PROLIFIC WRITING: MY ROAD TO SUCCESSFUL WRITING

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“What feels like an eternity in my mind, has only been a day in real time.”


My writing career started when I first started to conceptualize a screenplay about a girl who is dealing with a stalker. Sending her reminders of her ex-boyfriend who was killed in a car accident the night they were together. Since then, I have written five more, two short screenplays (which one has been made into a short film and I am currently producing the second), contributed nearly 450 blog posts on my WordPress site, and wrote two books I self-published on Amazon. And even with that, I have yet to make a real living off of any of my writing. But then I looked back a few times at when I first started writing my work. And I see the year 2012, which makes me realize I have not been writing for long. That’s right, I have only been at it for six years. Actually not even six years, more like five and eight or nine months or so.

So what is it; why does it feel like I have been at it for years longer? Is it because I want it so bad that it is taking so long? Or could it be that five and a half years is nothing in the grand scheme of things. I have researched and found that the average screenwriting career is a ten year journey. You hear about novelist not receiving critical acclaim for their books until they are ten to fifteen years in the game. So for me, my little five and change is nothing. But where am I ranked so far? How do I know how much traction I’m really gaining? Of course I have showed my work to friends and family, but that’s them. How will I know what the market like in my writing? And yet again the question is, “Well, how much have I written?” To a lot of readers, two books are not good enough.

But look at the age in which I started. I was 25 years of age once I started writing, and now I am about to be 30 years old at the end of the month. And in society years it’s like, get your life together. But in writer years, it’s like oh stop it, you got time. But nonetheless, I’m putting in the work. I’m churning out material and putting myself in a position to let things happen to me. After I complete my next short film, I plan on finishing my comedy trilogy I wrote. In addition, I’ll try to punch out another, a drama I have been contemplating for a while. These are the four scripts I will try to sell, which will bring me up to nearly ten full length screenplays. It just hurts to see so many people around you doing what you perceive to be more in life. But for whatever reason, I never stop, and I always move on to the next story. Their lives never make me want to stop doing what I am doing.

And for that reason, I continue to write and write. I’m even shocked sometimes when I look at my blog and realize I am at yet another milestone for it as well. I have hit nearly 450 posts, close to 5,000 views this year, and nearly 1,000 visitors this year. Then I think to myself, “Some people have had their blogs for way longer than myself and can’t turn out much of anything. And still, with all the challenges, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. If not for writing, I would be constantly stuck in my head. Because in the end, writing allows me to be honest in a society where you can’t be honest. You’re aloud to say things that would otherwise turn people away from you. It’s the freedom why I don’t want to stop. I can’t open my mouth and say as I please, but I could write what I please. And as long as I can’t talk without using my filter, everything will be channeled into text. In a solidarity space, where no one can control me, but me.


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A MOVE IN A NEW DIRECTION: HOW THE INTERNET IS KILLING THE ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESS

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“A decline that they are not prepared for.”


Looking over the recent statistics on films in theaters, I saw that numbers appeared to be down. Maybe that’s the reason why these movies that come out later in the year around the campaigning months for Golden Globes and Oscars take place. Movies might not be able to stand on their own anymore in theaters. And a major reason for that is the internet. The internet is such a machine that you don’t need to patronize your favorite show or movies anymore. One reason being that there is more variety and the other is that you don’t have to leave the comforts of your home. So what will happen to the state of movies as time progress? Because theaters make their money by films being debut in theaters. But if people are not coming to theaters to see movies, that smells death for them.

Hollywood can always adjust to the changes, but not the theater venues. That’s unless these theater venues decide to get themselves a platform for films, and then they are in the game. Not only in the game, they don’t have to go through Hollywood, and you can go straight to the distributor as a producer. And that in turn, might be death to a lot of studios. Because everyone who is interested in making films or television is in the game now. But they are not running out to Los Angeles like years ago, but they are building their own platforms. Some teenager with a couple of friends can now be the boss of their own machine if they are willing to put in the time. Because we are coming into what is really known as the open market. And the market is the market, they don’t care who they are buying from. As long as you give them a good product and/or service.

I myself, am pursuing screenwriting and Amazon has a platform for people to submit their screenplays. And if the company is interested, they will offer an amount for the script, or even your series through Amazon studios. And for a company that just bought Whole Foods for a whopping $13.5 billion dollars, they can afford your $200,000 script. Meanwhile the average screenwriter makes only $100,000 in Hollywood. Oh, and I forgot to mention you don’t need an agent to do so. Agents and managers usually take their 20% collectively right off the top. Now you don’t have to split anything if you are good at what you do. What’s the purpose of going through the whole process of trying to find an agent. They now are in a position where they have to come and find talent themselves. So guess what, they are now on the chopping block as it pertains to the business.

In the end, you see the red carpet events and the celebrities dress to the nine. But internally they know what’s really going on. It’s the reason these superhero movies keep getting made in the business. Corporations run studios; and the studios are allotted only a certain amount of funding to make movies. That means, spend $100 million on the next epic film and then make $800 – $900 million in theaters worldwide. The venue get their 60% cut, and distribution or distributors gets their 40%. You’re talking $320 million to $360 million for the film coming back to the distributor/s. And since the customer never says a word and keeps spending, why not keep making them. So remake and reboot and series until the customers are tired and then move on from there.


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I’M NOT YOUR MOMMY AND DADDY: WHY THE WORLD OWES YOU NOTHING

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“Always got your hand out.”


In the household where I come from, I was under the impression that no one in this world owed you anything. As a child, my mother let us know that I am doing for you while you’re in this house. But the moment you become an adult, you’re on your own, unless you’re in school or making an effort to be something in life. Yet there was something my mother never wanted to do. She never wanted to start this whole road of something for nothing mindset. Because like I said, the world owes you nothing. Anything in this world you want, you had better be ready to go out and stake your own claim. But where does this entitlement come from in our society?

It hasn’t always been here like it is today. You had prior generations that went out and worked at a young age. As a matter of fact, you had kids in the early 1900’s working in coal minds side by side with their parents. Now days are spent playing video games on televisions or computers. Letting time pass you by while engaging in wasteful activities on cell phones. Which brings us to the first reason why people feel entitled. The technology in America has sped so much up, people think that there should be something allotted to them quick and instant. They don’t realize that the technology itself that speeds so much up took a lot of time to build. And when I say time, I mean some stuff as long as decades to build.

With the click of a mouse or the touch of the screen, we are instantly taken to our destination. That can make people think something should be given to them pretty fast. But it’s not just the technology that makes people think they are owed something. This same mind frame exist in the employment field as well. This whole my 75% is your 100%, and we all should be given something when we are clearly not putting in the same amount of work. A trend that has started from schools in children and has followed all the way into their adulthood. Now that you’re in the real world, you don’t realize that you’re not special. No one is going to hold you close and tell you everything is going to be alright. And that’s when you learn you’re not this beautiful and talented person, but more so that you are mundane because you have not put real time and energy into being great at what you do.

And you would think with what has been said so far, the owing stops there; no it doesn’t. People feel that you have made money, so it is your job to give them something. In their minds, “You have it, why not give me something.” Then they try to use the excuse of God blesses you to help other people. When in reality, that’s true, but there is something they are leaving out. God blesses people to help those who have made an initiative to put themselves in a better place. Giving people things without making them earn it causes you to be a crutch and it cripples them. It also creates a lack of respect that the person has for something you do give to them.

See, in the end, you want something in life, you have to be willing to go into the world and stake your own claim. Because the only person who has a stake in interest in you doing anything is you. I used to ask questions of the elders about back in their young days. I remember how my late grandmother would say growing up in the South, everybody had some plot of land. Didn’t matter how big or small, it still fed your family. And it was important you tended to your land since it depended on how you and your family ate. Because if your crop didn’t come through, your family didn’t eat. You were not owed anything and no one cared. Life was tough, but it was fair because we all have the capability to get out the bed and work. What’s that saying, we all have 24 hours in a day, what you choose to do with yours is your business.


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FAMOUS QUOTES: WHAT ARE MY FAVORITE AND WHAT THEY MEAN TO ME

Abraham Lincolcn Statue

“We hold these truths to be self-evident.” “That all men are created equal.” 

-DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE


We all have some favorite quotes and what they mean to each of us. They might be quotes that we just love to hear, or even quotes that motivate us to keep persevering. Some of those quotes could be a bible versus, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Or it can be from a literary, “I would have rather been born blind, than to have been given sight and lack vision” (Helen Keller). And with that said, I would like to present my own quotes that I love, which resonate with me. One comes from Thomas Edison, the other Marianne Williamson, and the third is Martin Luther King Jr.

Now, the first is Thomas Edison, who had many many quotes. But the quote that I recently found that Thomas Edison made was, “Many of life’s failures are people who didn’t realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” This statement is Image result for edisonalways coming into my mind every time I think about giving up in life on my writing. Writing is such a daunting task of working to succeed. You are going to have success, and you’re going to have failure along the way. But to me, I have yet to see those successes. And then I think about how long I have been writing. 2013 is the year I officially decided to become a writer. I gave myself on a ten year window to break into the industry as a screenwriter and playwright. Meanwhile I am writing my blog everyday and my books as well.

So, what does any of this have to do with Thomas Edison? Well, giving up, and not realizing how close you might have been when you gave up. I have written five full length screenplays, self-published two books, written 400 blog posts in the past two and a half years, and two short film scripts; one script turned into a short film. And still, I have been working to create other projects to keep myself in that creative mode. So if I give in now, it will have been for nothing. Not just my past four to five years, but the time put into my work. Don’t give up when you are so close. So close, if you knew how close, you might even put more time into your work. And that is why Edison’s quote screams so loud to me.

Image result for marianne williamson a return to love

MARIANNE WILLIAMSON, 1992

But my second quote is from Marianne Williamson from her book, “A Return to Love.” The famous quote from the book is, “Our Deepest Fears.” “Not that we inadequate; our deepest fear is that we powerful beyond measure.” “It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us.” “We look in the mirror and ask ourselves, who am I to be talented, gorgeous, fabulous; who are you not to be.” “There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that others won’t feel insecure when they’re around you.” “We were all meant to shine as children do.” “You were made to manifest the glory of God that is within you.” “It’s not in some of us, it’s in everyone.” “And as you let your own light shine, you will unconsciously give others permission to do the same.” “When you are liberated from your own fears.” “Your presence will automatically liberate others.”

I could not pick just one aspect of that quote, but I had to choose the entire passage. Because the first part speaks of being inadequate yet you really are afraid of your own powers. We have this fear because once you succeed, people are going to expect more, and what happens if you can’t give them more. So we fear the attempt because of the expectations that come with it. Then the passage details us questioning why us. But why not us? We as the passage says don’t want people to feel insecure around us. But you should never dumb yourself down for the sake of fitting in, or this notion your brilliance makes others uncomfortable.  You might just have a golden nugget of advice that the people need. And the quote further goes on to let people know we all have the powers to succeed. But once you let that inner you shine, it gives courage to others to step up. Why, because your willingness to not give up and fight makes them exuberate a little less fear as well. Because if you can do it, it makes them feel the same way.

Great quote, giving me an even greater sense of purpose. But there is still one more quote I love. And it was from civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. He didn’t make this a public speech, yet stated this quote among a small group of friends. He said, “I feel as if I am integrating my people into a burning building.” AsImage result for mlk a child I couldn’t understand what that meant. But as an adult, I see old footage of the time period. People wanted him dead, why. Just because he wanted people to vote, have a fair chance at jobs, eliminate Jim Crow laws (which were an extension of slavery), and send children to schools of their choice. But the backlash was often so brutal you think to yourself. “Is this worth it?” “Do I really want my family to integrate.” “Maybe segregation is best.”

Because if you want to vote and someone is willing to kill. Or willing to kill for you drinking from the same water fountain or eating in the same restaurant, should I assimilate. Because when you assimilate, you’re introducing that element into your life, to your children, and your community. It’s not everyone, yet it’s enough to make you think twice. Meaning, you might think you’re shutting me out, but you might actually be doing me a favor. Coming from a man who knew he could die for going against the grain, it was intriguing to hear a statement where even he questioned the movement. In the end, we all live by quotes, or have a love for some type of quote. But whatever the case, famous quotes have and will always be an aspect of our lives.


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CONSPIRACY TRUTHER: WHY IT’S HARD TO BELIEVE THE CONSPIRACY THEORISTS

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“Maybe the conspiracy guys are a little off in their thinking.”


In my life, I have heard the different conspiracy theories regarding major events that have taken place that have reshaped our society. And when I say major events I’m referring to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, 9/11 terrorist attacks, or even going far back as the Kennedy assassination. There have and will always be these conspiracy theorists who feel the people have been duped. Duped, yet they have the real answers as to what actually took place. But do they really have all the answers? Are they so convinced that they are now going down a rabbit hole like the people they attack. I have come to a conclusion regarding conspiracy theorists.

As with any belief in anything, you have the people who are going to stand on the opposing side of the argument. Meaning, the believers that the bible is the book of the word of God. And then you have the other side that believes that the bible is just a book written by man. Now if you are seeking to discredit the bible, then the information you come up with will be strong Related imageagainst. Not just because the information might be right, but because you’re on the opposing view. So of course you will have the right answers in your mind, you’re entering with a bias view. Now, we can’t fully eliminate bias from our minds, but if your view is so strong against, you’re going to convince yourself. So what must you do if you have a strong theory.

I would suggest you not only come up with your right ways, but also the opposing view ways. Meaning, if I don’t believe 9/11 happened, present to me all the ways it could have happened. Then present to me after your way it couldn’t have happened the way the government say it did. This way, you have done the research of the yourself, and the person who you’re up against. But if you just provide your proof, then you actually sound like the opposite end of the spectrum of the person you’re talking about. That is what makes good researchers great. I’m skeptical on both sides because both are on such extreme sides. But, what is another reason why it’s so hard to believe in the theory.

The other reason it’s so hard is because the secrecy of people. To keep something of the magnitude of the events that are supposed to be cover ups is too massive to keep secret. For example, look at the guy who shot Osama Bin Laden. He could not wait to tell the world that he is the one that shot Related imageBin Laden. He is not that much different from a lot of people. When you understand what we are as a species, then you know enough to understand why we can’t hold on to something so strong. And that is proven through the conspiracy theorists. They can’t wait to figure out what is going on to thrust it onto the world. They are not that much different than the people they are saying have this elaborate scheme. Both people are proof that a secret cannot be kept in a certain group.

But there is also another aspect of why conspiracy theories are so hard to believe, and that is the brilliance of our system. I wish the people in our system was as smart as the theorist make them out to be. But when you observe on a daily basis their productivity, you just can’t help but to further question the theorists. You listen to the conspiracy and the theorists are smarter than the people they are chasing after. Don’t get me wrong, I do think there are people who have been set up by government. But the level of ingenuity doesn’t exist in our government. If Apple or Microsoft wanted to pull off a conspiracy I am more apt to believe it than the government.

In the end, the conspiracy is hard to believe because the credit given to the conspirators are too much. It’s hard for so many people to believe in the truth as well because it means we are vulnerable. It means that we are not as smart as we think we are; and the conspiracy gives validity to people we assume know better. Because if they are lost and they are the leaders, then where does that leave the rest of society.


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CONSPIRACY THEORIST: WHY IS IT SO HARD FOR PEOPLE TO BELIEVE WITHOUT QUESTIONING

American flag, CCTV, closed-circuit television

“People have a hard time facing truths.”


With so much that has been going on throughout history, we are unable to make sense of all of it. Especially major events that have reshaped our country. This is where the men and women who are skeptics about the event start to pop up all over the place. They start to develop all these conspiracy theories out of not being able to make sense out of what has happened. And in my lifetime I have witnessed a few events that have gone on to become conspiracy theories. One of them being the September 11th attacks which targeted the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon.

After the evens of 9/11, all types of videos started to pop up. But why is it so hard for people to believe that something like this actually happened? One of the reasons I came up with, is the idea that people were vulnerable. We are made to believe that our nation is the strongest on Earth, yet these few men came in and struck our nation. So it leaves people confused as to why this was allowed to happen. And when no answers are brought forward, or answers that don’t sound too right people start to make a fuss. In reality, we hate to admit that we are left vulnerable and there is nothing you can do about it. That fear is enough to start raising some questions.

But is this the only reason that people believe in conspiracies. Another reason is because of the fact that we don’t believe people are as smart to plan things that we plan. For example, the moon landing for years have been seen as a fake mission. For some reason the conspiracy theorist can’t wrap their minds around the idea that man is smart enough to leave this planet. So the theories start about the mission actually being a film or just a series of fake trick photography. To these people they say things like, “All these hungry people in the world, these few people are smart enough to go to the moon.” “Yet we can’t figure out how to feed ourselves.” But this is a false equivalency, just because there are smart people don’t mean the society is better off. It means those chosen are better; we are better if they choose to help.

One last reason people have the theories they do is because it makes the story more exciting to say there is a conspiracy. The story becomes more mystifying if the situation has conspiracies surrounding it. So the people sit down and concoct an idea of what could have happened. And you will be surprised what you can come up with if you focus hard enough on it. See, in the end, people just need to know there is more to what just happens. We would love to know that we have more information, than we are lead to believe. It’s what makes our lives something in a world where I individual lives mean nothing.


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SHORT STORY COLLECTION: MY SHORT STORIES

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“Explaining my path in life.”

Around the month of May in the year 2015, I began to start writing my first novel and my first book of short stories. Now that it is February of  2017, I have both books published through Amazon.com. The short stories book is on kindle and paperback with the novel on kindle. The name of the short stories book is Faheem Jackson Short Story Collection; and the novel is The Boy Who Could Talk To God. My collection of 17 short stories comprise of a central character going through his/her daily lives, as well as how we ask ourselves questions. Questions pertaining to life ranging from stress & anxiety, to the feeling of hope & compassion.

As far as the novel, The Boy Who Could Talk To God, is about the life of a young boy who experiences a phenomenon in a city park. While chasing after a dove, he found himself at the site f a bush. Not just any bush, yet a burning bush. The bush ignited and that’s when the boy (Tyler) first spoke to God. All throughout the book he conversed with God, as God aided him through his daily life. His parents were always chastising him for his lack of responsibility. Theresa, his mother, was always talking up God into existence, while his father (Greg) tttlacked faith. Theresa struggled in her job, yet leaned toward the bible to uplift herself. On the other hand his father hated his job, hated his life, and never was into God.

As the story progressed, Tyler went from a young immature boy, to more of a mature young male. The question that still needs to be answered is this. How will the story ultimately end? Will he make a full transformation from being a troublesome boy to an all academic and remain that way? Or, will he digress back into his immature ways?

My stories all incorporate a little bit of myself into the story. Whether it is a short story about a particular topic. Or, if the story is about a central character that must overcome some daily struggle. You may ask why, why would I place myself into these stories. Because when you have so many emotions going through your body, how do you explain them. Sometimes, I have a hard time verbally getting my point across, so I write.

In the end, I am already starting my next short story book. There will be fewer stories, yet they will be longer short stories. In addition, I will be starting my next novel real soon as well. Most likely the next short story book will be out before this years end and I will keep everyone posted. Below are links to my books and projects I am currently working on.

 

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