When You Know Your Writing But People Don’t Believe You

A few weeks ago, I was very proud of myself for a very simple thing. I showed somebody some in-progress writing that I was working on–a script, more specifically–that I was planning on shooting soon. I’m the type of person who managed to go six years in art classes and rarely show any of my work. I’d go out of my way to game the system, to wait until the end of class or show something else or show something intentionally bad, like stick-figure thumbnails of what the final product would look like in order to avoid it. It was, is, and, fucking hell help me, the biggest issue that I deal with as a creator. There’s a whole memoir in me about my art anxiety, imposter syndrome, mental handicaps, simple fear, and just oddly and inexplicably low self-esteem I have about the creative side of myself, to the point that I still can’t even call myself an “artist” or “writer” or “creator” without feeling like an asshole. For fuck’s sake, my very first post on this site in 2014 directly addresses this issue: this blog is meant to be a direct, opposing force to said feelings.

This person didn’t know this about me, but did know that I don’t show things often, I don’t talk about things often. If I’ve done so with you, congrats! I love you and we can unceremoniously boil you down to being a safe space for me in trying to find my own self-love. The friend I was with is the type who likes to link everything back to parental issues; things like how you dress or eat, whether you wear makeup, things that seem asinine at times. But I know there is truth to some of this. I’ve read enough Malcolm Gladwell books to not ignore the nature/nurture argument just because it presents things I don’t like. I do think that this particular friend places too much emphasis on it though. It’s sort of like that scene in The Devil Wears Prada where Meryl Streep’s character schools Anne Hathaway’s over a blue sweater and the illusion of choice.While not a perfect or full picture, the scene serves as a reminder that many of the things we do, the ‘choices’ we make in our daily lives are not necessarily our own, or we aren’t fully conscious of them or their origins. But at the same time, Anne Hathaway’s character, for whatever reasons, did make the choice to buy that sweater, not knowing the context that Streep’s later presented. But I understand that this was more about the options available to a person.

When I showed my friend the script, I was proud of myself, and my work. But my friend immediately picked it apart, which in and of itself is not the problem. Despite aforementioned issues, I am not immune to criticism and it’s benefits, as well as the divorcing of the actual criticism from the person who is delivering it (in terms of your personal relationship with them vs. their input as a critic). My friends biggest issue wasn’t so much the content itself so much as the fact that I was even showing it to them. To them, this proved that it was not ready–that I was not ready–if I needed reassurance from someone else. That if I needed a second opinion, it invalidated my confidence in the piece. They then went on to argue that the writing was trying to be something it was not, completely neglecting any potential context or reason why I would write something in a different–in this case, more formal and academic voice–than my usual casual blog post or my usual way of speaking.

So I defended myself. I took his criticisms about the tone and voice of the piece to heart and did make some changes that bettered it. But I also explained that I was happy with it, and just happy that I was finally making again and wanted to share with someone I thought would be happy and supportive. I thought they specifically would appreciate the piece as it was about a topic they enjoy. I explained that the educational nature of the piece prompted me to avoid my usual f-bombs, anecdotes, and brazen casualness.

To them, I got defensive. That this reaction was a reflection of how I feel about myself. Which it totally was. But not in the way that they were assuming.

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April 2017

The start of my month was one of quiet excitement After managing to get through the audio book quickly, the bf and I attended a concert performance of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone at Radio City Music Hall. I hadn’t been there in years! Not since I used to go to the Christmas show every year in grammar school. I had a twinge of guilt thinking that I’d have graduated with a Masters degree in that gorgeous theater if things had worked out with SVA, but I quickly stopped caring when the pre-roll videos featuring John Williams began playing. What a man. This is the second time I’ve attended a film screening featuring a live orchestra accompaniment; the first one I attended was Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, featuring the 21st Century Symphony Orchestra at the Lincoln Center, which I detailed in a past blog post. This was my second time seeing the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. The NY Philharmonic are hosting a slew of Star Wars performances in September that I’m interested in seeing too!

Radio City is hosting performances of the second Harry Potter film this fall, but I think the only other one I’d attend would be the third film–not for lack of interest so much as lack of cash. Some of the later films’s scores are less familiar to me, but I know that’s because I didn’t obsessively listen to them like I did the earlier films. I’m also seeing an orchestra performance of songs from the Kingdom Hearts video game series this summer as well. All of the childhood feels.

I'm not crying you're crying ⚡️ #harryPotter #harrypotterinconcert

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Books Read: 0 Still just chugging away at a number of titles. I’ve been reading more self-help books than I usually do, and actually going through them and doing a lot of the end-of-chapter questionnaires and activities. So it’s a slow burn. But when I can update my Goodreads account, I’ll quickly be right on schedule…not that I’m keeping a schedule per se.

Blog Posts Written: 3  Just three, including this one, all on this site. Nothing for AniCom, which is a huge disappointment, as I am struggling to achieve the quality I want.

Videos/Projects: 0 Still just editing away. But I’m going to give myself a phantom point for the online classes I’ve been keeping up with this month that will allow me to do some of the non-video projects I have in mind. 😉

At the Movies: 3+ The Boss Baby and Ghost in the Shell were two of the movies that I saw in theaters this past month, and only one of them was worth it. Boss Baby was an unexpected delight, while GitS was the crapfest I always feared it would be. Shoutouts also go to some other new-ish films I saw this month, outside the theater setting: Nova Seed, Your Name, Digimon Adventure Tri Chapters 2-4, a second viewing of La La Land, and Loving. I saw a few more, and I usually don’t post about every movie I saw, but I actually managed to see quite a few this month due to traveling home for Easter. There’s always good movies playing on cable–thanks, Mom and Dad! The third movie is one that I am hopefully seeing in about an hour: Their Finest by Danish director Lone Scherfig, who made two other films I really loved (An Education and One Day). A film about a woman filmmaker actually made by a woman filmmaker? Sign me the fuck up.

Lowlights: An unexpected trip to the ER cut one of my workdays short, and I’ve felt a little off since then. It doesn’t seem to be anything major, but unfortunately my follow-up appointment isn’t until the start of June.

Highlights: I already mentioned Harry Potter in concert, so the other biggies were Easter and a trip to the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, MA. Easter was standard fair, as it’s hosted at my parents’ house every year. It’s nice when I go home and can actually spend time at home and in my hometown. Easter’s always got good food (read: no ham) and desserts (especially Jello eggs and Gertrude Hawk peanut butter chocolates). My mom always goes above and beyond with Easter. We’ve only got one young kid in the family, so we hide the eggs a few times for him. I always accidentally make it a little too hard for him though, and everyone ends up having to help him. So maybe I get points for making it a family affair. : P

There’s been an ongoing exhibit at the Normal Rockwell Museum on Hanna-Barbera, the animation studio most famous for Saturday morning staples like The Flinstones, The Jetsons, Tom & Jerry, and Scooby-do. It’s a studio I’ve never paid much attention to, to be honest, as I sort of always wrote it off as cheap production to push cereal to kids. In my defense, I wasn’t wrong, but that wasn’t a reason to ignore it either. So I was quite keen to head up there. The exhibit was fantastic. It was pretty small, but they stuffed it full of things. I’ll finally have something to post about on AnimationComplex, so stay tuned for that article. In the meantime, here’s a super cute classic museum trailer:

Yesterday morning, I successfully got tickets to New York Comic Con 2017. Every year I debate going back at all, but I always end up deciding to go for a day. Especially since I haven’t managed to go to any smaller comic-cons this year. I decided to only go on Friday, as it seems like more of the educational panels are being pushed to Thursday and Friday. Like the last 2 years, I managed to get my tickets within 30 minutes of the virtual queue being launched, so I am definitely happier with this new verification system than when I first started attending, where you’d be waiting to get to the order page only to see see tickets already populating scalping sites with huge markups. NYCC is the same week that I am seeing Hamilton too, so the start of October will be amazing! In general yesterday was very nice. We are lucky to live in an area where the beach is a 7-minute drive away, so after running some errands we parked there and read for a few hours. The water was freezing, but as an East Coaster, this was nothing new. He, being from Cali, was not amused.

Next Month’s Focus: Editorial calendar. More doing. More animation stuff, yo.

March 2017

I’ve never worked more OT than I have in the last few weeks. I’m talking almost every lunch hour as well as after hours. But it’s bee worth it. Check out the trailer to the film I’ve primarily been working on:

Trailer day is always pretty fun at the studio. There’s no fanfare or anything, but it gives everyone a little boost to finally be able to show something to family and friends, and to signal that a few months down the road this thing that has consumed most of your life for the past couple of years is out in the world.

Because of this, though, most of my personal goals this month were on the backburner, like my 31 Day Declutter Challenge. Totally did not succeed, but definitely made progress which I can talk about in a future post. But let’s chat.

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February 2017

So last month I had really wanted to change up the format of this monthly recap to, well, actually give it some formatting, but it wasn’t really the best month for that. My cousin’s monthly recaps over on her blog are pretty cool, but I realized that I don’t have as many quantifiable things to track as she does. And I wondered if I could shake that up to keep my more accountable. I’m a sucker for gamification1, so I’ll have to test out a few. They’ll probably all be quite terrible this month, but…some times shame works…

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Top 10 Books of 2016

A bit overdue–apologies for that! This past year, I was determined to read more in any capacity. As I mentioned in my post highlighting my 2016, I decided to help myself along by tracking my reading via a GoodReads reading challenge. My goal started small, at just 20 books for the year, and I was able to bump up my goal to 40. It might not make sense to keep raising it after I did it–at that point, any extra books were just a bonus, but I kept moving it just a bit beyond my reach each time to spur me on. However, this backfired a tiny bit in that I tended to favor graphic novels, especially since my library has an amazing selection of new releases. While valid books to read, they are much quicker reads, and as a result 26 of 41 books were graphic novels. Of the remaining 15 books, 8 were non-fiction (which I’d wanted to read more of, and the other 7 were fiction/YA and the Harry Potter play.

Next year, I think I’d be better off setting a smaller goal and keeping it there, so that I’m not tempted to avoid longer books in favor of book count. That’s just counterproductive and a con of trying to game-ify my reading habits. But nonetheless, I read far more than I have in the past few years, partly because I’m not in school anymore, but also, again, because my library is, in fact, the bomb-diggity. I read more non-fiction, particular memoirs, business books/self help/Malcolm Gladwell type books, and books about feminism. I read some educational graphic novels, which I love.

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