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The Long Road

Dear Kart’ers (that’s what I’m calling you all from now on)

In each phase of my life, I’ve felt like the road just carries on further and further without an end. Setting any goals seems meaningless, especially when they are lost so easily along the way. Let me explain.

When I started writing for the first time, I was in a relationship that would eventually end badly. At the time I was trying to figure out where I stood, what my future would be. I was so young back then that I was desperate for answers, instead of just waiting patiently for them to appear. Anyway, I had just finished studying IT at University and all through that year I was trying to find work with my degree with little success. The best I got was a temp job working the phones for a web developer, with the promise of going into the design team at a later stage.

Of course, that never happened. I wasn’t the kind of material they were looking for, I was far removed from my element. My partner at the time suggested I explore the writing thing, something I had been mucking around with for a while. I wrote a few short stories, had a script laying around and I’d helped out a few friends at the time with a short film which sadly was never finished.

So I figured, what the hell, may as well go with that and see where it went. I got a job working retail at Officeworks and went in for a scriptwriting diploma at the Film and Technology Institute here in Fremantle. All was looking rosy for a while there, I was seemingly comfortable in my own skin and doing exactly what needed to be done before time (seemingly) ran out on my chances.

Once the diploma ran its course (it only went for a year), I took the next step and moved to Sydney. Looking back, I see that decision as both a blessing and a curse, for what happened a year after that left me plenty of mental scars. I spent the entire time working to pay off some heavy living expenses and barely doing what I set out to do, find work in a creative field.

The longer I stayed there the more I realised it wasn’t working, though I was hesitant to fully admit it to anyone including myself. I missed home, despite the amazing friends that I made, and gradually my mental health deteriorated until I could no longer sustain myself properly. I made a tear filled called back home and within days I was flying back to Perth, finally admitting defeat. Or so I thought.

Yes, Sydney didn’t work out, but sometimes you have to live out a failure or two in order to get anywhere in life. If I’d known back then what I know now, I could have survived a lot longer and made a difference, perhaps. But leaving was the best thing I could have done. I returned to a safer environment, one I knew better, and though badly bruised emotionally I did get things back on track.

I returned to University to improve my writing skills, something that I’m continuing to do even to this day. I never intended to finish another uni course, and I certainly didn’t go into it thinking I’d come out the other side with a perfect game plan and a sudden bombardment of work as I did with the scriptwriting diploma. I was honest with myself, my writing skills weren’t up to scratch, so I needed to be around like minded people writing to those who knew in order to find where I stood in the pecking order.

I finished with Honours, something I never though I would achieve. Since then I’ve been working part time and using my spare time to try to build up the courage and skill to take on my own projects. I’m always writing something, stuff like this helps to get the motivation going, and having Kartanym Productions up and running helps to keep that imaginative mind flowing out with new ideas.

I’ve now held down a job at the same company for almost seven years, that in itself is an achievement right there, and I’m about to take the next step in that area. And here we are, two years since Mars debuted and my brain is constantly coming up with new ideas. Time is the real factor now, I’ve got the confidence to do whatever I want, it’s just finding the time. It’s all about putting the pieces I have together and making it work, and as much as that’s a slow and painful process, it’s getting there.

Am I nearing the end of the road towards my dream? Not in the slightest. There’s a lot more to this story than I’ve written here, and I’m not even close to making it to the achievement point I’m aiming for, but this is a start. We will be filming brand new episodes of Mars this weekend, the first time Melody and I have had the proper chance to do so in a good while. We’ve both been through a lot of changes over the past year or so and that will be reflected not only in our work there, but also in what we write here, of which there will be more journal entries like this from both of us going forward.

We want to share our lives with you, and soon we will be sharing your lives too.

That was Mark Says Stuff, and I’m the guy who wrote it.

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