Operation Achieve Anything: Day Three-Hundred-Ten, Dateline 11-6-2018

Some people never learn the art of compromise. Everything is either black or white. They do not recognize, or will not concede, that the equally important color gray is a mixture of black and white.
— Waite Phillips

Good morning crickets. Welcome to day number three-hundred-ten of Operation Achieve Anything. Last night, while working on my novel for this year’s NaNoWriMo, I got to thinking about my need to be more confident in my own voice. Where I used to think that meant I had to be a confident person writing nothing but uplifting things, now, it seems to finally be setting in that I’ll be much better off if I give up on these thoughts of expectation and just focus on my work. I’ve always felt confident in my concepts, but struggle to articulate what’s floating around in my head because I’m too hung up on what others will think of my work.

When I used to tell people that I was a writer, I would either get, “That’s nice,” in the same tone one would respond to a kid’s dream to become an astronaut, or I’d get some jaded jerk saying something stupid like, “So you want to be the world’s next Hemingway?” I never wanted to be the world’s next Hemingway, I always wanted to be the world’s first me. I’ve never had any desire to be admired by the masses, and as I often point out, if it didn’t take money to live, I wouldn’t care whether or not I ever earned a dime for anything that I write. I’m here to explore the abnormal thoughts that dance around this defective head.

The novel is called Windowless that it tells the tale of a person very similar to me, spending the rest of his existence in a windowless room while sharing the thoughts that pop up in his windowless head. The story is about walls, both physical and emotional. It’s mainly just me ranting and raving about the views that I’ve been self-censoring ever since the start of my mid-life meltdown. It’s probably too inside to ever see the light of day but, just letting all of it out while expressing my true emotions is turning out to be very therapeutic for my head.

Hopefully, this will lead to a lot less drunken outbursts on Twitter, where I will sometimes vent about my issues with the world that are floating around in my head, that I really don’t want to be associated with this here website that I created for training and fun. Now that I have this as an outlet, it frees up my thoughts allowing me to be a little more frivolous with this blog. Since I started the novel, I no longer sit here contemplating whether or not I want to dig into a sensitive topic, or just allow my issues to continue to be bottled up. I feel like I can breathe now that I have this outlet.

I can’t wait to see how this will play out in the long run, and wait I will. To fill the time until then, it’s now time to dig into yesterday’s assignment where I was supposed to explore why it’s more important to wait things out over giving into shortcut compromises to achieve a goal. As with most of these assignments, this blog is a perfect example/answer to the question of the day. If the fact that I’m still up to this nonsense isn’t enough evidence that I know a thing about patience and persistence, I don’t know any other detail that would.

The book’s example was a person who wanted to be a doctor but wasn’t quite ready to put in the time, so they instead opted to because a doctor’s assistant, only to end up stuck in that role. This was kind of what happened when I worked in film doing lighting, thinking that I would be a way to advance my screenwriting career. It turned out that this was a bad mood in that everyone on the set has a script or an idea for their debut movie and any below the line schlub is treated like a daydreamer, even in my case where I was actually trained to write screenplays. At the same time, it also taught me, probably longer than it should have, that film is no longer a place for rule breakers, especially when they are poor.

Though it sucks that this filmmaking effort killed an over twenty-year-old dream making me have to start over, I’m excited about the potential of things to come once I hone my non-screenwriting skills to the point where I can start to rewrite my old fictional work. I feel like I’m getting close, but I also still have five years left with this blog that I created as my own writing bootcamp. I just hope that I live long enough in a position where I can get through reworking my motherload of first drafts.

As usual, I see both sides of this argument. I can see the point in how these shortcut compromises can turn into permanent choices that just miss the mark of your dreams. At the same time, depending on the situation, attempting a shortcut that runs parallel to your dreams can open your eyes to the fact that your efforts might be going towards a nightmare that’s better to avoid. Looking back, I think this was the route that I needed because screenwriting allowed me to generate content with ease since I was more focused on concepts and story ideas over how beautiful I could make my jumbled dyslexic words.

I think that covers the task from yesterday, now it’s time to move on to today’s assignment where the topic is still compromise, and I’m now just supposed to practice compromise by trying something new. I wish I know how to express the exact sigh that comes each and every time I’m given this recycled filler type of task. Oh well, I’ll dig into it tomorrow when I check in for my next update. Until then, it’s now that time where I sign off as usual by saying, good day and good luck to you and all of your projects.  

Talk to you soon.


The Wicker Breaker

P.S. Below are links to my novel, which I plan to promote as part of Operation Achieve Anything, as well as a link to where you can buy the book that is providing the structure to this project in case you would like to purchase it in order to play along.

Matt Bunker

I started out with a goal of becoming a paid screenwriter. I had no interest in any other aspect of filmmaking. I received and scholarship to The Vancouver Film School's Writing for Film and Television program where I graduated in 2005. I fell in love with being on set during my first non-school produced short, . I loved being around all the creative people, seeing people having fun while working. The whole liking your job was a new world to me, so I decided to give it a shot. I volunteered for any project I could, doing what ever was needed. The set was my Film School this time. While working as a PA on a feature I was informed that the DP wanted the three tallest PAs to help out in the grip and electric department. That is when I found the department that felt like the best fit for me while I continued to write.