Nine weeks had come and gone, several attempts at communication went unanswered, the story had begun developing a thin layer of dust and my optimism wavered. Then, finally, on Friday last I made contact with my editor. *Phew* - deep exhalation. I can finally breathe again.
I had a good, short, conversation with the editor who was apologetic for the lack of response to my communications. She expressed a struggle on her end to articulate her thoughts on the story in it’s current incarnation. However, she managed to put those reflections together for me over the phone.
Working with an editor has been an interesting process. The story is most certainly changing and I believe for the better. The process has challenged me on many levels. I’ll try to share some of them as concisely as possible.
BE FLEXIBLE - As a creator, it is sometimes hard to separate myself from my ideas. This process has pulled me away from my story and forced me to stand back from it and consider it from new perspectives. In doing so, the original vision for the piece has changed, insomuch as the delivery of the story. What I mean by that is that the nuances of the story, the events, the characters and the sequencing is evolving. At the same time the heart of the story seems to be growing. The process is pealing away cloudiness in some areas and increasing focus in others to allow the story to come through.
BE PATIENT - Working in the commercial field, I am used to high pace of creativity. Often, I am working under much tighter time constraints during my day to day at Pulp Studios Inc. This process couldn’t be more different.
BE OPEN - I believe I’ve mentioned before that I am a huge proponent of collaborating. I’ve been collaborating with the editor through this process and have also found my friends and family a great source of inspiration and reflection on the story. Talking through the story with people has helped me along greatly. Their ideas, input and questions help me find nuances I wouldn’t on my own and help me push it to the next level. In the end, this story will belong to many people. Not just me. That is really special.
BE HUMBLE - Writing is hard. Storytelling is hard. Rewarding beyond anything I do creatively, but hard. I’ve had to take a step back, realize my shortfalls in this area and work at growing my understanding of story, character, plot, pacing, etc. etc. etc. There is so much beauty in this because at the age of 38, I feel like I’m only just beginning to grasp some of these concepts. I feel as though I have so much to look forward to learning over the years ahead.
BELIEVE - I’ve had to have faith, in the story, in my ability, in God’s timing, that this can work, that I shouldn’t give up. This process has stretched my faith in many ways. It’s not easy. The work is fun but very challenging. It’s a labour above and beyond my day to day. It’s time that is already sparse and precious spent in the pursuit of a passion. It’s late nights and early mornings. It’s strategizing how to fit this all in and not lose my connection with my kids and wife. During the lack of communication over the last nine weeks my resolve has been tested and proven to posses zeal and resilience.
BE PERSISTENT - I’ve proven to myself an ability to stay steadfast in the face of uncertainty. This will serve me well through this journey, I have no doubt. I’ve maintained a professional level of decorum while maintaining consistency in my attempts to connect with the editor. This has been hard but valuable.
BE VULNERABLE - I am very grateful to my wife, my business partner and my family who have listened to me belly ache over the last nine months about not know what is going on. They have consistently held me up and pushed me forward.
I hope these reflections prove useful to someone else starting their creative journey someday.
Now, moving forward I will be reworking the manuscript and page roughs. I’ll hopefully have this done before the end of October and then see where things go from there.
In regards to number 4 above, here are some resources online for you writers who may be looking for tools to help you grow.
In the meantime, I’ve been working at improving my drawing skills. You can see my work at my instagram account.