This year didn’t exactly go as planned. Two weeks in I got sacked from the job I had for the last 5 years. I knew where I wanted to go, but for the most part I was directionless. Leads came up empty, my writing career didn’t take off as fast as I wanted, and my personal life was pretty much entirely limited to dodgeball (not that I’m complaining about the latter).
But let’s look at what worked:
– I had a back-up story in Witchblade #125 and a 3-page Ragman yarn in the DC Holiday Special. I wrote more, but that’s all that was actually published. Yeesh, was that it?
– I edited Josh Fialkov and Noel Tuazon’s excellent OGN Tumor, in addition to one of the most challenging gigs of my career, Days Missing for Archaia/Roddenberry. I’m also attached to edit Ryder on the Storm with David Hine and Time Bomb by Palmiotti and Gray, both for Radical.
Of course, the biggest news was the announcement of Broken Trinity: Pandora’s Box, the six-issue miniseries I’m co-writing with Bryan Edward Hill. Alessandro Vitti and Sunny Gho are handling art, and Tommy Lee Edwards is on covers. It’s a sweet package, and if this year’s crop is any indication, will definitely be one of the better books on stands next year.
That’s all well and good, but let’s get back to the bad. Last year, one year ago to the day in fact, I was getting ready to go out on New Year’s Eve with my buddy Bernard Chang (responsible for that darling caricature you can see of me all over the Internets). Suddenly, I had an idea. I won’t go too much into it as I don’t want to spoil my screenplay, and because the story ended up changing a lot. I wrote up a one-pager, fired it off to Bryan and Brian Buccellato, and felt like I had stumbled upon something I could really get behind. I kept setting deadlines for myself, even stupid penalties like “I won’t cut my hair until I finish this screenplay.”
I didn’t finish. I did cut my hair. I suck.
I haven’t touched the damn thing since before SDCC. Sure, I got busy with some paying work and travel and life, but there’s no excuse. And that pretty much brings us to 2010.
2010 – The Year Shit Jumps Off
The New Year is just hours away. I plan to have a fun time ringing it in, and maybe even taking the rest of the city’s vacation (Hollywood shuts down for two weeks around this time of year) as one of my own. But come 1/4, everything changes. Too many days in 2009 were marred by setbacks. I couldn’t write, editing got in the way, money problems got in the way, I was busy hustling, etc. All of those things are just excuses. And in some of those cases, those excuses prevented me from even trying to write. And there’s no excuse for that.
I’m not setting any goals I can’t absolutely achieve. Saying I’m going to write a screenplay every 3 months isn’t unrealistic, but there’s the inherent possibility of failure built in. If I write 3, I’ve failed. If I write none because I get an exclusive contract writing comics and get too busy, I’ve failed. But no one can stop me from putting in the hours. Sitting down at the desk, cutting out distractions (the Internet, twitter, movies, etc.), and writing. A word, a page, a novel. Doesn’t matter.
In 2010, I will write 7 days per week.
Not because I want to (or as is just as often the case, don’t want to), but because I have to. When I got laid off, I didn’t spend too much time in the dumps. Thanks to the advice of friends and inspired by all of the bad entertainment I’ve ever consumed, I went straight into pursuing writing as a full-time career with no safety net. That’s the eventual goal. Create for a living. Right now I have to do other things to supplement my meager writing income, but I’m getting work. People pay me to do what I’m trying to do.
I already have books scheduled to be on stands for at least the first 7 months of the year, with more potentials in progress. I have artists attached to four original projects. But that’s just comics. I want to work in film, tv and video games as well. And I don’t expect to make money in each avenue just yet, but I still have ambitions. So what it’s going to take to monetize all of them, as well as give me the creative cache and brand recognition, is writing 7 days a week.
My co-writer Bryan is a fantastic role model. He’s a workhorse, and he churns stuff out. His initial ideas are generally better than my (seldom) finished works. And that’s because he’s written out his bad stuff. He just keeps writing and pushing, and his work reflects that. Another friend of mine knows him and is trying to write full-time, and he’s using B as a model to pattern himself after. He goes nowhere without a laptop, and he writes as often as he can.
Since Bryan and I have so much in development, I also need to keep up with his output. The scales are tipping in his favor during the tail end of the year thanks to my lackluster output, but I’m bringing it back to 50-50 soon.
Usually I make a lot more proclamations and resolutions heading into a new year. I look back at things and have a lot of regret. I’m not doing that. I didn’t write enough this year, so next year I’m going to write more. And the year after that, I’ll write even more, and so on and so forth. Whatever it takes for the longterm goal.
2010 appears to be the year things take off. I’m not going to let myself down by not coming through. There’s probably more I want to do, but enough talk. I’ve got writing to do.