This year was awful.
Hello Nathanreaders! I’ve decided that every year I’m going to post one of these year in review things in order to reflect back on my previous year as well as have this record for the years to come as I look at how my life has changed over the years.
Alright, so back to this year: It started out horrible, when I full intended on filming several short films and a feature horror this year, I ended up not having any money to devote to them and not being able to even work on the Star Wars short I’d filmed last year due to my laptop acting up and crashing every half an hour or so. So no editing, special effects, or sound effects. Limited Photoshop at best. All of that jazz. Because I didn’t have any extra money, of course, I got a ticket for a seat belt violation on the day I had to go and fill out the paperwork for a new job and ended up having to pay a significant amount for another situation that I’m not going to get into. Also my phone battery completely died.
Just. The worst. This was all starting in January. So that basically set the tone for the rest of my year.
I decided to focus quite a bit of time on an experiment, to see how successful a gaming channel could be in the current landscape of YouTube, as opposed to a vlogging channel. Initially the gaming channel was more successful and ended up having the potential to be a big deal. I really want to do more with it, expand it into something more of an internet channel than a single show.
Watch one of those here:
So, of course, I stopped working on it when another project idea crawled into my path; creating
a pitch for a cartoon series. What seemed to be a simple project ended up taking me months to work on and I inevitably gave up and started working on something else, much to my own frustration.
In March I finally found my drawing tablet pen that I had been missing for over a year and a half. With that new revelation I set upon doing… Not much. Just some doodles here and there. I continued to mess around and wonder where all of my time went when it came to the projects I was working on. But it still meant that things could only get better from there.
So the good things of this year; I was able to meet all kinds of awesome people at my new job and work with some awesome artists on some comic book projects that I’ll hopefully be able to release this next year or the year after that. A few other things was that I was able to finish up the Drunk Knight series with that crew, bunch of awesome guys. I got a 3DS finally; I’ve wanted one for YEARS. I also was able to go to Comic Con Chicago with my little brother and talked with some writers about publishing and writing in the modern age. Great people. Awesome times.
I finally finished NaNoWriMo this year. I’ve wanted to do it for almost five years and I just got overwhelmed and stopped. I followed the similar outline, wrote about 3,000 words per day and by the end I had a first draft of a cyberpunk novel that I want to release late spring or early summer of 2016! (YES!)
The best thing is that I ended up getting engaged to my beautiful girlfriend, Kandi. There we (though mostly she) began planning wedding things for the big day on May 28th, 2016. (Woooo!) She’s been incredibly supportive and wonderful throughout this entire year (the second year of our relationship) and I could not have gotten to where I am without her. Seriously.
Either way, I spent the summer struggling to find out why I wasn’t accomplishing the projects I was working on and getting frustrated that I wasn’t yet at a point to where I could film any sort of short film like I wanted to.
So, I went on a soul searching journey.
I realized that I did not want to be the kind of husband and father that was known to have a dream of accomplishing something and never doing it. I did not want to be the example of a man who started projects but never finished them. I want to be the best possible person I can be for my new family, not something or someone that simply let life slip him by. I reflected back on who I was and who I wanted to be, I tried to find what it was that was keeping me from working towards the things I wanted to do and what happened NEXT started the ball rolling on something that I hope I can continue into the new year.
Earlier in the year I realized that I was entirely too addicted to social media and hopping onto facebook, twitter or youtube every few minutes to see what was new. After my phone died I realized that nothing really changed while I was gone. Nothing was affected. I had more free time. I could manage my time better and accomplish more.
I made a video about that here:
It was September before I made the revelation that I was working on far too many projects at once. I was overwhelmed and tended to drop a project as soon as it became more work than creative inspiration. Well, 90% of success in anything is hard work and perseverance, so I decided that I was simply going to wipe my project slate clean and start over. I would have no projects that I wanted to get done this year and start back at square one.
I had to rewire my entire brain to make sure that I could start on this new path to success in my life. I needed to think differently and learn from the masters who have succeeded in the past.
Now, thanks to that mentality, I started working on a few of the projects that I had started years prior and had not finished and began to work towards finishing a single project or goal every month. This was related to a project like a book, art, or movie stuff… Plus I wanted to read books that I wanted to read and games I intended on beating or television shows I’ve wanted to finish.
I started with Skyrim, a massive game with a lot of time I need to invest to finish it and a short book; Lord of the Flies. It started slow, I had to fight it all the way, but I finally finished the book and played through a large portion of Skyrim. I haven’t beaten it yet, but I’ve gotten very far and I fully intend on finishing it.
I’m not going to talk too much about FinishIt2015… I’ll save that for another day… But I will say that it’s a rallying cry that’s helped me to accomplish so much at the end of the year. I decided that all I needed to do was set a project goal for the month, and then set smaller daily goals in order to accomplish the entire thing. This rendered me a ton of success! Alright, finally, I’m just going to give a list of things that I’ve accomplished and a few things that I did NOT manage to finish before the year became new! Check it out!
My victories for #FinishIt2015: (from September 2015 to December 2015)
- Wrote a Post-Apocalyptic Western Comic Issue
- Wrote a Horror Teen Comic Issue
- Wrote a Horror Short Story
- Wrote a superhero short film
- Wrote a revenge short film
- Wrote a horror short film
- Wrote a short film script with a friend
- Read Four Books
- Rich Dad, Poor Dad
- Creativity Inc.
- Lord of the Flies
- True Cases of Pure Evil: Serial Killers
- The Pitch for a Cartoon Show
- 30 Horror Themed Paintings for Drawlloween
- Wrote the First Draft of a Cyberpunk Novel
- Wrote two-thirds of a second Draft of my Superhero Novel
The remaining things on my plate for this year that I did NOT accomplish were:
- The final third of the second draft of the superhero novel.
- Skyrim. It’s such a long game. So so long.
- Three remaining books that I’m currently reading. These aren’t remaining things, considering I started them the week of Christmas, soooo…
- Books of Blood
- Scarlet Gospels
- Cold Hard Truth
I can say that in only four months I’ve managed to accomplish more than in the last three years combined. Simply because I made sure that my slate was entirely clean and each month I was going to focus on a major project as well as several smaller ones.
“Pick a project to do per month, set small goals to accomplish your bigger one. Win at life. #FinishItRevolution”
Nathan Seals is an independent filmmaker, artist, and author who has created various comic books, films, role-playing systems, and card and board games throughout the years. He’s either insane, or a genius. Either way he’s having fun.