Consumer/Creator

Lately I’ve been struggling to find a balance as both a consumer and a creator. This is a balance that I’ve been struggling with a lot, especially in recent years, but seems especially stark of a contrast since I’ve recently committed to making more.

I watch tons of TV, subscribe to nearly 100 YouTube channels, and go to the occasional movie; read novels, non-fiction, and comics; take part in events like VidCon and Comic Con, but don’t feel like I’m making nearly enough. I’ve been told at panels and events that creators need to be consumers too. If I’m going to make something I need to know what’s out there. While that’s true, I think for me I need to start focusing on the opposite.

Instead of watching, I need to write, shoot, and edit video to put up on YouTube. I need to be writing scripts that are never going to see the light of day in the hopes that one day I’ll come up with something I’m proud enough to share. I need to practice and do, not just in response to all the things I consume, but from my own thoughts and ideas outside of the mainstays of culture.

In a lot of ways I have no idea how to do this. I’ve spent so long trying to determine what I think of the world around me that to shift into my own thought process is an astounding transition. But absolutely necessary. I’m starting to journal more. I’m starting to write here. I’m starting with my YouTube channel. I’m not disillusioned to think this will be easy, but starting is half the battle.

Lunchtime Recap

It has been nearly a month since I’ve posted anything in this space.  A month full of reading, watching, and learning.  A month of both achievements and it’s fair share of small failures.  This month has been so full, but I’ve also been missing this space.  Starting today I’m making it a goal to spend at least one lunch time a week writing a short update.

These days my week is nearly entirely scheduled in advance.  I have four days a week of internships, one day off to do as much school work as possible, plus a handful of other groups and events I’ve committed to for the semester.  Since I’ve started helping with the production team at church my Sundays have been entirely filled with fellowship and serving.  And even with all the busy I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Some highs and lows since I’ve last posted here.

High: Riding my scooter everywhere!  I’m being safe, I promise Mom.  I have been able to get pretty much everywhere I need to go on my scooter and I’m so glad that it’s working out.  I never want to own a car.
Low: A trip to the LA Superior Court to pay a traffic ticket.  I had to move some stuff around to meet my deadline, but the good news is that I don’t have to go to traffic court. #done

High: Serving on my church’s production team.  I haven’t done some of this stuff in years and I’m pretty pumped to get back into it.
Low: Since I haven’t done production work in years, one aspect of it triggered some bad memories.  It’s a long story that I don’t think I’m ever going to be ready to share with the internet, but I have some fantastic friends who were willing to listen.

High: DisneyLand! Because it was my friends birthday and she needed people to go with her.  I can’t say no to DisneyLand.  We went on my day off and it was fantastic as always.
Low: Messing up the directions and spending an extra hour driving. Totally my fault!  I definitely should have been paying better attention.

High: Successfully recreating one of the most complicated deserts I know how to make (Baked Alaska) without the recipe I knew from childhood.    I’m still a little stunned that I was able to do this.  It was even better than the last time I made it (with the recipe).
Low: The continued frustration of balancing online classes.  One of my professors seems to be teaching her opinion which is a tad infuriating.

Overall, I’d say the highs are far greater than the lows.  Meanwhile, my 15 minutes are definitely up, so I’d better clean my dishes and get back to work.

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.

Right Now…

excited for the retreat I’m going on.  I get to use my new backpack to pack.  There’s a pool at the place we’re staying.

glad to be back in a routine.

really liking my paper topics.  Plural.  Because I somehow wound up with three writing intensive classes this semester.

looking forward to my sister coming to town next week.  We’re going to have a blast.

going to sleep earlier.

needing to stop worrying about German.  I feel like I’m not learning it, but all the work I’m getting back and such seem to be decent.  Not fluent, but why should I be, I’ve only just begun.

started the 100 Push-up Challenge.  Not too hard so far, but looking ahead scares me.

Right Now…

finally catching up on all my television shows.  Well, most.  I’m up to date on Fringe, and nearly caught up with Downton Abbey.  !!!!

working, working, working.

knitting a second blue hat for a friend.  I’m going to send it to her and we’ll have matching hats in separate cities.  I’m oddly excited about this.

needing to go to sleep earlier than I have been.  Somehow I don’t see it happening.

Right Now…

greatly enjoying organizing everything for school.  I can’t even explain how much I love organization.  I am going to have to show you at some point.


watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  I’m loving everything about Whedon-‘verse.  Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand why my mom didn’t want me watching it, but I do love it so.

trying to figure out how to talk to people who aren’t having as good a time as I am in college.  It occurred a few times over break and for some reason is coming up in full force now.

calling people on Skype.  Even though my webcam dosen’t seem to want to work.  Speaking of technology…

being hated by technology.  My computer hasn’t turned on in two days, the only time I’m on the computer is at work.  Granted, when I’m not in class or at work it has been nice to just chill out and watch tv.

Right Now…

gearing up for a new semester.  Buying textbooks, getting oriented in my new job, mentally preparing for schedules  routines, and homework.
meeting with people to plan for shows I’m working on this year.
cooking up a storm, in part because of a cooking blog I have in the works.  I’m not sure what it’s future is, but I’ll keep you guys in the loop.
finally getting back into a rhythm of blogging.
hopeful about plans being made this semester for the coming months and years.  Trips, gigs, and money-making all in the foreseeable future.
excited that it’s getting cold.  I’m abnormal like that.
This week I like: cooking, Downton Abbey, impromptu Once Upon a Time parties, taking care of my kitty, skype, and my Google Reader.

Right Then

{This week instead of doing a Right Now post I’m doing Right Then as an end of the year reflection.  Hope you like it.}

I tried to spend my time more wisely this year and was continuously trying to see where I could be doing things that would better myself.  I’m not sure that this directly lead to more activity, but I think it did make me more aware of the ways that I could be wasting my time less.  It’s a start at least.

I took on more responsibility this year, work-load-wise and financially.  It was really comforting to be able to say that I feel prepared for being financially independent.  I know that I’m nowhere near that now, but I’m working with the stepping stones of it.  I also feel more confident in my ability to keep house.  It’s strange how domestic I am sometimes, but I really like having a nice place to live in.

I started planning and organizing differently.  I’ve always been a pretty organized person, but when I moved into the new apartment in Chicago I kind of took it to a whole new level.  This has lead to more health contentiousness and more budget contentiousness.  Awesome.

I learned a lot about myself and how I deal with leadership (not well) by being a leader in InterVarsity.  I didn’t really talk about the process and reasons for me leaving on this blog, and may never quite be comfortable enough to explain it on here, but suffice to say I learned a lot and grew in my faith and in knowing myself.

Overall I’m really happy with 2011, and I’m looking forward to what 2012 will bring.  Travel, planning, new projects, and new possibilities are all on the horizon.  Bring it on.

Right Now…

excited beyond belief to go home to San Francisco in two weeks.  Is that all?  It seems like so much longer.

slightly embarassed that I wound up writing a paper a whole week early fo my Monday class.  Whoops.  Oh well, now I don’t have to worry about it.

ecstatic that I can go the weekend with minimal studying.  I have three exams, but all papers are done.

looking forward to this weekend’s plan.  I’m going ice skating and then visiting the Chicago Christmas Market.

amazed at how positive this post is turning.

a little anxious about buying Christmas presents for family.  Thankfully I have a few checked off already.

cold.  We generally keep the heat off in our apartment to keep costs down, so if I get cold the best way to warm up is to cook something warm.  Unfortunately, that’s not quite an option when you’re knee deep into a research paper.  At 1am.

Right Now…

nervous, but confident about my job interview next week.  I think I’m going to get it, but the interview and application process is still a little nerve wracking.

beginning to get into the Christmas Spirit.  Ever so slightly.  I bought a chocolate advent calendar for December which makes me happy.  Looking for other ways to celebrate advent as well.

feeling the weight of the end of the semester.  I have a final paper to write in a week (it’s my own fault for procrastinating), a few projects to do, and exams to study for.

thankful of my nerdiness allowing me to not study too much, but still get decent grades.  I go over my notes a few times, but I have never needed intense studying to get grades that I’m happy with.  I was even on the honor roll first semester (not sure that’s ever going to happen again).  Hopefully I didn’t just curse everything.

trying to figure out how to share work I’ve done in order to keep myself accountable, and be able to show off thing’s I’m proud of, while at the same time not having to deal with copyright stuff.  Ideas welcome!