The Challenge

1 Feb

Here’s the thing. I like to create things. Not mechanical things of genius, majestic wood carvings or cures for diseases human kind does not yet know about – besides, I’m not smart enough for the last one. Despite all of this I still like to create things. The things that I like to create deal with one thing: Words.

I wasn’t always like this, but I was still creative. When I was younger I remember creating epic battles of my favourite superheroes in my head and then acting them out. I used to have giant battles with G.I Joe figures, making sure that I used the entire living room as a battle field. There had to be two or three separate bases, one or two hidden bases somewhere, and let us not forget that there needed to be an open spot in the middle for the two armies to meet.

When I got a little older I started teaching myself guitar. Having a good fundamental base in piano I was able to pick up the basics quickly. This lead into learning other persons songs. Still doing something creative and learning new things, but it was not yet my own. It was at this time that I started to dabble in writing. I attempted to write songs. However, that sometimes is more difficult than it appears. Because of this, many of my songs didn’t have any music behind them – and they were pretty terrible as well. All in all, this led me to the world of poetry.

Even with this I still wasn’t as creative as I could be. I should say, I hadn’t found that spark that made me want to be creative. While I still played music, wrote the odd poem and even learned a couple monologues along the way (my favourite I learned was the introduction you get to the V character in V for Vendetta which can be found here).

I was very analytical in school. Math and things that had a process and worked the same way every time came easy to me. It was not until university that my mind made the complete 180. What spawned it was my marketing classes. Moreover, it was the concept of advertising. That made me switch from being analytical to being conceptual. The drama classes along the way helped too.

Another big thing that helped spawn creativity was comic books. I got into them because I was always a superhero geek, but was really inspired by indie books that were not about superheroes. Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy my superhero books, but the non-superhero genre has quickly become the majority of the books that I read. The whole thing about comics that I enjoy is the combination of art and words. I was never an art fan until I started reading comics. While, my taste may be extremely different than art fanatics, I still enjoy art due to comics. Furthermore, the story telling techniques in comics, and the ideas that are able to come across are unique, and very interesting compared to other media that I have used to entertain myself.

Again, this all comes back to advertising. How does comic books relate to advertising? Well, for me it was about the same time that I was introduced to marketing and advertising as a concept that I started to read comic books.

Skip ahead to completing my degree and I was in jobs that I didn’t want to be in and was not being creative. I started writing as a way to keep myself creative. A few months later I started this blog in order to force myself to write. In doing so I have found out how much I actually enjoy writing. And now I am just trying to push myself as much as I can in order to strengthen my creativity and my writing abilities.

There are a few people/things that I need to reference before I continue. These people/things are inspirations that have helped me along the way. The first being my textbook from my advanced marketing class: The Creative Process Illustrated.


This book opened me up to the idea of how my creative process works. For anyone that is interested in advertising and how people think it is a great book.

The second has to be my good internet friends Tom Devine and Jon Runyan who started a weekly Youtube show called a Comic Book Look. They discuss comic books and comic book related topics. I have to bring them up because they started doing this because the love it and just wanted to have some fun interacting with other comic book fans. Now that I have started this blog, I completely understand their desire to do something fun – You can find their show every Wednesday at Inveterate Media Junkies or at the aCBL archive page.

The final one has to do with a blog that I just recently started following. Cristian Mihai’s blog mostly talks about his process and venture into self publishing. This one post titled Never Give Up On Your Dreams inspired me to write this post. It talks about his past and how he always knew that he was going to be a writer. While I did not know that, I have always been searching for something that has made me want to strive for it and push my limits.

Now I am just seeing how far I can go. I am striving to write more, as well I am trying to make sure that the work I do is good. I spent 3 weeks trying to perfect a poem, and while I don’t know if it is totally there I am happy with the outcome. I remember in my art classes in high school (which I hated) that a picture was supposed to take us a minimum of 3 hours to complete, but to make it outstanding it would take weeks. I did my pictures in 45 minutes. The exact opposite of what happened with this poem.

I also realized that I sometime get inspired by other people’s work. As I mentioned above, a good example of this is this post. I get inspired by TV shows, movies, comics, and other songs or poems. My buddy wrote a song with no lyrics and I want to see if I can put something to them and turn it into something.

The reason why I wrote this was to show my progression. As well, in order to progress I have to push myself to do so. With this I made up challenges to try and complete by September – the one year anniversary of this blog.

Challenge #1

To take my buddies song and write lyrics to it, record it, and put it on Youtube/Here for people to listen. Now I will warn you/anyone that has heard me play guitar or sing, that it is not going to be the same kind of music that I usually play.

Challenge #2

As I mentioned above, I worked really hard on a poem. I am trying to see if I can get it published. Will I get beginners luck? Probably not, but who knows. The challenge however, is to get one thing published. It can be a short poem, story, anything. It is more to see if I can actually get my work out there.

Challenge #3

I really just want to post more. In turn, write more. I am building a portfolio of work (30 pages) to try and get into a MFA in creative writing. The only way I can get better is by writing as much as I can in the timeframe before I have to submit my portfolio. With that I want to have at least 1250 views with a minimum of 30 total posts.

Challenge #4

If I happen to complete any of these other challenges to come up with a new one to keep me going.

Now if I fail all of these challenges, that’s okay. The point of this is to for me to write, to get exposure and to learn the industry the best that I can. I want to build a great portfolio to ensure that I get into the program that I will be applying for. The most important reason: To do it because I like it!


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