Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The Journey Thus Far

So I graduated a while ago. Good on me. So did a bunch of other people. I'm not entirely sure how...

No really. It confuses me. But I digress.

"What has life been like after graduation?" is a question I get a lot these days as if somehow I kept going to university all the way up to graduation day instead of finishing all classes and assignments back in mid-November last year. The answer is: the same as it has been since mid-November. Way less eventful.

I got a job. Life is still very uneventful. School photography is not exactly an all-year-round thing as you might have guessed by the existence of school holidays. Schools also don't seem to want to get photos at the end of terms as some kids have already vanished so there are periods where it's quieter than usual. This is one of those times. What have I been doing with myself?

Well I wrote. A lot. If you've ever gone to a Q&A or convention where a writer gets to talk there will always be that one person who asks "what's the best advice you have to someone who wants to become a writer?" The writer's response is always "write a lot and just keep writing." Write everyday is basically the secret of writing. Practice makes perfect. It's not just practicing your skill but your ability to be persistent and commit to ideas. You write every day you realise after a while that this is sometimes really difficult so you need to keep at it and work hard every day to get an amount of writing done. Eventfully you get better at sitting down and focusing at the task at hand: which is writing.

I've been writing every day. See I have wanted to be a writer since I can remember having career aspirations but I didn't really do that much writing. I had been working on a novel since 2008 and I still hadn't finished a draft of it. I was stuck in other habits like... whatever consumes my time on the internet (it changes every few years. It originally was neopets but then again that was the same for everyone else wasn't it?). There was always the excuse that I should be doing assignments (which I proceeded not to do because heck yeah procrastination! Every student's most advanced skill) but when I handed in my final assignment ever I realised I didn't have an excuse any more.

I only had the rest of my life ahead of me...

Well... damn. No pressure.

So I started writing 500 words every day (with few exceptions like new years day because no one is functional on new years day). It didn't matter what it was as long as it was something. I worked on my novel and then went back and edited it, finding that I had more things to add to it and found my 500 words a day that way. When I finished writing a draft of it I had to find something else to write so I came up with short stories just to keep up the habit. I spent days where I lazed around not wanting to do anything, wasting away my time on the internet *cough* tumblr *cough* but the one thing I managed to do was get those 500 words done because I had to and it saved me from hating the waste of the day. It wasn't an entire waste after all: I wrote something. It forced me to be creative. I sat for ages staring blankly at a screen but was determined not to give up and eventually something clicked in my head and those words started flowing. That was important. Before if nothing came to mind I would move on and think "OK today is not the day" but that's not true. Writing doesn't happen until you open a word document or put pen to paper. Inspiration may be wonderful but waiting for it to happen will only slow you down.

So I've written a lot. I hope to get published. I've already pitched something to a publishing house (yet to get a response so let's just not talk about it for now), I've moved onto another project I wish to get published, I've even started doing a treatment for a feature film, started notes for another novel, and more. It just keeps going. Even on days when I had to get up at 5am to go to my work as a photographer I came home after 12 hours, sat down, and got my writing done.

That's pretty much it though. I got a job as a school photographer where not much happens so I write a lot. That's been my life thus far. I've done a few film things for Second Chance Theatre and will do some more film things for other people in the future. I also travelled over east for a road trip from Melbourne to Sydney where I met a bunch of people and didn't get a good photo of the Sydney Harbour Bridge (it probably hasn't changed since last time I was there).

This is what adulthood is now for me. It's working towards my life goal daily because I realised that life goes nowhere unless you make it. I may not be getting paid much right now, and there are a few things left to be desired, but I can be comforted by the fact that I'm making a commitment to get my writing done every day because that's going to one day come back and reward me.

Good luck future adults.