To make the writing life work, you simply focus on the work in front of you – in any weather. You get all the business lined up… for the pleasure and privilege of the writing itself.
This week began with the weekend’s MoCCA Fest, a lively international alt-comics show in NYC. Besides seeing and working with my diverse, talented collaborators in this arena, I was also pleased that That Respected Editor (AKA TRE, name withheld for his own good) stopped by the Not for Children Children’s Books table.
Michael Davis and I have been developing a project or two for TRE for over a year. We’re convinced he’s the right editor for our story, because he gets what we are trying to do and sees his job as helping us make sure we grab as many hearts and minds as possible. He’s not a frustrated writer out to hammer our story into his own… he’s a keen reader who can nudge and pull and cajole us to tell the story we want to tell better than if we were left alone. That’s a quality that’s much rarer in comics and other media development than it should be.
I’m paraphrasing a bit, here, but TRE mentioned that he had pitched our story as one of the most original and exciting points of view in heroic storytelling since (Howard Chaykin’s) American Flagg, and if the decision-maker would only read my treatment, TRE didn’t see how he could pass.
I was in a good mood after that.
That, in the writing life, is the good weather.
But like I said, it’s not about the weather. It’s about focusing on the work in front of you, doing your best, whatever the weather.
So, a bit exhausted from the con – hey, I am a word-guy and a work-at-home dad, I don’t usually talk to people that much – it’s time to get my ass in the chair and polish off two white papers for a marketing services client. Basically, I am doing for my client what my editor promises to do for us – understand their story that they tell about how they work, and help them tell it powerfully so their “thought leadership,” reputation and business grow.
That’s not the weather. It’s the work. But when I am done, I think I’ve made solid improvements, so I pass the documents back to my client for review and run to my daughter’s school bus.
Time to give Olivia a snack and help her with her reading and Mandarin language. This can take a lot of energy, but it sustains itself. Helping my daughter learn is even better than good weather. It’s a job that matters.
The next day, the press starts to hit on our 25th Anniversary Celebration of Faust announced on Ain’t It Cool News and the positive feedback and interest that lights up the web is once again good weather.
Of course, this being the web, there’s a little hate in with the love. A few little head explosions of righteous geek venom when Rich at Bleeding Cool comments, “There was Watchmen. There was Dark Knight. And there was Faust.”
But there’s actually not as much sniping as I expected, actually. It’s overwhelmed by readers genuinely pleased by the news – and down for Quinn and Vigil’s Faust finale. Several big-hearted colleagues trumpet and retweet the news. (I know our little DIY adult comic will need all the attention we can get when the Faust trade collections come out again starting this summer, and the final two issues hit this fall.)
Must be my day to strap in to the dentist for some long overdue dental surgery. Uncomfortable weather. Followed by a chance to take Olivia to a park. Carpe Diem weather.
And when I’ve recovered from that, it’s Friday morning: no notes on the white papers from my client yet, so I have some time to write this blog and work on some song lyrics for my virtual zombie punk band, The Romeros.
Has TRE has landed our project? Godspeed, but I’m not even thinking of that right now.
To make the writing life work, you simply focus on the work in front of you – in any weather. I remind myself. You get all the business lined up… for the pleasure and privilege of the writing itself. Look at the writing life that way. Just don’t get blown away by that weather.