One Little Word: Free

In 2013 my word was fearless. Even though I didn’t do anything in particular to bring it out, fearless brought me to Los Angeles. It took me from whatever strange space of student, but not at school, that I was in early in the year and brought me to living on my own in a tiny apartment with a new community and the end of my academic career for the time being (no, grad school is not on the table right now).

I’m so glad for fearless. But I knew that 2014 would bring new challenges, new changes, and a new word along with it. I spent a lot of December deciding what that word would be, but in the end free chose me.

2014 is the first year where I have the complete freedom to make my life whatever I want it to be. Now that I have a degree I can start applying to jobs, instead of just internships. I have the freedom to choose what I want to do every day. I am free to explore Los Angeles. Free to plan new adventures. Free to write whatever I want without worrying about something fitting into the assigned guidelines. Free to stay or move. Free to live my life.

And this year I really want to take full advantage of free. Instead of it just being a mantra, I want to make my goals and achievements match my word for the year. To do this I’m going to be targeting specific areas for every three months.

For free, I’m framing every three months with a few targeted goals. In the end I’ll have 10-12 major goals, and setting them up every three months will give me more time to spend developing and refining each goal as I go along.

Next time I’ll be talking about my first set of goals for January to March: Planning Freedom.

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Phrases to Live by: Get Up, Dress Up, and Show Up

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Get up, Dress up, and Show up.

I’m not even sure where I first heard this phrase. I seem to remember it from childhood, though I can’t remember my mom ever saying it to me. “Put a sweater on” when I complained of cold, yes, but not this one. I seem to have just taken it from whoever or wherever I heard it from and repeated it over and over until it became a part of my inner monologue.

Lately I’ve been seriously lacking in motivation. Since I finished school in December I’ve been filled with ideas, but all I’ve WANTED to do is sit around and watch TV. I’ve been slacking the most here. Even though we’re more than a week into the new year this is my first blog post of the year.

Looking back I remember a time when I consistently put out four blog posts a week, but now I don’t even know how to begin. It’s been so long that inertia has rocketed me into inactivity.  The unfortunate thing about inertia means that once at rest, I’m likely to stay there.

Thankfully, it only takes a little push to start building inertia in the other direction. So this is my promise to myself. Even when I’m not feeling like doing anything I’m going to get up (hopefully before 9am), dress up (even if only in yoga pants), and show up (to whatever the day has in store for me).

I have a long list of ideas of people to contact and emails to send. What I need sooner rather than later is a job. But until then get up, dress up, show up. To job applications, to exercise, to friendships, to church, to blogging.

Nothing ever happens if you don’t show up.

This Will Be: December 2013

The last month of the year is going to be a big push to try and finish off the semester on good terms and get ready for the the new year by setting goals and preparing for the job hunt. It’s surreal to me that I will be done with school in two weeks. I am excited for this month, but I’m also ecstatic about all that 2014 will have to offer. I’m getting a bit ahead of myself though, for now I need to focus on what I’m planning for the rest of 2013.

I feel like I’ve set the goal of routine creation multiple times over the course of this year and it’s never quite gotten done in the way I’ve been aiming for, but I’m starting to think that I’m aiming for the wrong thing. I seem to want every day to be regimented and set in place. While that’s a nice thought, it isn’t really practical for where I’m at in life right now.

The real routine I want is a waking up and going to bed routine. I would be great to have a weekly grocery shopping, laundry doing, writing routine as well, but for now I want to focus on getting into and out of bed on a daily basis without the fuss that seems to happen a lot now. When I was home over Thanksgiving I was amazed by how easy it was to wake up at 8. Part of it may have been the way the light came into my room, but I think a lot of it was how used to getting up and out of bed I was in that setting.

Probably the most important thing for the next two weeks is that I finish off my semester – and my academic career – without falling on my face. I’m not aiming for perfection here, I just want to complete the semester with my sanity in tact. The movie Saving Mr. Banks comes out the Friday I am finishing up with my semester and I am wildly excited for this movie. I’m going to treat myself to seeing it, but only when I’ve handed in all my final projects. This is my motivational tool.

After school and my internships are done I will be free to focus on my writing portfolio and my goals for next year. I really like the idea of the One Little Word system, I just need to figure out what role that and other goal setting ideas will play in my own personal goal setting for 2014.

I want to really push back into blogging this month. I have three days a week of posts in at least a concept phase already, a lot of the next two weeks is even already written. I want to get back to the level I was at in August before the semester got crazy. I haven’t completely fallen off the bandwagon, but I really do need to press in. Of course, this will be much easier when I am done with school.

A huge part of job hunting for me is going to be having a good writing portfolio. This may not come into play right away, but down the line this will be critical and I’d like to start working on it sooner rather than later. I know for sure of one piece I will be able to put into a portfolio once I polish it a bit, so that will be the first step, but I’d also like to come up with a list of what I eventually want in my portfolio so that I can focus on things that will be helpful for me. One piece, and a list. That’s all I want.

This Has Been: November 2013

November has been a strange month. It was filled with internship days and get togethers, just as I expected, but also with less writing and goal getting than I had hoped. I know that my time has been full in these past few weeks, but as I sit down to write this I’m hard-pressed to figure out what it has been so full with. Though I suppose reading has been a big part of it. I think I’ve read more books in the past month than I did in all of 2012.

On the blog this month I discussed my thoughts on CSI, the books I’ve finished recently, and all the things I want to write about. While I’m glad I’ve been making the slow return to blogging, I am still very much lacking the consistency I had last year. I was on a roll there for a while, but it seems to be gone for now.

National Novel Writing Month. Well, to put it lightly I didn’t finish. I don’t even want to say by how much. Even though I didn’t complete a story, I did learn from the days that I did write. The actual act of writing is not as difficult as I always make it up to be. I just need to force myself to put in the time and then go from there. In fact, the more I wrote, the easier it was to write.

What frustrates me about NaNoWriMo, and writing in general, is that I can’t seem to motivate myself to write. I want to be blogging, NaNoing, and script-writing, but I can’t seem to get myself together to finish anything. Everything else seems to be more interesting than writing. Reading, Tumblr, YouTube, BuzzFeed, everything. Maybe I need to install one of those leachblock apps and block all the unproductive things until I provide proof that I am done writing? I feel like that program exists, but I don’t know what it is or where to find it.

Another big goal was to start a job search. While I had hoped to be a bit further along in the process than I am, I’m happy with the progress I’ve made.  Not really anything else to say about this one, but I’m glad to have gotten a start.

While to say that I have “caught up” on my school work might be a bit of a stretch in some places, I have make enough progress that I am no longer worried. It will be a big push to finish, but it always is. My semester ends December 14, which I’m continually surprised to find out is only two weeks away!

I think what I’m most pleasantly surprised by is the amount of socializing that I managed this month. I attended or hosted a party or get together every weekend. A Halloween Party, an Industry Party, a Housewarming Party, a Doctor Who themed Brunch for the 50th Anniversary special, and of course Thanksgiving.  All told, much more than usual, and definitely good for me.

This Will Be: September 2013

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September is my favorite month. Probably because it’s my birthday month. And TV premiere month. And Emmy month. And the beginning of school month. And the beginning of jacket weather (well, in normal climates). Gah, I just love September so much.

Things that will happen this month include a few things that were teed up in August that will come full circle in September. In September I will become a member of the church I’ve been going to. I will be starting my final semester in college, despite being hundreds of miles away from the college I’ll be attending. And of course, this month, I’ll be going on a camping trip that I am in the process of planning.

I constantly seem to be forgetting my word for the year, fearless. I realize that what I need to do is set an even more specific goal each month within the larger goal for the year. September will be to set fearlessness. That sounds a little bit odd, but looking at what I want for this month my goals seem to mostly be to set more goals. Is that silly? Maybe.

But it’s also really timely for me. The beginning of the school year always seemed like a more logical time for me to set goals then at the beginning of the calendar year. Coupled with my birthday, setting goals is the perfect goal for me this month. A month of goal setting and routine making.

Some routine setting goals include washing the dishes, making my bed, and doing quiet time every day. I’d like to go to the library once a week. Coincidentally, DVDs can be checked out for only a week, so if I get one DVD every time I’ll be all set to come in every week. I will also have a lot of scheduling to do once I get my syllabus’ for my classes (syllabi?).

I am also going to spend some time out of the next two weeks coming up with goals for being 22. It seems that the new year is the time to set specific goals for the year, and my birthday is a time to set intentions for the year. I’ll use this time as a way to check in with myself on my calendar year goals as well as ponder what I’ll be doing with myself a year from now.

What are your plans for September?  Any big goals you’re got in mind for the month?

This Has Been: August 2013

I can’t remember the last time I was so productive during the month of August. Really. It’s been a long time. Usually August is just a throwaway month, but this year it’s been fantastic. And hot, but like I said the other day, I’m dealing with it. A few favorites from this month:

The beginning of the apartment tour
I got and lost a kitten
I talked about how second screening is awesome
A summary of summer
My TV list for the summer

Now, to tackle my crazy long to do list for August. I’m glad to say that I did pretty much all get everything done, and then some. Besides the planned things, I also got a fantastic new haircut, hosted my sister and one of my best friends, and started to keep much better track of my finances then I ever have before.

The big two, the ones that really needed doing were getting myself a mode of transportation and an internship, both of which I now have. I got a scooter mid-way through the month, and as of Monday this week it’s registered in my name. I’m going to hold off on information about my internship, but I do have one and will be starting next week when the school semester officially begins. I also have a lead on a second, but I’m still waiting to see how that pans out.

I got started on all the things I wanted to this month, some of them wont fully pan out until next month. For example, the writers group I started is full of people who went out of town for the last week or so. We met a few times, but we’ll kick off once everyone gets back with a writer’s lock-in. I set up a facebook group for a camping trip and in talking to people who want to go we decided to wait until it’s a bit cooler in September. I also attended all the sessions to become a member of the church I’ve been attending, but wont be confirmed until next month.

I’m going to call both networking and yoga studio finding a draw. I went to a few networking events, but not a ton. I mostly networked and grew friendships that already exist. I kept my eyes peeled for yoga studios and found a few that I wanted to try, but didn’t get the chance to actually try them. Not a complete failure, but not quite what I had in mind.

Overall I’m really happy with how things went this month, and I’m even more excited to get started on next month, but that’s a post I’ll leave till next week.

How was your August?  Anything exciting happen?

This Will Be: August 2013 Edition

Since I started school July 1st, there has been a handful of things that I knew I wouldn’t get to until I finished school in August.  I started the proper list of things to do last week and it includes everything from finding an internship and a car to a short list of online shopping.

Priority for me is probably to find a scooter.  I knew from the start that I would be able to manage through my truncated semester without a serious form of transportation, but that’s not going to be an option for much longer.  I need a reliable way of getting to who knows where I need to go.  I have the gear and the license, the only thing I need now is the vehicle.

Second priority has to be finding an internship.  I have a few leads and know sort of where I’m interested in going, but it’s time to pound the pavement and find one.  I sense cold calls in my future.  Ideally I would start an internship when I start my online classes in September, but I’m open to starting earlier.

Beyond that there are a few miscellaneous things I’d like to start planning, some of which is already in the works.  A writers group with some of my classmates from the fall, some secondary learning stuff with classmates from the summer, and a camping trip later in the month.  I want to go camping so bad you guys, I’m excited to put a trip together.

Also making up the list mentioned at the beginning of this post are a few events here in LA that I’m hoping will build my network, a few friends parties, and joining the church I’ve been attending.  I’ve also planned for helping out a friend with social media marketing (and possibly seeing if it’s something I could do some consulting in).  I want to find a yoga studio and I want to write the spec pilot for the IP I’ve been working on.

This month feels like a long list of things, but it also feels like it should be a long list if only because I’ve now gotten a decent sized chunk of unstructured time coming my way.  Starting Saturday I’ll be done with all school things and I’ll be on my own to schedule and coordinate myself.

What’s your plan for August?  Any big goal marks to hit this month?

This Will Be: July 2013

Looking at my goals this month it seems that July will be very career and future focused. Which is exciting, but also a little intimidating. I hope that all this industry focus isn’t too overwhelming before I even begin. Though I suppose my anxieties can be saved for another time.

I started a new block of classes July 1, so I’m already on day two of the semester. This round is called Transmedia Development. When I’ve explained this to people I’ve mostly described transmedia as cross-platform development (developing stories that stretch over TV, social media, video games, ect). This month I’m going to learn how accurate that description is (or is not).

School in this city and industry means networking. I’ll be doing a lot of that this month, and I’m excited to see where it takes me. I’m unashamedly hoping that it gives me the opportunity to intern with a production company or media group I like. That’s goal number next, find a fall internship.

Of course, there will be a few non-school/industry things planned this month too. I’ve got the basics of my apartment down, but I would like to spend some time to make this new space more of a home. I’d also like to host some people for dinner or a movie night. I’m not sure what yet, but I love having people over and playing hostess.

After last month, I think it’s best I keep any vlog-making goals the same as last time. Since I will be focusing more on school, I want to be sure that the majority of my efforts are on my school work. So two videos. We’ll see how it goes.

Other than that? I will be headed to Comic Con for at least a day this month through my school and I’m wildly excited. I’m trying to determine what to cos-play as. Poison Ivy? Mrs. Reynolds from Firefly? (I’d have to cut my hair) I’d like to use my natural hair color, but if a character is red-headed, they’re usually all the way red, not halfsies like me. I know, first world problems.

There’s also a possibility that my mom and or sister will come down to LA to hang out with me for a weekend. I haven’t seen the sister since Christmas, so it would be awesome to see her, and fun to show off my new place. As complicated as my feelings are on this city, I’m starting to have favorite places that I’m simply itching to share with people.

What are your goals for the month?  Any wild plans for this craziness?

New Approach

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My word lately seems to be focus. I’m so worked up in the questions of what do I want to focus on, and how I want to focus my time. And my biggest focus this month has been this blog and this space.  Figuring out in more solid terms what I want from it and what purpose it serves.

I started this blog without a plan. In a lot of ways I’m still not sure if I have a plan. This month one of my goals was to come up with one. It quickly became clear that my plan needed to start with more focus on what I wanted the blog to be for myself and for my readers. With a little help* I set off refining my “About” page, which has redefined how I go about creating content for my blog.

I want this blog to be a place where I can share my story, but also a place where I can encourage others to share their story. That said, while I will continue to post my Writing About Writing Mondays and my monthly goals and reviews, I want to turn more of my focus outwards for other reoccurring topics.

One of these topics will be cooking and how to get around the kitchen. I’ll be posting monthly under the title “And the Kitchen Sink” about cooking and baking, tools and recipes. I have a handful of ideas to start out, and I’d love to hear your ideas of what kitchen/cooking related things you’re curious about. I thinking working in the kitchen teaches us so much and I want to share that passion in a way that is accessible to others.

For now I’ll be sticking to four days a week of posting, Monday through Thursday at 10am PST. The only set formulas are Writing About Writing on Monday and media-related on Wednesday, after that I’ll set reoccurring topics (Kitchen Sink, What I’m Reading, and monthly reviews) and fill in the blanks with events, ideas, and other goings on. I’ve created pages for each of the reoccurring topics I’ll be covering, which you can find above the header on my site (while you’re there check out the updated television page).

While I’m not yet at the level of blogging that I’m striving for, I feel like I’m starting to get the response I was looking for when I started blogging 2 years ago. With 1 year on WordPress and 10 months of consistent (4 days a week) posting, I’m so excited to see this space grow into what I have envisioned, and I have my handful of readers to thank for this growth.

I know a small handful of people who follow my blog, but I can see from my stats that there are more of you, and not everyone is coming by mistake. If I don’t know you personally and you’ve become a follower I’m so grateful. I’m glad for each and every comment, and reference that I can see in the numbers. I’ll welcome old hats and newcomers alike to leave a comment letting me know how you found my blog and I can’t wait to see the ways that this space will grow in the coming months and years.

*I used Alexandra Fragen’s “Great I AM worksheet” to help figure out what I wanted out of my about page.  She’s pretty awesome and is a great resource for people who are trying to define themselves and their work.

This Will Be: May Edition

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So this month I find myself in a similar situation to the one I was in a couple of months ago before my program started.  I have a lot of time and no real direction of what to do with it.  I hope that I can make the most of it, hopefully this round I have a little bit of a better idea of what to do with myself.

For one thing, I want to actually go through with getting a motorcycle license this time.  I know I’ve probably said it every month this year, but now that I’ve actually made a start on it, hopefully I’ll be more able to go through with it.  I made and went to a DMV appointment with to get a permit, failed the test, and made another appointment.  Study time.

I also want to spend time working on a very specific project or two, the original specs that I thought of last semester.  I kind of like having two projects going because it means I can go back and forth between them when I’m stuck.  At the end of last month I started working on these in the mornings as a part of my morning routine and so far it’s going really well.

Another writing project is to put some extra work into this here blog, as well as some of my other social media haunts (Twitter, Facebook, Google +, and YouTube).  I want to rethink how I approach social media and come up with some goals for each platform and across the board.  I’m even toying with the idea of vlogging.  We’ll see how that goes.

Meanwhile, I wait for my academic petition to go through, and once it does I can start really, properly looking into housing in LA.  Since I did a lot of base work while I was there I can call up a few of the contacts I’ve made and hopefully housing wont be a huge to do.  In the meantime I want to be sure to keep in touch with my people in LA.  The friends I made in my classes and the ones I made through my church will continue to be a part of my life, I just have to figure out how to do that from here.

Bonus: I get to hang out with my mom on Mother’s Day, possibly go to visit a friend in Seattle, and see a bunch of friends who will be coming home this month.