The Ups And Downs Of A Creative Life

Hello dear reader,

it has been a week of strange motivations. I took a few days off work to recharge and spend some amazing time with my lady Emma, I spent that time playing games and doing absolutely nothing productive at all, even though, in the back of my mind I intended to and secretly wish I had.

I go through long periods of wanting to be better and I tell myself that I got to work, that I need time to myself, that I love playing games; repeating all those things that you tell yourself when you’re putting things off, without even intending to or understanding the reasons why you’re putting them off in the first place.

Deep down I think I know and the feeling scares me a little bit. Deep down there is a little creeping fear that everything I’m doing and all the time I’m spending will never come to anything, that all the effort will be wasted, nobody will ever get to see my writings or the products of my work.

I hate that feeling, so I think I distract myself by making the conscious decision to not try, or to make excuses why I couldn’t try in that moment, then I feel the existential guilt that only a creative can feel when another day has ticked by without actually having made any strides towards the endeavours that make you love being creative in the first place.

How do I navigate around this strange catch-22 that I have pretty much always found myself in? Do I just let the feeling take me and do whatever the hell I want, even if it will take ten years to finish a project? Or do I push myself to finish something and then try my best to get it out there?

The trouble is I don’t know…and I feel like I don’t have the time, knowledge or motivation to get involved in a creative community that might allow me to get my work out there.

How do you know where to best put your time to get your work done, get it out into the world and to keep yourself sane?

I think I’ll be asking that question forever, but maybe one day I’ll find an answer. The important point is that I’m not going to stop. I can’t stop, and if you’re ever tempted to stop, know that in all your unsure and nervous attitude about whether your work is worthy, well it always will be, we need new ideas; all of them.

Keep going, and I will too.

A New Year; Let’s Make This One Count

Good day dear reader.

Lots of things happened last year that made 2019 one of the most tumultuous in my memory: I quit my job…twice and am now back at the second place; I spent most of the year learning to drive and passed my test after three failed attempts; I faced a lot of time out of the house and with some serious insomnia along with struggling to keep my weight loss up in the face of all my stress, it meant that my writing and creative goals got put by the wayside.

Don’t get me wrong, I worked on a lot of interesting projects last year, but none of them went nearly as far as I wanted them to. This brings me to the new year. We’re starting a new decade and a lot has been lifted off my shoulders, so as far as I’m concerned, there is no longer any mitigating circumstances that stand in the way of me and my wonderful wife of 12 years (our anniversary was yesterday) achieving some long standing goals.

The SteadmanSociety team want to make 2020 the beginning of an active period in providing content. We have a wide variety of interests and hope to establish an eclectic community of like-minded people who can simply be together to share the ups and downs of life through the mediums we enjoy.

This year we hope to do four things:

  1. Challenge our writing skills by finishing and publishing at least one work of fiction;
  2. Begin streaming on twitch regularly, this will include gaming content, writing content and games development content;
  3. Start posting on our Youtube channel with slice of life updates, mainly just little videos to keep you clued in on how we are doing with our projects;
  4. Reach out to a wider community and hopefully prove we can keep you around!

This is a mission statement that me and Emma have really taken to heart over the holiday period. Christmas and new year are out of the way. It is time to work hard on the things we know we can achieve.

Join us then on our long road, we promise this year will be the best yet for SteadmanSociety.

Twitter: Here!

Instagram: @steadmansociety

Youtube: Here!

Meeting Emelia – Character Study

I am currently quite ill, so today I’m going to show you the first quarter of the first chapter of a project I started last year. This opening basically goes into some detail about the life and feelings of a 13 year old girl named Emelia. She goes on to have some interesting adventures, but right now you’ll just get to know her. Thanks for reading!

Emilia sat cross legged on her bed. It was morning. She rubbed the sleep from her eyes and looked around; boxes were piled all around the strange room she was now supposed to call her own. Emilia’s parents traveled all over the country and sometimes overseas for their work. At the age of thirteen, Emilia had moved home six times, every time her parents bought a big house, let her pick her own room and gave her everything she could want. But the only thing they couldn’t give her, which Emilia wanted the most, was a friend.

They had tried their best for Emilia; her mother was allergic to dogs, her father to cats so they had gotten her a Bearded Dragon named Archimedes. Emilia hated him at first. He did nothing but sit there in a big cabinet, under a hot, bright bulb that hurt her eyes, and he ate worms and smelled like the zoo, so Emelia ignored him, only coming round to his cabinet to feed him with long blue tweezers or laboriously remove his heavy tiles and wash the corners of his dusty, dry home.

One day while Emilia was cleaning out his tank, she saw that he was huddled in a corner, looking very sorry for himself. She carefully grabbed him out and saw that he had laid a clutch of eggs! He was a she! But Archimedes looked dark and ill and her legs wouldn’t work properly, So Emilia quickly told her parents and made a hot water bottle to keep Archimedes warm, before they rushed to the vet to see what was wrong. The little spiky lizard had clutched onto Emilia so tightly that through her worried tears she promised to never to ignore her or say anything bad about her again.

Waiting in the vet’s was one of the worst times of Emilia’s life. Her mum hadn’t let her talk to the vet after Archimedes had gone in, just like every other time she had felt an important decision had been made, Emilia wasn’t there. Her mum just said that her lizard was very ill and the vet needed to operate on her, before sitting next to Emilia, diligently checking her watch every five minutes and texting on her phone. Emilia’s eyes had never been so red or puffy, and she had never cried for a longer time. Hours passed and her mum had to leave. Emilia’s dad arrived at the vets as it was getting dark. All she wanted was a hug, but neither of her parents were ever very good at stuff like that, he just said that he was sorry and that maybe getting her such a strange pet was a bad idea. Emilia never hated him more than in that moment and it echoed in her words.

“You never asked me. You never let me read about them; you just got her for me one day. You got me work, dad, not a pet.”

Her dad looked incredulous for a second before remembering the situation. He looked around nervously.

“Well. You could give him away after he’s better if you want. We just thought we were doing the right thing.”

Emilia looked up at him and smiled ruefully.

“She’s a girl. I found that out today. I’ve had her for three months and I never knew, and now she could die because I was too angry at you and mum to care for her when she needed me. No, I’ll keep her. I owe her that.”

Her dad looked confused, but realising that his daughter wasn’t so cross any more, he sat next to Emelia, put his arm around her shoulder and squeezed. Emilia’s arms flew out and for a few stiff moments they hugged in the green-walled vet’s waiting room before her father cleared his throat and stood.

“I’ll go and see if I can find anything out.” he said, before walking around the corner towards the other rooms, leaving her alone again.

Archimedes didn’t die. The vet came out and started speaking to Emilia’s father, who, to her surprise, directed the vet over to her. The vet explained that Archimedes had gotten one of her eggs stuck, and that he got it out. She would be fine, but needed to rest for a few days before she could take her home. On the car journey back, Emilia had detailed to her father all the things she would need for Archimedes and he silently nodded his approval. Three days later the little lizard was presented to her, wrapped in a blanket covered in unicorns, looking groggy and dark. Emilia carefully laid the soft creature on her chest and hugged her gently, promising to make it up to her.

That was a year ago. Now as Emilia sat quite content on her bed, surrounded by boxes, Archimedes lay on the windowsill; all wrapped in that unicorn blanket atop a hot-water bottle, bathing in the sun and looking suspiciously out onto the street below.

Going Forward – Notes From J.A.Steadman

This will be my first slice of life post on the site, and it will serve simply as a way for you to get to know me a little bit better. Me and Emma started the site because for many years we have returned time and again to writing – we absolutely love to write and to read and to explore the endless possibilities of things like fantasy, mystery, horror and scifi (well that’s just me, Emma is a fantasy purist).

So throughout all of our adult life, we have been involved in many and varied hobbies; I love to play games, craft things, I have streamed on twitch in the past, I play DnD etc. Lots of interesting hobbies that I love doing, but they aren’t writing – that’s the curious thing about putting pen to paper, even metaphorically, it gets its claws into you to the point that it’s almost impossible to not do it eventually.

The difficulty comes when you have no direction and are so obscure as to render any attempt to get your writing “out there” impossible – that’s really where the site comes in; for a long time we have wanted to make a positive step in that direction, we really wanted to be able to push people to a place where our stuff is just sitting there, easily accessible and categorised so people could pick and choose easily the kinds of things they wanted to read from us.

Eventually we want to grow the site into a community – either writers or people who just enjoy our writing and I personally would like to experiment with making some of my writing collaborative; I did say that I had been on twitch in the past and writing streams would be really fun, especially if I could involve a fanbase.

Anyway, that’s enough for now right off the top of my head, so go and be merry and hopefully the stuff we’re posting here will be interesting enough to you that you follow or in some other way track what we’re doing, because we’ve got some plans and we’re very excited with how things will go in the future.

Thanks for reading!

John.