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Taggart's Journey

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· Edited by Guest


Hoo boy, where to begin.  I suppose with a degree of self-awareness I can admit that I was too invested emotionally into writing for this series.  For me writing on TJ was the ultimate high.  I couldn't get enough of it.  For my long-suffering former writing partner however, I think with the benefit of hindsight I was not as understanding as I should've been about his own predicament.  I wasn't aware that his enthusiasm for the series was slowly being replaced with acute stress over a perceived pressure to continue to churn out new episodes as fast as possible.  Even overlooking the clash of egos, it's clear to me now that he was under immense strain and that I, drunk on the newfound vigour of writing, was too blind to see it.

In some ways my becoming cowriter was one of the worst possible things that could have happened to the series, and not for the usual reasons either.  Oh yes, I could be just as unreliable as I had been on other projects - but in this case that wasn't an issue because Mind Series are meant to be taken slow.  That's what he forgot when he suddenly found himself working on TJ alone again.  He wasn't making i for the passion anymore; he was making it to get it finished and get it out.  And that's not a healthy way to go about anything.  And that as much as any of the other factors is what ultimately led to the slow decline of the series going into overdrive without any warning.

But even when I finally began to figure this out (and it took some doing, I'm not the quickest to the bat) I was still so preoccupied with the perceived betrayal of principles, of trust and of everything about the collaboration around which our friendship had at that point been centered.  I felt bitter and resentful, not only that he redid an entire episode without my input on the basis of 3 poor pre-screening reviews as a rush job to get the episode out to a self-imposed deadline, but that he appeared to presume that his judgment was somehow infallible and superior to mine or my other friends, and had rejected our own feedback on these grounds.  It was, and currently is, the fourth worst moment of my life.  (I'm not going to elaborate on the first 3.)

Taggart's Journey was fantastic when it began.  It was so full of hope and enthusiasm and it had clearly been done to a degree of effort that was very rare.  I understand that you can only keep raising the bar so far before it comes down again, but I can't help feeling guilty at my part at sending it tunneling into the ground.  For not being there when my friend needed me.  For letting my own vanity get in the way of friendship.  For watching the self-doubt and neuroses of this poor young man get blown beyond all proportions and spiral into something chaotic and self-destructive, even while I myself was engaged in my own self-destruction.

Taggart's Journey turned unhealthy for both of us.  It was sad to walk away from, but it was for the best.  Maybe some day when we're more sound of mind we can look back on this without having to remember the pain and the regrets and all the negative baggage that came with it.  Until then, I suppose it'll serve as a warning about the dangers of the adverse effects on mental health of the pressures of producing content to the expectations of both yourself and others, and of letting ego affect your judgment.  Don't let pressure stop you loving what you do, particularly if you don't have to work to a deadline.  But by the same token, don't let your critical reasoning be blinded if you enjoy it too much.

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