Last year, I tried something new with my New Years Resolutions. Instead of a handful of intangible goals that would make me a better/better looking person, I tried to focus on longer-term creative goals. Not only are these tangible and easier to measure, but they give me direction rather than platitudes. Also, feeling creatively fulfilled and productive in turn makes me happier. Lo and behold, it worked! For the first time in my entire life, I completed all 10 of my New Years Resolutions! What a heartening feeling! Now, it’s time to do that again.
Resolutions: 2017 Edition
- Produce 2 new projects to completion. Last year, I not only made a second season of my web series, but also a short film and two spin offs of my web series that I either wrote or co-wrote. That was awesome. Since I want to lean into the whole “independent filmmaker” identity, producing 2 new projects fits right in.
- Finish writing Brains. So Brains, my web series I reference above, is a story that spans 6 seasons, though I will likely only get to film the two we’ve already put out. However, because I’m a bit obsessive the same way the character Alison is, I’ve already written seasons 3, 4, and half of 5 at the time of writing these resolutions. Writing a season and a half of Brains in 2017 is not only the next logical step to get it out of my system, but it’s a far cry from impossible based on my past productivity in this realm.
- Post a blog twice a month and a personal YouTube video once a month. In 2016, I posted 13 blogs- just over 1 a month, but 2 of those posts were thank you posts for the cast and crew of my two main creative projects and 3 were new years resolution related. That’s pathetic for an alleged writer. Also in 2016, I posted 6 YouTube videos to my personal channel. One video per 2 months. To be fair, a lot of my video making efforts were reallocated to Brains, a YouTube channel where I uploaded 34 videos, 20 of which were the episodes of the show itself that took several months to shoot and edit. HOWEVER. Making YouTube videos of my own keeps my editing and filmmaking skills sharp with little effort actually expended. There’s no excuse. This is a very low bar to clear. Good god.
- Write 2 new original pilots- one drama, one comedy. As much as I truly do enjoy independent filmmaking, at the moment there is negative money in it. And I DID go to grad school for TV writing, so in order to stay viable for whatever opportunities come my way, I need to write more traditional scripts to submit to fellowships and contests and whatnot.
- Edit The Toast, my screenplay. [alternate: write a new screenplay] The Toast is a screenplay based on the best short story I’ve ever written, which is at the moment not fantastically translated into screenplay format. It has a lot of potential, though, and like I said above, my written portfolio needs more variety than 6 seasons of a web series and two weird short films. I’ve given myself an alternate goal because I have another screenplay concept in mind, and screenplays are generally more difficult to write, so if I just do one or the other, it counts towards this.
- Work on a set or production that I didn’t write.This was a good resolution last year, so I decided to carry it through. Part of being an independent (or non-independent, for that matter) filmmaker is broadening the community of similarly ambitious people who help each other make cool things.
- Leave New York City at least twice. Ditto above. It’s easy when you’re broke and living in New York City to not feel like you can or need to leave, but oh god do you need to leave sometimes.
- Make better choices when it comes to diet and exercise. I had to include SOMETHING diet/exercise related, since that is currently the thing I am the worst at when it comes to being a functional adult. It’s only going to get harder the older I get, so working on better habits now will make it better down the line.
- Be less impatient with other people. I had to include some intangible resolutions. Being impatient is probably one of my more annoying character flaws because it’s almost entirely in my own head. Perhaps one way to curb this is simply having enough to do on my own without requiring the involvement of others that I may grow impatient with. Perhaps another way is to girl-the-eff-up and be conscious of my behavior. I work/think/live incredibly quickly because of my anxiety and my goals (see resolutions 1-6) but that’s not a fair thing to hold anyone else to, and honestly it’s not a fair thing to hold myself to. So I should probably be less impatient with everyone because it’s super unappealing and unhealthy.
- Go to therapy. I have been putting off therapy since I finished it the first time midway through my senior year of high school (incidentally, I finished one week before my parents announced they were getting a divorce. Irony for the ages, let me tell you). I stubbornly held on to the concept that once you’ve been to therapy, you’re done. That’s, obviously, not how it works. And while I feel like I’ve made a lot of progress in terms of my self esteem and the way in which I handle relationships, my anxiety manifesting in increasingly unhealthy ways is a sign that maybe I still have some things to work out. Also, this is the last year I’ll be on my mom’s health insurance so I may as well make the most of it.
Obligatory comment question: Do YOU have any new years resolutions? What are they? Let’s keep each other on track!