So, I have it structured and organized. Open with a strong hook and introduce the project, next paragraph a brief synopsis, blah blah blah. I get to the paragraph where I'm supposed to give some indication I'm a serious writer and not some moron derping all over his word processor.
Now, in the past, I've really stretched. Let's be honest -- people can't help but overinflate what they've done on their resumes. You keep hearing you should not only mention experience, but it's a big help. In the past, I've had a couple of LOC's in Comic Buyer's Guide, I was part of the 'Nuff Said APA, but nothing that really said "serious writer".
So I pull out the file where I keep track of what I've done and when I've done it. I haven't really looked at it in a long time, what with Sound Waves on hold for the moment. And I start transcribing.
Let's see -- wrote reviews and articles for Video Game Trader magazine from 2007 to 2010. Shows I can work with an editor and make deadlines. For comics, 2007 saw Final Shadows #1 digitally and the Morbid Myths Halloween Special in print. Also started Stress Puppy in 2007 and ran until 2010 (technically, it's still running, but if they check, they'll see the site isn't being updated, so I'm erring on the side of caution). 2008 saw the digital release of the Morbid Myths Halloween Special for that year. 2009? The Supremacy #1 in print, along with the Stress Puppy graphic novel and the beginning of Sound Waves. 2010 saw more Sound Waves, including the Christmas special, the Head Above Water five issue mini, and the first Hannah Singer book.
...you know, that's actually not a bad body of work there. Even if the later stuff is self-published, I'm still creating finished stuff.
I'm reflecting on Ralph Bakshi. He said in an interview, "It's not about the ratings. It's not even about making a good picture. I told them, if the picture's good or bad that we make is not the issue. You do your best and it's about the process. The process of making is everything. And if the picture turns out good, great. And if it turns out bad, great, you've learned something. But you also made that film. So, to me, it's always about the art."
I have been creating complete things for public consumption since 2007. I have to emphasize "complete". The hardest thing about writing is not coming up with the idea. That's easy. We come up with ideas all the time. The hard part is not only shaping that idea into something other people will want to invest time and attention and emotion in, but to finish it, to get it done. You can't just say you have a great story idea and not say how it ends. And finishing a story takes work and dedication. Even if the finished product ain't the greatest thing in the world, it's still complete. It's a finished work.
It's an accomplishment.
I don't usually put much stock in my self-publishing stuff or the web comic because there's nothing to it, anyone can do it. I can make a book that is nothing but literally "herp derp" for 200 pages and it will be printed. Same with web comics. If you've seen some that I have like Girlz N Games, you don't have to be funny or expressive or anything. You don't even have to be consistent with your deadlines. And yet, my stuff does do that. It is genuinely funny. The characters are smart, hip, funny, and interesting.
Sound Waves started off as just me doing some shoujo and I thought it would only be about five issues, I wasn't even expecting it to be something I would be talking about as an accomplishment. And then the focused changed from Rhapsody checking out the undersea world to it being about the friendship between the two girls. Now it's become something I am proud of and do brag about, how I can maintain my page counts without sacrificing the core that makes the series interesting and engaging for readers, how it went from my just making a bunch of stories to get the idea out of my head to me writing over twenty scripts and counting imagining what interesting situations the swim buddies will encounter and what they would do. Self-published or no, people read it. People enjoy it. Sound Waves is a legitimate artistic entity.
Maybe I'm actually accomplishing more than I thought. I may not have books selling a thousand copies at the moment, but I have a following and I know I'm making good stuff for the right audience (I'm not expecting, say, fans of Chew to dig Sound Waves. Likewise, I don't expect fans of Archie to dig Stress Puppy). So, maybe, in this case, self-publishing doesn't matter, but that I am actually doing something legitimate is.
Not buying it just yet, but I am thinking it over very seriously....