But then a few hiccups became a few more, and then a few more after that still. And suddenly, members of the cast and crew were dropping out, copping attitudes, or generally proving themselves to be unreliable. Then the same with a number of locations we had secured, one of which was always making such a loud noise it made it impossible to film there (an issue that was literally non-existent at this location prior to our trying to film there), and others that had either become overly-complicated to schedule a time with, or that had flat out closed down entirely since the time we had secured it.
So many issues arose that I had never anticipated. And all of them were things that were entirely outside of my control. Friendships were either tarnished or lost along the way, and all in all, I honestly don't believe there has ever been a single point in my life where I was as stressed out as during that brief period of time. (Maybe the military?)
And it showed. It showed in the few pieces of footage that we did manage to film, which I really wasn't entirely satisfied with, and it was entirely my fault. I was just so stressed out and brought to a point of desperation that I was willing to make any accommodations, be it with the cast, crew, or locations, and I definitely wasn't in the right frame of mind, as I was more concerned with just getting it done period, rather than getting it done right. But it wasn't fair to the project, or to the cast and crew who did their parts, and if I had continued forward like this, it likely would have shown all throughout in the finished product.
And even in my life outside of this project, I had become a tired slog at work, and I never felt like I had even a single minute to relax, and found most of my interactions with friends had gradually become a venting session to just complain about the sheer amount of stress and frustration that the project was creating. It honestly felt like there was some sort of divine intervention going on, like the universe was telling me to put this project on hold for now. And I fought back for as long as I could, until, after almost half a year of non-stop stress, I had finally reached my breaking point, my passion for the project had finally died out entirely, and so I decided to shelve the project. And also considering the sheer stupid amount of money and work that I had put into it, you know that things got bad if I still shelved the project anyways. After all, what use was there in continuing to stress out over so much that I had no control over?
The project was such a colossal disaster that it really damaged my interactions with people in general, who had absolutely taken their toll on me by this point, so I pretty much just mostly kept to myself for a good bit of time afterwards, and decided to shift focus onto something I could work on that didn't force me to rely on others. And so I picked back up on my Ninja Kat books. I had taken over a year off of working on them in order to focus more on my film stuff, but in the process, that series was going more and more neglected, and I honestly had no clue when I was ever going to have the time to get back around to working on them again. But I took this as an opportunity to do just that, and I couldn't be more at peace with that decision.
I mentioned how it felt like divine intervention that was telling me to put my film project on hold, and I'm thinking that perhaps that very well might be the case, as if this all was supposed to happen so that I would be put back on track to finishing my Ninja Kat series. It sucks that this is what it took, but you know, I'm not sure there's ever been a point in my life where I've ever been even nearly as productive as I am now. I've been more consistent with my work than ever before, utilizing every single day I have off as an opportunity to go out and get some more writing done. And as a result, I've already finished a full draft of The Masquerade, which is now currently in the hands of test readers. I honestly didn't think I would even be halfway done with that book by this point in the year, but here I am, already beginning work on the fourth book. And I'm on such a roll that I think I wanna just stick with this for the time being, and put my film plans on hold until it's the right time to give that my full focus again.
In terms of personal relationships, I've been very much hurt by a lot of people who I fully trusted throughout the year, so much so that I'm finding it harder and harder to trust a lot of other people now as a result. But it's something that I'm working on, slowly but surely, as the one's who truly do care are making themselves known, the one's who actually have made an effort to reach out to me, and I am very grateful for those individuals. But in the meantime, as I've mostly kept to myself, I've just been chugging away, writing more and more, and at a pace that even I'm a little amazed by.
I have had times in my life where I had taken time away from my day job in order to just try and focus on my creative projects. And when I think back, I honestly did waste a whole lot of that free time, as I don't think I was yet at a point in my life where I really took it seriously enough. But now, since I've become consistent with my work, I've now actually reached a point that's the exact opposite, where now if I ever have a typical lazy day where I don't get something even a little productive done, I actually end up feeling guilty about it, and can't really even enjoy myself.
But I've reached that point now, where my creative work has become my leisure of choice. And I just recently took a week vacation, in which I used it as an opportunity to get even more of my work done. And I'm actually happy that I've finally reached this point, the point where I'm really, truly taking my work seriously, and I think it'll show, my passion reinvigorated will shine in my work. And as I enter the next stage of this creative process, I'm going to need that passion to keep me going. Because, now that The Masquerade is nearing its release date, that means that I've gotta start really promoting it soon. And this is always my least favorite part of the process, and something that has become harder and harder as time has gone on for a number of reasons, but that's another discussion for another day.
And as for what the future holds, well, I definitely intend to get back into film again eventually. And in fact, I'm even still open to helping others out on their own film projects here and there, as I've been doing from time to time. And even this past Friday, August 12th, I was invited back to the second ever Tallahassee Premiere Nights event, where they featured my short film Dream Girl, so that was pretty cool, and I think we might've even had a bigger turnout this time around, too. They certainly played a more diverse variety of films at least, in terms of genre, which was nice, and gave each of them a better chance of standing out from one another.
But yeah, that's pretty much where I'm at. For the time being, I intend to just keep focused on my novel writing, to finish up these Ninja Kat books, and continue to see how things will pan out for the series. I'd love to even pick the comic book back up as well, but we'll see on that. But as for my own personal stuff, I think this little break away from film in a general sense will definitely do me some good, and by the time I've wrapped things up on my book series, I'll be properly refreshed and ready to tackle some more collaborative efforts again once more.