An Experiment in Immersive Storytelling
Behind the Scenes:
Writer, Director, Actor
Have you ever seen those films where most credits go to one name? Executive Producer, Writer, Starring, Director, etc. I'm always impressed by how much so few people can get done when working together. If you want to see an example of what I'm referring to, check out the movie Hellbender, which was made by a family.
Today, we're so used to living in a world that seems impossible to change because everything around us looks permanent, a permanence built from decades or more of dozens, hundreds, or thousands of people working together to create something. But that unalterable world is not the reality we live in; we live in a world where a single person can have a massive impact if only they tried. The impact a person makes shouldn't be measured by likes, followers, reviews, a headcount of people in the crew that helped make it happen, money spent, box office revenue, or bestseller lists; instead, it should be a simple matter of the creator taking satisfaction from the knowledge that they've impacted the world in a positive way, whether it's one person or billions.
Besides, there are plenty of examples of things everyone thought were permanent that came crashing down and turned to dust nearly overnight. Just look at Enron, which had over 20,000 employees and $1 billion in revenue and poofed out of existence. Things aren't as permanent as they seem, whether it's the building across the street, an institution or policy, the borders of a country, or life on planet Earth.
It could go out of business.
The state of California?
It could sink underneath the ocean.
The traditional book publishing industry?
It could disappear in your lifetime (just look at what Amazon did to bookstores).
They could easily go extinct.
My rant of examples about this?
See what I mean?
Because you're on my website, it's probably apparent that I tend to run in circles interested in literature and storytelling. I constantly meet people who have a dream to write a novel, but they never take a single step toward it other than to tell others they want to do it.
So, what's stopping them?
It can be scary to throw yourself into the act of creation and then put your creation out into the world, especially if you feel like you're going at it alone and have to play all the parts. But we're all living in the same world, and there are others out there who are struggling along with you, in their own way and on their own creations.
The most important words a man can say are, "I will do better." These are not the most important words any man can say. I am a man, and they are what I needed to say.
The ancient code of the Knights Radiant says, "journey before destination." Some may call it a simple platitude, but it is far more. A journey will have pain and failure. It is not only the steps forward that we must accept. It is the stumbles. The trials. The knowledge that we will fail. That we will hurt those around us.
But if we stop, if we accept the person we are when we fall, the journey ends. That failure becomes our destination. To love the journey is to accept no such end. I have found, through painful experience, that the most important step a person can take is always the next one.
― Brandon Sanderson, Oathbringer
You don't need perfection, and you don't only have one chance to get it right. You only fail when you give up. As they say in Japan, 七転び八起き。(Don't speak Japanese? Learn about this saying with PuniPuniJapan.)
The entire point of this is to say that you shouldn't let the perception of difficulty, the idea of obstacles, or the erroneous measurements of social media engagement stop you from creating whatever it is you want because the only person who can do it in the entire world is you. Is it a comic? A film? An Etsy store selling enamel pins or prints of your artwork? Is it a brand new political party? A novel?
What do you want to create?
What's your next step?
Hah! You thought this was about me, but it's actually about us. There's a special connection between a writer and a reader, a creator and an admirer. I played the roles of writer, director, actor, and many others during Absolution, and doing that held a lot of meaning for me, but the work I did doesn't complete its own cycle until it impacts the world—even one person. The amount of work may seem insurmountable at times, but take it one step at a time and always focus on taking that next step. If you never execute your own ideas, then no one will. You'll miss out, and the world will miss out.