Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Almost broke again

It's the bane of anyone artistic -- having to figure out how to pay such mundane bills as rent, food, utilities and the like. Money runs like sand through our fingers, to put it mildly, and I am no exception. I have maybe enough to take me through the end of the month, when I start getting paid, again, but it'll be rough catching up after that.

I'm not saying I wish I hadn't done all that I did. Fact is, if I hadn't come down early and been with mom her last two weeks, I'd have ripped myself up for it. And you can't put a price tag on that. The same for going down to visit my aunt in Carbondale; it's worth the money for the peace of mind in knowing you've done what you should.

This also fits in with the way I protect my stories. That's hurt me when it comes to making a living at it. If I'd been willing to change them to fit what people wanted, I'd have felt like I betrayed them. Betrayed my characters and their willingness to trust me. I have to be their rock, and I can't be that if I worry about money too much. So I usually just scrape by and wonder what might have been.

This is backed up by my experience with "Bugzters", when I was trying to conform it to what others wanted. I felt like shit the whole time and had headaches and became way too self-indulgent in the food department. My nails, which are already pretty well-gnawed, were all but non-existent and I was not nice about how uncompromising people were. Finally I just hit the wall of, "That's it, not one damn thing more." But it was too late. By that point the story was ruined for me and I signed it over to them. And even though they've done exactly what various animation producers tell them they should have done, it still hasn't sold.

I don't know if that means I was right or we had bad timing or the people backing it were incapable of getting it made or if the story was a bad idea from the outset or if I just suck as a screenwriter...though I tend to give that last thought short-shrift because I did hit 2nd place in a serious writer's competition (in its pre-animation form); exterior validation helps keep things in perspective. I just know it's dead in the water, last I heard, and I have no idea what will be done with it next.'s nice to know I've got some kind of backbone in me, other than the one required to live this life. Wish I could use it in other ways.

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