These goals of mine often seem so distant that some days it all feels impossible. How can I ever reach such a far away place? The space between here and there is without end. But as I look back on the life I've lived thus far, I see the distance that I've already traveled, and I know that I've gotten to where I am because I never gave up.
Lost myself a few times, sure. Beaten and battered along the way. But I always held on tight to the map in my heart. Perseverance has been my guide. So here I am, still on this journey, still in pursuit of my dreams.
(*Insert cliched quote about how it's really the journey that matters and not the destination. Which is true and all, but still, we have goals in life and nobody can deny how nice it would be to reach them.)
Let's jump right into Dream #1, yeah?
Writing: Junicka Valley.
As anyone who knows me knows, this book has occupied my life for years now. Sometimes that's been a good thing. It's been a blast seeing the story unfold. The characters have come to life before my eyes. And it's taught me so much about the kind of writer I am. But at other times the book has made me want to never write again. Days and nights of getting nowhere, lost in jumble of broken plots and empty meaning. And the doubt. Oh, the doubt. That was the worst thing of all. Has it been worth the years of hard work? Was any of it even good? Am I any good?
The only thing that's gotten me through is perseverance. I accept those doubts. Those days and nights of torment. I let them in, feel them, and then I let them go. I keep on moving forward.
And whatta 'ya know. Here I am, almost finished. And in my hands is a book that I really, really think is good.
The key to persevering hasn't been telling myself "Yeah, Sam. It's good. Ignore all that and just keep on going." What really pushes me forward is why I write. And that's creativity. Seeing the universe unfold before me. Not just my universe, but one amongst an infinite. A story within the vast story. That's why I'm here. To live it and to breathe it and to shape it with my soul. There's no point in giving up, because there's not really anything to gain or lose. It's the act that matters. The telling of the story.
Probably doesn't make much sense, does it? But it's nice to get it out. I guess you could just say, I find beauty in creation, and I'd like to fully dive right into that.
So, how about I end with an actual update to where I'm at instead of some nonsensical purple-prose? I'm still working on the first edit of Junicka Valley. My life comes first, as much as this book means to me, and I've got a lot going on, so the process has been slow. But lately I've rediscovered a source that helps me focus. (More on that later.) I've got a strong feeling that I'll reach the finish line soon.
I hope so, because I'm ready for my next book!
Game Design: Lock & Spell
I'm getting pretty good at juggling multiple projects. I know where to place my focus. Know when to let things take center stage and when to let them quietly bow out. (Or sometimes even lurk in the shadows.)
My game design plays an almost equal important role to my writing. Sure, it lacks the deeper meaning that a story can convey. But there's something in designing the mechanics and rules and experience of fun in a game that really gives me joy. And games do have significance. Especially board games. They're a tangible way for us to play together. And play is so important. Adults often forget that. Or at least we chose the wrong kinds of play. Simple joy between people, that's want I want to help foster.
Funny though, that the first game I'll publish is a single player one. But ya know, we've got to learn to have fun with ourselves too. Without that, life can be a bit empty.
So, Lock & Spell is in playtest mode right now. Junicka Valley is my main focus, but here and there when I get the time, I break out L&S and play a round or two. That and I'm writing the fortunes you can win at the end of the game. It's a fun creative process.
Music & Art
Music and art get to share a dream. Mainly for brevity in this post, not for importance. Because this is the source of drive I mentioned earlier. Creating music or a visual piece of art really gets me back to my center. I've got no immediate plans to publish or sell anything, but rather I simply use them as a way to open up my heart. (Though I do plan on making music professionally again. And my visual art will always be incorporated into anything I publish. That's where the dream comes in.)
I knew when I started Jupiter Valley Studios that I wanted it to be more than just a business. Sure, there's meaning and the potential to help others with my creations. But at the core of the business I want to be able to help the world. I always imagined donating a portion of profits to various organizations. I've never been close to finishing anything, so that idea has always just floated around in my head. But now that things are starting to solidify, I'm giving that hope some focus. I'll be sure to update as things come about.
Saved the most important for last.
Self-knowledge. Self-control. Self-fulfillment. Self-realization.
Building up a better me is so important. And I don't mean any of that in a selfish sense. I know deep down that my life's purpose is to become the best person I can possibly be. Because through that process I can give back so much more to the world than I receive. And through being my best self I can give myself the love that I need. This truly is a process and not a destination. So I guess you could say I'm living the dream.
That last one was a bit mushy and vague, I know. But don't worry, I won't let this turn into a journal entry.
Time for me to go!
Until next time,