Thursday, February 28, 2008

One Month of Soul Searching and Writing

Okay, so since tomorrow is the first day of March, my writing-job-search month, I figure I’d better churn out some ideas tonight so I’m not left wondering how to begin tomorrow. A little direction in one’s work never hurt anyone, and this way I can watch Lost tonight, guilt-free, knowing I have a clear path ahead of me for the next day.

Last week-end I told a few friends of mine about my fantasy short story writing kick, and they seem interested reading whatever I produce. One of these friends is actually already published as a fantasy writer, so what she has to say about my work would be most valuable. She also gave me a list of publishers that I might try to make a name through once I’ve written something. Thus my goal for the end of the month, regardless of what else happens jobwise, is to complete one of these short stories. I now have three short stories from this fantasy world mostly outlined, so pressing through one of them should be the easy part, in theory.

My mother offered the idea of writing an advice column, so I’ve taken it upon myself to try my hand at that too. The first series of questions will no doubt be fictional – mainly me giving advice to myself at a time I perhaps needed it. Now it’s a little too late, but the will to use these problems to bring about positive change is still there.

Another idea I’ve been toying with for a long time is movie reviews. When you think about it, it makes sense, and actually it’s the only thing I’m specifically qualified to do. Still, there’s a stigma around film criticism. It’s almost as if becoming a film critic is admit that you couldn’t hack it as a filmmaker. Or similarly, one could say a drama teacher chose a teaching career because he couldn’t make it as an actor. Of course, my last drama teacher addressed this. He claims he became a teacher because he wanted to drive a car. There isn’t a lot of money in the arts these days, unless you’re a star, and the same seems to be the case for writing.

Technical writing – this sounds like a tremendously dull area to be working in, but many of the writers I know say that once you get started, you find it can actually be very interest. They use words like interesting as if it meant something. Interesting. It’s interesting to see how long you can write about dairy farming before you start foaming at the mouth and howling at the moon.

I’m getting bored with my own entry. This isn’t a good sing.

Okay, the point I want to make about technical writers is that they’ll say thing like, “not everyone gets to be a star novelist,” or “not everything you write is going to be fascinating,” but by and large I find these are incredibly uninspired and boring people. These are the sorts of people that suck the life from you when they enter a room. These are not the winners of society. They aren’t the losers either, but they’re certainly not what I’m looking forward to growing into. Growing is the wrong word. Perhaps shrinking is a better fit. Every time I take on a boring, poorly paying, and generally unrewarding job, that’s exactly what it feels like. It feels like my brain is actually shrinking to accommodate the sort of work I’m doing. If the work you do only requires X amount of brain power, it’s more efficient to leave you with X amount.

Here’s another idea: I keep a blog. I mean, obviously I’m already doing that, but if I have one interesting point or rant or what have you for the day, people may actually feel like reading it, because I certainly can’t imagine anyone sifting through this meander. Though if someone other than me really is reading this, wow. It’s going to be weird when I get my first post from someone. Anyway, some people get sponsors to pay them for their blog. In order for sponsors to pay off, I’ll need a readership, which I’ll only get by having content worth reading, but anyway, there’s another goal. One logical way to build readership is by being among the readers of other blogs, and making comments. One way to be seen, is to speak. I think.

Before I sign off, there’s one more thing off the top of my head – my uncle teaches several courses for adult high-school, and asked me if I’d be interested in designing a course in screenwriting, since that’s my area of expertise. I’m not sure if I’ll add that into the mix this month, but it gives me yet another project to work on, should I somehow have exhausted the others.

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