A Writer’s Life: Joining a team

A writer that has generally been on his own joining a team is an adjustment and a new adventure that forced much needed changes when it comes to being on a team.

This week has been eventful filled with a lot of self-discovery when it comes to writing. Those who have been following my journey via Twitter know that I do script writing, blogging, and contribute to a team called Undead Walking. The transition was the hardest thing I have ever went through. I believe the self-discovery has prepared me for the future and helped me grow as a writer.

Since it isn’t a script or a blog on this website, I had to learn that it is a whole different ballgame and I had to learn the rules fast, or my time would have been more difficult. Learning that took me a few months because as a writer, I didn’t trust anyone else’s instincts but my own.

We have heard it repeatedly, there is no “I” in the word team. I know some of you probably rolled your eyes just now or said a sarcastic remark. Well here is a new one for you, there is an “I” in time, so if you want to save time, you must adhere to the rules of being on a team.

I considered parting ways with Undead Walking after season 9 of The Walking Dead was over. It was a hard road, and I wanted to invest my time into my own projects. When the final episode was over, I felt that the three-month journey was coming to an end.

I figured that I would be back as a lone wolf working on projects as I graduate from college and things would go back to the way it was before. Deep down I didn’t want it to end since I enjoyed writing the pieces as a contributor. While talking with both editors, it was an all-in effort to make it work with Undead Walking.

The problems I have had the whole time were finally being addressed. I didn’t let my guard down and didn’t trust anyone but myself. A big part of that was the few times I have been on a team and got burned in the process, so I kept my guard up with this team and didn’t trust anyone.

After the release of the article, it was a success and I decided to continue to be part of the team on a part-time basis. Why is that important you may ask? Writers like myself been on our own for years and we have grown used to doing it our way. Our way may work for some things, but it won’t work for all things.

If you have a chance to contribute to a team, Undead Walking, Bleacher Report, or any website that calls for it, I highly suggest it. It will not only change your thinking but add more to an individual as a writer with personal growth. Any writer is one of us, and that trust can help us build even more bridges with fellow writers in the future.

A writer’s life: What is normal?

So many times, we are told what is acceptable when it comes to being a writer….I say ENOUGH!

Since the beginning of the year, I have personally struggled with the idea of being involved in writing in so many ways. I write blogs, scripts, articles, and an interest in authorship eventually. It was primarily because of an institution giving an idea that writing so many genres and many areas of writing are “too much” or “not normal”. That’s the primary pressure point that made the beginning of 2019 not as pleasant as I have hoped.

The struggle internally as a writer is hard enough, but when you add institution or other people, it can make it unbearable. Every writer is different and that’s what makes our craft and community so interesting. Who is to say that a screenwriter should only be a screenwriter? Who is to say an author can’t become a poet too? Who is to say a writer can’t take on three or more categories? The ones who have made those statements do not help causes.

Why would anyone be limited to a few categories? Writing is such a big art that it is hard for a writer with such passion to contain themselves to one category. It is a beautiful thing when an author crosses over into blogging and screenwriting. That means they have a story they want to share, and they are using their love for writing in general to explore other ways to convey the message.

The toxic mindset of “limits” or “normal” is something that should always be challenged. What is normal? Why do we have to limit ourselves to a set of rules to please certain people or institutions? Why should we limit ourselves when we know there are unlimited possibilities?

There are some writers who may crossover and some writers who stick within only one. Every single writer who has the true love and passion has this in common, there are no limits. We should be able to crossover to multiple genres and write a wide range of pieces in different subfields without being self-cautious about it.

The hope I have in the future is that writers can just write how much they want when they want, and what they want without negative feeling. If you have that dream of being an author, or a screenwriter, blogger or anything, I say go for it. Keep doing what makes you happy and keep rising above the institutional ridicule.

My Best Friends are Wrestlers

As a writer, I found encouragement from very few people, but one source that was unlikely that changed my whole world was becoming friends with wrestlers.

As a wrestling fan, I always had dreams of befriending wrestlers when I was a kid. For me, it was wanting to be The Rock’s friend and hanging out with Kurt Angle. It’s normal to have those dreams of befriending wrestlers, but little did I know, it would soon become reality. A few short years ago, I began writing primarily about wrestlers, while I continued to write scripts. The ones I am closest to have been my closest friends through the process of the college.

My tendency to also get along with women more than I do men made me expand to write about women’s wrestling and the women’s revolution. Coming from a household where my own mother is a strong career-oriented woman and equal to my father who is career oriented helped shape my views of equality. My dad was never threatened by the fact my mom became more successful, in fact, he embraces it and encourages her to go for more.

Very little people know that fact about me, but that is why I tend to get along with women more than guys because I have seen within the women’s revolution (and corporate America) some of the worse from the men. That also led to the best friendships I ever had with strong women wrestlers.

A time when people who are not wrestlers tend to be “too busy” or “just don’t care” can become a lonely road when trying to accomplish dreams and goals in life. The thing that absolutely tickles me the most is the fact that wrestlers who have a long travel schedule and hectic life because of the schedule have been there more. The wrestlers have been there the most through it all.

These wrestlers are still going strong in the independent circuit. I have even seen a few achieve their dreams. They in return have encouraged me to go the extra mile in everything. I have never had that before, and I even had people who attempt to downplay what I do as “common” or “not worth it”. They have tried many times to keep me at an unhappy level. All the wrestlers I encountered wanted more for people they interact with.  In turn, I want to see them go above and beyond with everything with their hopes and dreams too.

I never thought in this lifetime I would ever be friends with wrestlers. I thought it would just be something I would think about and maybe meet a few, like the time I met Ted DiBiase Jr, Cody Rhodes and Beth Phoenix in Applebee’s after a WWE show. It became reality, and to be honest, I am grateful for it.

All the years and beyond from 2013 to now have been me taking a path that so many would discourage, but they have always been there. Whether it is my best friend Shayla Hyde, Brittany Wonder, Fallen Flower Kikyo, or Barbi Hayden. There have been some new friends to come along as well and truthfully and honestly that is what it is all about.

In the ring, they dominate and go to newer heights than ever before. When they aren’t in the ring, they are still helping others propel themselves to a new level in hopes that others will achieve the next level just like they are in pursuit of as well. That is what it is all about at the end of the day, achieving and wanting to see others achieve as well.

 

 

Inside A Writer’s Mind: Part Three of Three Series

Submitting a pitch or submitting to festivals is only half the battle, the battle AFTER is a battle of a lifetime

The final part of the series is something that is ongoing as we speak. After the script is done, and you have done everything possible, you hand it in either to a festival or pitch it. It’s a scary experience, and I am trying my hardest to not overthink it. The hardest thing a writer can do is overthink and feel like their work isn’t good enough.

I have handed in 3 short movies, 1 full-length movie, 1 TV pilot. They are all submitted, and some days are better than others. I sit there and think “crap, why didn’t I do that?”, or “crap should have omitted that part”, and I start nitpicking even after I did all I can for the script. It is torture, and I keep revisiting and reciting it over and over in my head.

The self-doubt is normal and is the hardest to overcome. That is truly why having the support of other writers and having a whole community support each other is vital. Every writer goes through it one way or another. A person who does not write will never truly understand.

Since being on Twitter, I truly have met some amazing writers. it is truly a community and a family that sticks together.  I have seen that every time I am on Twitter. The likelihood that another writer is going through the same thing you are going through is high and being there as support makes a difference.

Rejection is a normal fear that goes with anything. You wonder about the possible rejection, and what you could possibly do next to make it all work. It is a learning process to calm down and embrace the challenge and whatever may come.

I mean rejection has come my way numerous times in the past mainly when it comes to the love life, but the big difference is that there is a lot I can do in the future to make it right for my projects (and of course it’s less complicated than a relationship). No matter what, I hope the journey for all writers will continue no matter the challenge of self-doubt and keep pushing forward with what we all love to do.

Inside A Writer’s Mind: Part Two of Three Series

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly side of writing all in one. It may seem impossible, but is it really impossible?

It has been a few weeks since part one of the series. The past weeks since part one was my journey to making part two. One of the hardest things to go through as a writer is a rejection. While completing my script and handing it into a festival, I began to this about my first time handing a script in.

My first script ever, of course, got rejected. It was a short script, and it was my first time doing a script ever. It consumed me for the longest time, to the point that I had to take a break from writing scripts for a few months after the rejection. The point of my writing part two is to show how the negative experience that all writers will go through can be exhausting, but in the end, worth it as we grow.

The first short script that was on my mind, was Simon Says. It was a short script only twelve pages long. It was initially a project, and I worked on it and handed it in. I was told the script was good, and I did what I had to do to the script and handed it into a festival. The script was rejected, and I was crushed.

I had to take time off from writing scripts after that. It is hard to get a rejection for your work, and no matter what it hurts. it’ll make you question yourself. I went through long nights trying to figure out where I went wrong with the script, and for the life of me, I couldn’t come up with an answer. It drove me crazy, and for a good three months, I was not a pleasant person to talk to at all.

As time went by, I eventually accepted the fact that Simon Says was a rejection. I continued classes and met a couple of amazing film writing teachers through Southern New Hampshire University. They not only helped hone my skills but helped me understand a fundamental fact that writing is a process, and it will take a long time.

That was a critical turning point in how I have gotten to this point as a writer. My mind is at ease, and now I understand that rejection of my future scripts could come, but there is always more I can do to improve my script. The key is never giving up and to keep trying.

I always think about Simon Says and how it didn’t make it. It keeps me motivated to write my scripts and make them better. Looking back at Simon Says, I laugh at it when I look at it. I wonder what I was thinking when I wrote that. I have zero intentions to work on Simon Says ever again. While staring at it, I just can’t help but wonder why that person told me the script was good. It was the worst thing I have ever written in general.

It may knock you in a slump for a while, that is normal. A writer’s mind should always have time, especially if they need it. When that period is over, it is the best period you can imagine in terms of motivation to keep going. Turn the bad and make it into the best thing possible.

The final part of the series for the writer’s mind will be coming later, and it won’t take as long as it did for this one. If you haven’t read Inside A Writer’s Mind: Part one of Three yet, be sure to read part one. Part three the final part of this series will be coming soon.