what I’m planning may be too exact. .I wonder how many people would see this Twine, play some of it and then click away as they lose their both patience and their interest. Sometimes I wonder why I’m doing it. The content is unorthodox and sometimes controversial and I just wonder if people will like it, hate it, or simply not care. I am not doing it for money or fame. And I haven’t even toggled with Twine yet beyond watching some video tutorials and sometimes I think to myself: why am I working on this thankless thing? What is the bloody point?
And then I remember: I want to work with games and having something like this would be good to add to my portfolio. But more than that, it is something I have to do for me and finishing it will help me grow as a creator.
Which brings me to the last part of this Blog entry. In addition to this Twine Project, I’m going to undertake something else. And it is going to be big. And, when I say it is big, I am not exaggerating. This is going to be big. This totally took me by surprise. And I didn’t even see it coming. But now that I know it is here … I don’t know what will happen with it, or if I will succeed but I can’t–in good conscience–turn this possibility down. Sometimes I think that some things all happen at the same time for a reason, or at the very least they make for a good motivational story.
I’m actually not sure if I can get away with this. I will say, right now, that it will be the basis of–or will become–a novel because it has to be. You have to understand: I have gotten so used to writing short stories and vignettes–which have their own set of intrinsic challenges–that sometimes I can’t even begin to conceive of writing a novel on a professional level. It is daunting. It will take time and energy and, like I said, I can’t turn this prospect down.
If it succeeds, even to a point, my routines will change. If it doesn’t, they will still change. I can never just do things simply. And if it even goes further …
Anyway, I was wondering what I was going to write here today on this Blog and here it is. A whole lot of very daunting challenges and busy days and the realization that I need to parcel out my time. It feels like summer: in so many different ways right now. I also intend to keep up this Blog and let you all know what’s going on: as much as I can.
It never ceases to amaze me to see how many new Followers I keep getting and how many people are starting to read my Blog and its multifarious branches of content. I am definitely going to keep you posted on what is going on with this last Great Challenge in particular. In the meantime, thank you for Following me and I expect to see you again sometime soon. Take care and good night.
2 thoughts on “What I’ve Been Up To and Where This is Going”
You’re amazing Matthew!
It takes one to know one, Angela. 😀