I read an article recently defining the difference between an opportunist and a visionary. Of course, we’d all like to say we’re “visionaries”. I always labeled myself an opportunist, though. “Visionary” just sounded so…so…I dunno…someone who cashes in on the abstract art scene without being able to tell the difference between what’s impressionistic and what’s just lazy shart-juice on a canvas, perhaps? So I figured I must identify with the other. That was until I actually read the attached Oxford definition: “looking for and using opportunities to gain an advantage for oneself, without considering if this is fair or right.” I was instantly taken aback. So much so that my giant ego short-circuited and thought my office was 17th century France. Flabbergasted why I never!-statements flew everywhere.
That was such a hoity-toity joke too. I’m an ass, what can I say?
However, as I read on, I was relieved to find that the article’s author thought that was a bunch of horseshit too. “I’m not sure moral rationale should be part of the definition…” he states “…and therefore it can be simplified as An opportunist is someone that finds and takes advantage of opportunities.” He also goes on to define “visionary”: Unlike an opportunist, a visionary not only finds opportunities, but they are able to sustain a vision – a direction. A visionary is able to differentiate between opportunities of the moment and sustainable opportunities for the future.
A visionary is an opportunist, but an opportunist is not a visionary.
This piece put me in mind of my growth during 2016. This past year, I was surrounded by those who recognized the opportunist in me. They put some blinders on this race horse and pointed to an end goal. Wild horses are beautiful but they’ll never be champions, lest we forget. Because of these people I can say, without pretentiousness, that I’m a visionary.
Author/Screenwriter/Producer/Actor…Pfft, hell…Astronaut, David C. Hayes
Every con we’ve done together, I’ve felt a lot more confident because you were there. At first it was just in-the-moment confidence in sales and whatnot. You lightened the mood and made me feel a lot less stressed. We promoted each other and it made for a better buying experience for the patrons. They dug that we were so personable and pretty damned funny. That’s all us too. No show. Genuine.
After a while, I took that confidence with me. Everyone becomes more confident as they become more knowledgeable. I was slowly becoming more educated in the art, thanks to you. I’m sure as an educator, it’s in you to drop tidbits of wisdom on your colleagues. These were more than just tidbits, though. From the craft to the industry, you sat with me on breaks and taught me a lot. Hell, I didn’t know what a “scribe” was until you told me. You encouraged me to branch out and grow not just in this industry or even for it. “Try writing a stage play or a screenplay. Take some more classes.” (you said a lot more than that but I got other people to thank 😉 The things you said made me think. While pondering, I stepped outside myself and stripped off the brand for a moment. It was then that I caught a glimpse of a writer. A writer that has the potential to become well-versed in the craft. You saw it too, David. I appreciate the time-outs we had more than you might realize. Thank you.
Editor, Leah Lederman
Leah, there’s something deliciously cosmic about us working together. You amplify my voice so much without changing it because you speak fluent Kasey by now. It isn’t just how you’ve picked up my language after reading my lackluster first drafts over and over that’s impressive. It’s like you’ve seen this before. Not just on paper. For it wasn’t the language you recognized. It was me. I didn’t realize all this until I read your afterword for the upcoming Pieces of Madness rerelease: What I discovered, after meeting Kasey a few times and exchanging a few dozen emails, is that—like me—Kasey is afraid of everything. She says, quite simply, “I write about what scares me.” We connected on an intrinsic level because we both grew up in Bible-centric homes. This affects your outlook; it affects your fears and your reactions to those fears.”
Damn. So that explains it.
Our meeting wasn’t by chance. It was fate, dude. No one can tell me otherwise, dammit! I won’t let them get in the way of our lov-I MEAN! Professional dynamic!
Yeah…that’s what I meant.
Comparing our exchanges from my infancy in this game to now, I noticed something was different. Like the training wheels came off. I don’t know if it was intentional or involuntary but please keep it up. You’re essential to my growth as a writer and you carved out my style from the beginning. Thank you for still being here.
And last but not least…
The funny thing is, him scrolling down and looking for his name like “What the hell, man?” isn’t hard to imagine.
Source Point Press Editor-and-Chief, Travis McIntire
Travis, there are days where I can’t wait to put the kettle on and share stories like we’re middle-aged Jewish gal pals.
Yet there’s never a day that goes by that you’re not wildly appreciated.
Everything you need to know about Travis can be summed up in an incident in Indiana this past year. I was under-slept, emotional, out of coffee, and my feet hurt. (common convention tale) It was Friday and I hadn’t sold a comic in the three hours since the show opened. I mean, I could barely get people to even look my way. It was incredibly discouraging and tears were beginning to rise. Now, if you know Travis, you know he’s proficient in the art of ball busting. (you gotta have some thick skin to work for SPP) I had taken my nice heels off to slip into tennis shoes because I simply had enough. I was on the verge of cashing it in. He said something like “What’s this? Did you give up?” and chuckled. That prompted me to get my Meryl Streep on something fierce, “WELL YEAH! I HAVEN’T SOLD A COMIC IN THREE HOURS!” I began to blubber like a kid that skinned their knee. Like just that cry that if you start talking, you’ll only cry harder. It’s embarrassing.
Anyways, Travis put his arm around me and rushed me outside like a crisis emergency responder. He coached me off the ledge and let me know that I was actually doing a great job and that he was proud of me. He took his time, let me catch my breath, and wouldn’t leave me until he knew I was okay. I wish I could describe the moment better but it was definitely one of those where you just had to be there. I guess I could say that he’s a whipcrackin’ project manager but he’ll never stop being your friend. He knows that difference and over the course of 2016, he created a family. He made me a part of that family and he sees to it that we’re always taken care of. Not only that, he’s created opportunities for me and gave my baby Norah a voice; a story I originally was just bullshitting on a blog and making up as I went along. It became important to me because he took her seriously. That gave her purpose and me direction. This in turn took me from an opportunist to a visionary. He took me seriously. I cant thank him enough.
Travis, when we met, I was a kid with an embarrassingly bad and grammar-lacking blog and you were a guy on Twitter with a janky-ass prototype of Up the River.
Now look at us. You’re one of my best friends, Trav’.
I’m going to stop typing because this “gigantic face” that you seem to think is 80% of my mass is getting soaked.
2017 is the year, guys. I can feel it.
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