Freedom To Write

I still remember the day I received my rejection letter from Nintendo of America. I was 17 and desperately wanted to work on a novel set in the Zelda universe, a series I held near and dear. The answer, of course, was no. They did say it in a polite manner.

Years later, I was offered an unpaid internship at Marvel Comics in New York. Opportunity of a lifetime for me, but one I was forced to turn down (as a Californian, an unpaid internship in New York was simply impossible). And while I immensely enjoyed being a guest of BioWare at an e3 event some years back, a “surprise” writer job never popped up.

Furthermore, while I once pursued working as a director and screenwriter, even spending two years in film school doing indie film work on the streets of Chicago, it doesn’t bother me as much as I thought it would to not be writing for Pixar or LucasFilm.

I remember shopping my graphic novel back some years back and hearing nothing from Dark Horse. Random House was nice enough to tell me they liked my writing style, just not the manuscript I sent them of a book I later self-published for a spell. I figured by now I’d be writing video games, movies, television shows, and novels, many of which would be based on franchises I grew up on.

None of this happened and I’m better for it. A position in life that took me far too long to reach, but one I’m happy to have found. Being content with where I’m at, and having a tremendous amount of hope for the future.

Now, I should offer a small commentary on the state of many of these once beloved franchises and companies. I feel many of them have gone the way of either growing stale or poorly implementing agenda/thought influencing stories. Agenda heavy stories do work, think “parables”, but they require two things: you still need to tell a good story and you best be on the correct end of the proverb. Sadly, what I’ve seen many do is instead of learning and growing, they become angry and mad – as if their righteous crusade has come under attack. So, in response, they attack the fans and the fans strike back and its this never ending cycle of chaos and drama. The world could do with a little more humility, love, and grace.

A solid career, a healthy family, strong relationships, a merciful God, and clear attainable goals can change a person’s attitude for sure. Especially when you identify what you’re good at and stop trying to do things you’re not good at. Having purpose and fulfilling your ministry will have a positive impact on you. And I believe everyone has purpose.

This is such a great place to be. As a kid, I thought the dream was writing for DC and Marvel. Now, I’m excited to be writing manga. I used to think the goal was to be traditionally published by one of the big five. Now, even if I self-publish that isn’t a step down whatsoever. I wanted to work on famous franchises for movie studios, but now I just want to work on my own creations.

Don’t get me wrong. If Obsidian calls me up and wants me to jump on Alpha Protocol 2, I’m in. Working with Microsoft Games on any number of projects would still be a dream. It’s just not a priority anymore. I love having this freedom to work on things I love with no expectation other than sharing the worlds I create. And I believe in this, I have achieved true success as a writer. Both as a hobby and profession.

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