Inspiration, Enablement, Empowerment – from the heart

Archive for October, 2014

Handling Rejection

Yesterday I received a rejection email. Just over a week ago I submitted a piece of writing that I hoped would be my ticket to LA, to joining the writing team behind what might well be the TV series of 2014 as they prepare to take their show into its second series next year. No, that’s not quite accurate; I much more than just hoped I would get the gig. In many ways, it could have been made for me. And I had the strongest feeling ever, that it was mine, that I’d get there. I did visualisation, I asked the Universe and I was getting messages that seemed to say “Be confident, believe, it’s yours!” my dreams were filled with images of Southern California, of brainstorming storylines, of sparking off with people who are creatively on my level, of networking with A-listers… and taking it all in my stride as though this was the most natural thing to be happening, as though I were born to it.

The dreams began a couple of nights before I heard of the opportunity. The first one was particularly vivid, of being flown out to LA for someone’s party… just whose party it was, or why they needed me there so badly, isn’t among the details that I remembered on waking. One thing I do remember though, is how hard I was resisting “…but I have to be in London the next night, I just can’t…” was one line. Yet next thing I know, I’m there… and stressing about getting back for whatever important engagement it was that I needed to get back for.

So when I heard about the opportunity, I just had to chase it up. I went hunting online… in particular I mounted a twitter campaign to get in the right people’s faces and which resulted in a direct message from the Director of the show herself, giving me her PA’s contact details! I got a pretty quick reply from the PA too. What was required was a short story of two to three pages, double spaced…

I’ve written a lot of things in my life, but I don’t recall a single instance of a short story being among them. I’ve considered writing short stories before… usually when I get stuck midway through Chapter 3 of my latest unfinished novel… now the unfinished novel’s a genre I excel at, though I’ve sometimes thought that if I’d started a short story instead, I’d have completed it by now. I write quite a lot of unfinished poems too… though some of my poems I have actually finished; or at least got them to a place where I can let them go. In actual fact, no writing is ever finished. If it had been a script or a synopsis they’d wanted, I’d have been much more in my element… and that would have made a lot more sense to me as a request too. But a short story? Well, I wasn’t going to get that far and not submit something

I was stumped… three pages maximum, double spaced… that’s 75 lines, around 700 words… tricky! And I had around 72 hours to get it done. I used up two thirds of that time playing around with a couple of half-ideas and getting nowhere. There was no real inspiration happening. Then with a day left, I remembered I’d made some notes a few months ago for a sitcom idea… and some elements of that were a pretty good fit for the brief. So I took a vignette from a scene outline and adapted it. You can always use your uncompleted fragments as backup when the muse is away! My first attempt resulted in two and a half pages of scene setting… no good! So I cut that back drastically and developed a little story line that ended with possibilities dangling. By the time I’d tidied everything up, it was near bedtime. So I sent the email and relaxed.

At 5:45 the next morning, I woke with a start. Something was wrong… Something was very wrong… What was wrong? I’d forgotten something. What had I forgotten and why couldn’t it wait until I’d finished sleeping? I hadn’t finished sleeping! I needed to finish sleeping so I could wake up refreshed and think about it properly… Then the awful possibility hit and I realised why it wouldn’t wait and why I couldn’t sleep any more… the submission… I couldn’t remember attaching anything to the email!!!

I shot out of bed, turned on my desktop, dashed to the loo while it booted… being vertical for the first time in the morning does something strange to my bladder… came back and checked my email. And there it was. An email from the PA, timestamped at 5:45 (I think it passed through my sleeping brain on the way to my inbox). Her email said “Thia, There is nothing attached.” Then I had the realisation… eight hours time difference… still a couple of hours before midnight in LA! I could still make the deadline! I resent, with the attachments and an apology.

And after that, it didn’t work out. There was a time not so long ago, when I’d have been devastated by this. Rejection was something that terrified me; yet failure was something I would regularly set myself up for. Not any more. This was a valuable learning experience that I’m grateful for having been given. I have made contacts that I wouldn’t otherwise have made and I’ve been reminded that I have a project waiting in the wings that I can work up and tout around. And it’s the most original sitcom idea ever! I’ve also accepted that, while I can write rather well and enjoy writing – and the challenge and the new environment and the collaboration would have been a very welcome learning experience, the point would have arrived where I’d find it difficult to be writing around someone else’s ideas and creations… and writing is never an end in itself for me… it’s a route toward performing, because that is what resonates best with me. A month or two in, I’d have been angling for a part…

Catching Up – Week One of Blogging 201 in Express Mode

I began Blogging 201 with the best of intentions “Keep up girl, keep up!” Yet the first week slipped by and I only kicked into gear right at the tail end, addressing Monday’s task on Friday, with Setting Goals

“Dedicate the weekend to catching up” I told myself… but then weekends have a habit of organising themselves. I’d tried a taster Circuits Class at my gym the previous Saturday… at 8:15am… it nearly killed me, but I enjoyed it and decided it has to become a regular part of my weekly schedule… so that was the first part of Saturday morning used up. Then I took myself off to Bedford Market to stock up on cheap fruit and veg, particularly sweet potatoes, avocados and bananas… this was the first weekend of a fitness challenge I’m doing (I’ll say more about this in other writings) and the first element turned out to be going Paleo, so I needed supplies. I also tried some of the shops in town and besides all my fruit and veg (which I had to buy a shopping trolley to get home!) I picked up coconut oil, coconut flour, tapioca flour, chestnut flour (ridiculously expensive, but I just had to) and a few other bits and pieces. So that was Saturday!

I still had Sunday though and did quite a bit of work. I read through all the other tasks for the week and while I didn’t complete any, I did work out a plan of sorts and bookmarked all the pages for future reference. So this is what I came up with:

Tuesday: Audit Your Brand – I digested the essential message here, I think… and am clear that I need to put a fairly major shift in on this. It’s not something I’m going to achieve instantly… even when I’ve got this down to something I’m happy with, I’ll need to revisit and review this frequently.

Wednesday: Get Read All Over – Oh dear! I really like how the Spectrum theme looks on my desktop… and I spent most of Blogging 101 getting more deeply acquainted with it… but it really doesn’t adapt to mobile well at all. I need to change it and have a couple of candidates in mind. More work needed here too!

Thursday: Give ‘Em What They Want – I spent an hour or two exploring and playing around with the stats… and reached the conclusion that I don’t currently have enough to reach any conclusions with – but now I know how to interpret them when I have enough of them to be worthwhile interpreting!

Friday: Drive Traffic To Your Archives – This is something I need to put thought into structuring and I concluded that it needs to be a component of the overall overhaul that I’m going to be putting time into.

And now I should start looking at week 2…

Running

This morning at the gym, during a ten minute treadmill session, I took the next step up in pace. Having got myself used to walking at 6.5kph over the past couple of weeks, I pushed it up to 7 and found I had to break into a run! I managed around 45 seconds, then dropped the pace to get my breath back. I did a second burst of 30 seconds towards the end. Running has been a huge physical and psychological barrier for me. Five years ago I could barely walk 100m without my lungs bursting.

Running was something I thought for a long time wouldn’t be possible. Even when I was younger, running was never easy for me, as my lungs almost always reacted by going into spasm. Sometimes that meant several days in bed recovering. A couple of times they pretty much wrote me off. So what I did today was huge. And after the way I’ve quickly adjusted to increases in walking pace over the past few weeks… at both 6 and 6.5 kph, I struggled to last a minute the first time I tackled them, but yesterday did 20 minutes at 6.5 with no difficulty. Those seconds of running will become minutes very soon!

Setting Goals

Blogging 201 started on Monday. Today is Thursday (ooops! slipped to Friday) and I’m just getting started! Why? Well I could excuse having Monday off because I spent the whole of that day writing a short story. It’s the first actual short story I’ve ever written (at least the first I’ve ever written intentionally as a short story). There may come a time when I’ll offer it for my readers here to enjoy, but not now. This was written to a short deadline for a specific purpose. No, I’m not going to talk about that just yet either, but it could lead to something completely life changing.

So that’s Monday excused, but what about Tuesday and Wednesday? That one’s difficult; the task for Monday was to set three concrete goals and goals are something I’ve always had trouble setting. I’m not sure why this is, but this one’s had me wracking my brains. What do I want to achieve? When do I want to achieve it? How much of it do I want to achieve? Why do I want to achieve it? And goals should be quantifiable, but what quantity is it reasonable to set, what quantity is achievable? I’ve often felt when asked to set a goal, that whatever figures I put down are meaningless, because however many times I go around the loop, I feel like they’ve been pulled from the air. It’s important though, that goals reflect and assist your intentions. If your intentions are vague, then what comes from them will be vague too!

I’ve historically not been much of a goal setter then. It’s something I need to get better at, so let’s try this:

First goal: Catch up on this week’s 201 tasks over the weekend.

Second goal: Have at least 50 regular readers of this blog by the end of November

Third goal: Get my Trans blog rebranded and relaunched with the first of my planned series of articles on the shortcomings of NHS Gender Services; by this time next week.

Viagogo Customer Services – How Not To Do It!

Viagogo Customer Services – How Not To Do It!.

Gallery

Kylie at the Roundhouse

This is a Post Formats trial, set as a Blogging101 task on October 1st. These images were taken on September 27th at the Roundhouse.

My ticket for the VIP section

My ticket for the VIP section

In the standby queue - not entirely sure I'd get in - but 15 minutes later I had a Guest List Pass!

In the standby queue – not entirely sure I’d get in – but 15 minutes later I had a Guest List Pass!

2014-09-27 21.16.17

Obligatory post-show selfie!

Obligatory post-show selfie!

The domed roof and supporting pillars are amazing!

The domed roof and supporting pillars are amazing!

‘Les Sex’ – I think!

The Great Divide

This should have been written on September 29th, as that day’s task for Blogging101. I managed to get really far behind with these and am in process of catching up. I’m going to complete this, though will skip the odd task, because I’ve already done something similar. But not this one, this one is about using Daily Prompts and the Daily Prompt for September 29th was:

The Great Divide: When reading for fun, do you usually choose fiction or non-fiction? Do you have an idea why you prefer one over the other?

I’ll put my hands up. I can be a lazy reader, a remiss reader, a reluctant reader, a forgetful reader, an unfaithful reader, a reader who leaves such gaps between her reading that she risks being identified as a non-reader. Frankly, I prefer writing over reading… and all the above comments can be applied to my writing too!

The bulk of my reading tends to be things I need to read and that leans very heavily toward non-fiction – though that gets turned on its head if I’m reading a script of course. But what do I read for fun? That’s something that tends to be at least in part random. I have a tendency for my attention to get captured quite unpredictably. Something will catch my eye and perk my curiosity and I’ll pick it up and start reading. I might read a paragraph or two, a page or two and leave it there, or I may devour the whole thing and structure my entire existence around it until I’m done with it, or it’s done with me… and this might apply to anything – a novel, a magazine, a poetry collection, a play, a coffee-table book crammed with photographs, biography, history, philosophy, a how-to guide, whatever… and I’m really not sure just how the balance pans out between fiction and non-fiction… if it’s something from the news media the line between those categories will be pretty blurred anyway. So I think I have to plead No Preference here.

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