January 1, 2016.
Every new year I have the same reaction: I can’t believe its 20__. This mostly stems from the fact that growing up on cartoons like the Flintstones and the Jetsons and movies like Back to the Future, the year 2000 always seemed so distant. It was the ‘Future’ and with every sci-fi movie I watched, every comic book I read, the future was always very far away.
Here’s the truth: the future is now!
We live in a world of great and awesome innovations, and just one wrong AI turn away from the worst future dystopia from every film I’ve ever watched. I’m not worried though (because, really if I took the time to worry I’d never be able to pull myself out of the depression and paranoia). Instead of worrying, I’m embracing the ‘future’. I look forward to the new year because of the definitive sense of renewal, the opportunity to start fresh no matter where you left off the year before. I spend the last weeks of every year looking back on what I’ve accomplished (or didn’t) and start preparing my mind for the necessary shift to get myself back in gear.
So, what’s on tap for 2016?
First and foremost a continued education. It’s my goal to move out of the tech industry and move into the entertainment industry. I’ve been saying it for years “I’m gonna be a writer, I’m gonna get that book published.” This year I’m taking classes to put me another step to get me closer to that goal. I spent a good portion of 2015 paralyzed because I know that while my writing is good, it can be better. I’m aware (painfully so) that I don’t know everything there is to know about composition, and I know next to nothing about writing scripts. I learned a lot about my industry with the few classes I took, but all that did was open my eyes to how much I didn’t know. I learned that I not only want to be a writer, but that I also want to become a director (because the writer just doesn’t have enough creative control once the script has been turned in). My writing goal has been reshaped and refined. I want to pattern myself after my personal favorites Joss Whedon and JJ Abrams. This doesn’t really change my timeline at all. I’ve already put in so much work to hone my skills as a writer, now they just need to be translated into the screenwriting and directing forum. I’m gonna need UCLA’s help for what comes next. Their extension programs for both screenwriting and directing come highly recommended. This is my number one goal, get back in school, form a mentorship with an experienced writer, excel!
Last year I read exactly 0 of the books I bought. That’s ridiculous! My reading habits must change. I did get some reading done but only through audio books. God bless the audio book! This year I want to read two books a month minimum. No excuses, I’ve got to make it happen because I can’t be a writer if I don’t read. It’s that simple. Moreover it’s not impossible. Back in high school I could put away 100 pages a day and finish a book in a weekend. I just need to get back to that. How you ask? By waking up earlier and taking advantage of the extra hours in the day. I’m gonna come back to this because this new schedule is tied into so many of my goals for the year.
So I’m reading to be a better writer, you know what else helps? Writing (duh). I think I wrote a grand total of 2000 words last year (not counting blog and social media posts). 2000 WORDS!!! There’s no way I can call myself a writer with that total word count (and for the record that’s the worst year I’ve ever had in writing). This needs to change effective immediately.
(no, really. This post is in one part my journal and in another a blog entry: multitasking for the win!)
My writing goals besides what I mentioned above include more active short story writing and blog posting. This time last year I had a plan for how to keep up regular content on my website that never fully went into action. This year, I’ll be better about it, I promise.
So how will I get more reading done, more writing, squeeze in exercising, and school? Yep, we’re talking about a tight schedule. If I start my day earlier, take strategic naps and end my day later, I can squeeze out about 3 extra hours in my day, more if I go with my superman schedule! So this all sounds easy on paper and of course its day 1 of a new year, I can hear you asking “where are you gonna be by your birthday in March?”
I guess you’ll just have to wait and see.