Oops! Forgot about publishing this. Well, plenty has changed over the past 13 weeks and 92 publications. I originally made these “Betzom check-ins” primarily to comment on how I’ve evolved as a writer, with a slight convenience being something easy to write about. These past 92 days have seen my biggest launching in success yet, and I’m only poised to go succeed more from here… so much so that I didn’t even need the crutch of this essay.
I have editors now.
I mean, holy shit.
Like, active editors.
Sure, it’s not on all of my most personal essays here on Better Zombie, and I do have to compromise over the writing topics, but that’s a small compromise that took just about a day of soul-searching to accept in exchange for having an editor read and comment on some of my works. In fact, I received a series of pop-ups with editing feedback while I wrote the opening paragraph on a piece that won’t go toward Better Zombie.
It will go toward my first video interview.
The video may publish by the time this essay publishes. I’m a little secretive over the details for a few reasons. First, I’m still a bit shy about combining my nickname here and my professional name there, maybe because then I could no longer hide behind a green smiley face? Within the community I’ve joined, I’ve pretty much dropped off the Zombiepaper moniker, mainly because I’m not really known as this within the community and there’s no point in overly trying to promote that.
This is what I can share:
I’m back in with Keyboard Kommander. There have been some things I may eventually comment on officially, but let’s focus on the positives: we have a weekly space to meet, a Discord to brainstorm and work, and we’re actually making progress toward a Story Mode! I’m writing the updates in a meta-narrative style, where I’m Keyboard Anthony, a rogue journalist that’s sending out reports from within the game. Anything we can’t reveal is the fault of the Orthographimancer, of course.
The Seattle Indies has been absolutely a positive community for me.
I’ve always been the black sheep growing up, socially awkward, a little distrustful of new people, and always a little too sensitive about things. I’ve always felt more comfortable running solo rather than running with any sort of group. Through the Indies and Keyboard Kommander, I’ve found a larger group and a smaller team that I feel comfortable within, where when I’m wrong it’s not because of a character fault but just the idea isn’t great, and where positives are advertised and cheered.
Honestly, it’s most of the reason why I’m still in Seattle for now.
Between Betzoms, I flew out to visit relatives in the anonymous midwest, just I started to tackle the tip of the iceberg of my moving process. It was on one of the car rides where my mind started to address the Big Bad Question: “where should I reside?” That entire trip was a brainstorming session to answer that question, answered in a paraphrased quote from Choutas, one of my closest confidants: “you’re choosing to move closer to the action.”
If “the action” is the focus of the writing, then it would make sense that as long as I’m an amateur journalist within a community and with an official capacity and as long as I’m working on a videogame with an active development cycle and the real Big Boy possibility of being true to our collective visions, I should stay in the area. So when a family friend had suggested I find a good job out east, with a cheap cost of living, and with the hidden offer of more time to write looming, I realized: that’s not where I need to be right now.
The “Anthony” that is writing this essay is not ready yet.
I don’t have the writing chops yet. That may seem discouraging for readers and aspiring writers, but hear me out here: I’ve already attempted to write a novel via References. It was a beautiful failure that I’m proud of doing, and I’m sure I could do better 15 years later in certain areas, yet the thing about knowing your failures in a positive mindset is that you can explore every avenue of how you failed and can know when you’ve addressed everything. I’m not there yet. Sure, I’m better at the mechanical skills of writing and focusing time toward writing, especially when I don’t feel like it, but the rest is kind of weird.
So why not write about other stuff?
The content was never really important to me, starting from day one of Better Zombie on up, where there was always a degree of randomness over “what will I write about?” The reviews might be for bands that I hotly anticipated but sucked. I might find some silly little thing at a thrift store that might significantly grab my attention. Some random event might inspire me. I’d like to these, but go check out the back catalog.
So what is important about the writing process for me?
Going from the introductory “Point A” to conclusive “Point B.” Within loose essays like this, I’ve always had that Point B as a vague vestige of what I’m hoping to learn through the writing process itself. It’s mainly stream-of-consciousness, and honestly kinda stupid if you really want something more comprehensive, but I’ve discovered enough clever realizations during these writing processes to conclude that it’s worth writing in this sort of style.
It doesn’t suit games writing or journalism.
But for me, it doesn’t matter what I’m writing about, just as long as I’m writing from a Point A to a Point B with perhaps some autonomy. For example, I recently re-wrote my resume, and now it’s a sharp piece of narrative about my journey as a professional.
I don’t care what I’m working on, as long as it works.
|Quotes:  The legendary and mythical Choutas.|
|Sources: My writing experiences.|
|Related: Other “Betzom” essays.|
|Picture: Just the calendar. I’m reminded that I normally have a second picture here, so here’s what Betzom 9’s calendar looks like so far… enjoy.|
|Written On: December 6th [46 minutes]|
|Last Edited: First draft; final draft|