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Instead of my usual written post, I decided to do a video about what this quarter has in store for me. Enjoy the first of many videos to come!


Come back next week for more on my journey to creating my Master’s thesis.

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Balancing Creative Energy and Real-World Expectations

As I stated in a previous blog, being a creative has been both rewarding and draining at the same time. I found myself walking the delicate tightrope of work-life balance many freelancers face every day. My “average Joe” and creative selves went back-and-forth like two small children for my time and attention.  This has made for an interesting test for my creative journey.

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This week has been interesting as I found my creative outlets being sacrificed for extra money and long work hours. My usual writing time was co-opted so my rent and bills could be paid. While the idea of earning more money was great at the moment, I was disgusted with myself for having to put my screenwriting (and creativity period!) on hold for a paycheck. The ideas I contemplated and pondered over seemed to fade away the more customers I entertained at my job. I fought work fatigue and energy-drained laziness to feed my creativity by conjuring up some words on the computer screen. But it wasn’t the same as before as the words lacked my usual meaning and thoughtfulness. I wanted to write so bad, but my unfocused mind just couldn’t come together to create a coherent story (or even a sentence). I decided to let my mind rest from the writing life as I poured myself into other outlets (still lacking the same energy tho). Hopefully, this won’t be the beginning of a downturn in my creative output.

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The creative hopping of last week gave way to a lull. I was barely able to finish the creative piece I started last week (shame on me). My social media and online presence continued to grow as my creative footprint gained even more attention.

As my summer morphs into fall (thank God), I look forward to unveiling my progress this quarter. I already have some ideas floating around my head for my creative future. I have to admit for the first time in a while I’m in a great space creatively!


Come back next week for more on my journey to creating my Master’s thesis.

Don’t be a stranger! Leave a comment below.

Finding New Inspiration and Motivation

Inspiration and motivation became the foundation of many creative’s careers. As a multi-faceted individual, my creativity became a cycle of work inspiring and motivating each other – both written and visual. My storytelling began with this cycle and hopefully continues as I pursue a multi-faceted career.

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This week, I allowed myself to go back and forth on my writing journey. I went between my two loves – fiction and screenwriting. The two genres fed each other as I wrote like a speed demon to finish them. My fiction writing mixed technicality and fully-realized stories and characters while my screenplay maintained the format and structure with a story-like appeal. I wanted to my work to display as much as personality and imagination when people are finally able to see it. I’ve loved my work influencing each other and in turn influencing my progression as a writer. Since finishing my first act, I’ve been on fire with my writing.

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I kept up the same creative hopping from last week as I switched between screenwriting, fiction writing, and visual output. I fleshed out my children’s series a little more and started a fiction piece. I finished my visual piece from last week while moving on to the next project. My presence on social media and online continued to grow as this blog and my work continued to gain attention.

As my summer draws to a close, I look forward to unveiling my progress to my professors. I still have some loose ends to tie up before the quarter starts, but my thesis journey is taking a new turn. For the first time in a while, I’m not afraid of what’s around the corner.


Come back next week for more on my journey to creating my Master’s thesis.

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Recharging and Creating With Writing

While screenwriting is a great outlet, other forms of writing and creativity can help to replenish the think tank. As a multi-faceted individual, I thought about other ways to channel my creativity. Whether visual or written, storytelling became a part of DNA as I gained perspective from every single thing I created.

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This week, I found myself juggling multiple ideas at once with mixed results. Since finishing my first act, I found myself turning towards fiction writing more. I found channeling my writing energy into another outlet fed my ideas as a screenwriter. Even in fiction writing, I wrote every line and description as if I was creating a screenplay. Where screenwriting is so technical and formulaic at times, writing fiction allowed me to open my mind and just let the words flow out of me. I felt fiction captured more of the personality and imagination my screenwriting can lack from time to time. But I’ve seen some of its influence in my latest effort. I’ve thought about applying some more of this perspective into my first act. I’ve been on fire lately with my writing.

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Since mentioning my latest project last week, I’ve been creative hopping as I switch between screenwriting, fiction writing, and visual output. I took some time to work on my children’s series along with some fiction pieces that had been flowing around in my head. I decided to dedicate some of my time to expanding a project I did earlier this year (at a snail’s pace but this making progress). All this creativity has helped me to grow my presence on social media along with my website.

I’ve allowed myself to rest a little bit as summer break draws to a close. The interest in my work has surprised me as my social media continues to grow. This could only help me transition into my future goals. I still have some loose ends to tie up with school before it starts. My thesis journey has become more of a reality as the school year approaches.


Come back next week for more on my journey to creating my Master’s thesis.

Don’t be a stranger! Leave a comment below.

Caught Between Two Screenplays

Screenwriting has become a means of letting creatives channel their innermost thoughts and ideas to life. As a multi-tasker who deplores routine, scriptwriting became the best choice for a writing career. My animation background has allowed me to visualize the scenes and characters as I craft them through words. Merging visual representation with written words became second nature to me as I thought of all the possible script ideas.

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This week, I was faced with something I haven’t dealt with in a while – nothing to do. Since finishing my first act, I found myself pondering my next move before Fall quarter began. I thought about pushing forward with my second act (but then my independent study would be fruitless), and I still need some feedback on my first act. I’d hit a crossroads as I finished revising and rewriting some of my first act earlier than I expected. I knew there was more work to be done, but I needed an unbiased set of eyes to know how well my work is being translated. I thought about working on some pieces I had started a while back. But I was in screenwriting mode and wanted to try my hand at writing another idea I’ve been playing with over the past year or so. I felt a little guilty about starting a new project as if I was cheating on my steady girlfriend with a fun-loving side chick. At the same time, I felt being a free-spirited creative afforded me the advantage of hopping from one project to another. I needed another project to channel all my writing mojo at that moment.

 

Being a Black man writing a screenplay about Black women in a white patriarchal world could be daunting and otherworldly at times. My new project was the total opposite as I began writing a potential children’s series that’s been bubbling for years. This screenplay focused on two brothers and their daily misadventures in their backyard (think of Little Bill and The Backyardigans had a love child). Creating this new effort has sprung open the door to creating more original ideas. My ideas need to be fully formed and ready when my big moment arrives.

I’ve spent the past few days creating whatever my heart desired. I hadn’t done that is a while (it was quite refreshing). Opportunities presented themselves in ways that surprised me. These could be the right direction for me and my future. I still have some loose ends to tie up with school before it starts. My thesis journey has become more and more realistic as my break begins to wind down.


Come back next week for more on my journey to creating my Master’s thesis.

Don’t be a stranger! Leave a comment below.

Working Out the Kinks in the First Act

Writing has always been a discipline that allows the artist to re-shape their vision at any point with no regrets. Screenwriting became an art form for me as I constantly went back and forth about my chosen profession. I’ve enjoyed pondering new ideas and approaches when it comes to scenes, characters, and dialogue. I’ve loved being able to take a story and create turns and twists with each word.

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After taking a breather from my thesis, it was back to business as usual as I began to revise my screenplay. Proofreading has always been a tedious process for me as I spend hours scanning over every phrase and word.  I read over every line and description trying to find grammar and spelling errors. But that’s only part of the story as I read every piece of dialogue trying to perfect my script. I revised and rewrote any and every line as an act of sharpening and defining my characters in a better light. My characters’ words have aided in creating the personality and thoughts I need for this screenplay. Looking over the scenes allowed my creative nonfiction skills come into play as I allowed the city of Atlanta and the places to be its own character in each scene.

During the revising and editing process of my screenplay, I found that some scenes and dialogue weren’t working for me or my vision. I began the process of adding and taking away scenes to flesh out my screenplay. Streamlining my dialogue goes in hand with this as I tried making my script more show than tell. I wanted my first act to be at least halfway there when I start independent study this Fall.

Many Faces of Adreon

After my thesis break, I continued my visual work while focusing on my writing. Creating visual content allowed my creative writing to be more fulfilling. While I missed some big opportunities this week, I found myself opening to other opportunities I never saw coming. I’ve begun looking forward to the input from my professors and other writers within the next few weeks. My thesis journey has become more and more realistic as I make screenwriting my calling card.


Come back next week for more on my journey to creating my Master’s thesis.

Don’t be a stranger! Leave a comment below.

Letting the Work Breathe

Being a creative has been both rewarding and draining at the same time. As a multi-faceted individual, I found myself getting bored doing the same task day after day. As a writer, I have my feet in two camps: the traditional “writing every day is the only way to perfect your craft” mindset and the modern “constantly thinking about writing is just as good as doing it” attitude.  Storytelling has been one of my creative loves, but it has been daunting from time to time.

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After spending two months trying to squeeze out my first act, I needed a break from my screenplay. As I mentioned before, working on my first act had been a struggle for me as I worked backward to create this well-rounded setup for my established second act.  From the moment spring quarter ended, I had set my sight on fleshing out my work for thesis in the Fall. I struggled to push myself as a screenwriter while I constantly went back and forth over the decisions I was making as a writer. As a Black man trying to write a musical dramedy centered around a group of Black women, I questioned whether I was the right vessel for this work. I wanted female characters that were nuanced, well-rounded, relatable, and realistic in relaying an important message in a world of #MeToo and #TimesUp. It was mentally taxing on me both as a writer and a person. I was striving for perfection but draining my creative tank at the same time. Writing the last words of act one was both satisfying and tiring as I let go of my work. It needed to breathe. I needed to breathe. The break has allowed me to think of new ways to approach my screenplay when it comes to my revisions and rewrites.

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While on my thesis break, I decided to focus on a previous short story I had written as well as some personal and client-based visual work. Not focusing on my screenplay allowed my creative tank to refill in a serious way. As I mentioned last week, Getting critiques from other writing students and some writer friends has become the next step. I’ve looked forward to the input from my professors and other writers in the Fall. My thesis journey will have its ups and downs as I strive to create my calling card as an aspiring writer.


Come back next week for more on my journey to creating my Master’s thesis.

Don’t be a stranger! Leave a comment below.

Working the Setup

The key to any decent screenplay is creating a good setup in the first act. As an aspiring screenwriter, the first act is my way of setting up tone, relationships, and plot so that everything comes to a head in the second act. All the drama and conflict is planted in the first act. But this is exceptionally hard since a good portion of my second act was already in motion.

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In a previous post, I alluded to the fact that working backward can be a little hard especially when trying to make a smooth transition from the first to the second. The past month or so has been an exercise in world building and character development. It has been a struggle to push myself as a screenwriter to create something different while thinking about my various influences. Added stress comes from the fact that I’m a Black man trying to write a musical dramedy centered around a group of Black women. I want to be nuanced and well-rounded while still being relatable and realistic to the story I’m trying to tell. I’ve written for female characters before, but this seems to weight heavier as I craft this piece with full awareness. I want to a female-centric screenplay where males are secondary to the main story. In crafting this screenplay, researching the issue of Black women in the music industry and watching a variety of biopics and musicals have helped me to flesh out the story. Hopefully, getting some more input from women of color and musicians will smooth out my screenplay once I get into my second act.

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Having finished my first act this week, I’m going to let it sit for a bit before I end up doing revisions. My next step is to get a critique from my fellow Scaddies and some writer friends before Fall quarter begins. By getting a head start on my thesis, my independent study will be more fruitful as I look forward to the input from my professors and other writers as I inch closer to finishing my Master’s degree. My thesis journey is more about creating something tangible and realistic than working on a writing assignment.


Come back next week for more on my journey to creating my Master’s thesis.

Don’t be a stranger! Leave a comment below.

Writing and Editing in the Key of Self-Awareness

Being self-aware can be both a gift and a curse. On one end, it keeps me humble and respectful as an artist and writer. I know there are better writers, but they aren’t telling my story. On the other end, I’m ALWAYS in my head when it comes to the creative process. I doubt myself at every turn, even to the point where the blinking cursor and I end up having a staring contest. This along with slow and measured in my writing has allowed me to become my own worst critic.

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This is even more true with my thesis. I find myself going back and forth between forcing myself to type out some words and flooding the pages without a concept of time. I second guess myself as I try to make my first act flow into my second without sacrificing my well thought-out plan. Am I setting the scene correctly? Is the mood for the scene right? Are my characters too different? Or not different enough? Does the dialogue come off authentic? Or too slang-heavy? Is the screenplay more show than tell? Are the dialogue and action balancing out? Do I have too many characters? Or not enough? This struggle has been plaguing me since I decided to make screenwriting my career choice. It can be tiring and overwhelming at times especially with my anxiety issues. But the task is of my own making so I have to be up for the challenge.

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My self-awareness has played into my ability to edit in addition to writing. For me, I edit my work as I go along. I feel it helps me to create a better piece. I’ve noticed over the past week or so that I think of different ways to improve upon my previous scenes and dialogue. Some scenes have worked out for the better as I fleshed them out and added one or two. The dialogue is definitely getting sharper and snapper as I write for these characters more and more. There’s nothing like dripping sarcastic or dramatic wordplay to get my writing muscles going. I hope to harness my self-awareness more in that way in the coming weeks and months. My thesis journey is going to be a great yet scary ride for me (and my anxiety).


Come back next week for more on my journey to creating my Master’s thesis.

Don’t be a stranger! Leave a comment below.

Working Backwards

Writing can be a daunting task, especially with a self-imposed deadline. I’ve found myself over the past month being a little gun shy when it comes to writing my thesis. I’m excited about writing my first film script in some time. But a nagging feeling seems to come from time to time as I try working back to create a full screenplay from a one-act play. The task seems more like a boulder than a pebble when it comes to self-starting. Every day has been a struggle as I muster up the strength to write. Something I’ve never had a problem with before as my love of knowledge and words has always been my driving force. After letting my mind rest for a week after Spring quarter, the early writing sessions have been a struggle after months of school, work, and my internship draining my creative tank. The guilt is overwhelming as I begin questioning my choices and motives as a writer. Writing this screenplay has been a battle as I try to create within a program that champions writing novels, journalism, and short story collections over screenwriting. I have something to prove, and I have to remain steadfast if this is going to work.

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Over the past week or so, I’ve found my stride by letting go of my preconceived ideas and allowing my scenes and characters talk to me. I find that’s the best way for me to get my first act going.  Trying to create a first act that flows with an already established second act can be a beast. On the daily, I am having constant mental battles over what is the best approach or how events in the first act are going to change parts of my second act. I feel my second act is filled with strong points that still need some finessing, but the first act has to set-up the later events. That’s the gift and curse of taking existing material and creating something new from it. But I guess it’ll all work out in the end as I will have my second finished screenplay before graduation.

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On the plus side, I did find out this week my independent study got approved. This will be my opportunity to finish my screenplay under deadlines similar to working screenwriters. It will definitely be an experience. I can’t wait.


Come back next week for more on my journey to creating my Master’s thesis.

Don’t be a stranger! Leave a comment below.

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