Eibon Films Horror, Fantasy and SciFi writer / filmmaker and friend of the weird

24Jan/170

2016 is dead. What will 2017 bring? (Year Review and Creative goals)

So - full disclosure here - those familiar with previous year's lack of blog posts will be used to my excuses. Sorry. To you this will be old news. To me, this is very real and I'm slowly trying to deal with it and get my sh*t together - in a snail's pace process of continuous improvement. But life often gets in the way and seeks to derail us. I'm getting better at not beating myself up about my failures and trying to stay productive - but there's been a lot going on.... please bear with me, or move on as life's too short to read this - don't worry, it's fine. I won't blame you.

A recap:

I normally do a review of how each year went creatively, and what I'm planning for the future. And I've documented why I do this, so need to go over that now. All I'll say is that it's tougher than usual to make this work in the way that I'm used to. Essentially, the loss of my father is still very much with me and dealing with that has meant that getting through each day, with my psyche intact, is a success. The days when there are creative endeavours are still very much cherished, no matter how basic. But there were massive swathes of time when nothing was going on - not on paper at least. And for that I only blame myself. It's hard to motivate yourself to climb out of the same pit, especially when it suddenly gets deeper and darker and has much sharper edges.

I've been able to appreciate those who are supportive and understanding, those who've been there for me in my darkest times. I really do appreciate the amazing people in my life, even if I don't always show it. However, I've had to reevaluate how I approach social media and who I allow into my life also - there's been a couple of incidents that have revealed a dark underbelly of a few people that forced me to make a call and cut them from my life. I'm never proud of losing a friend or making an enemy. I only know what I believe in, what is right and wrong and I'll defend that to the end. I am of course also open to healing old wounds too. But you do have to question the time we invest in social media and the benefits of it. And we do have to watch out for the changes in the world that are afoot.

I will say though, that events have been coloured by a dark cloud overall. And I've been too quick to anger and too quick to judge or defend. I've always had issues with my temper, and martial arts, exercise and meditation have done me well at trying to keep a lid on it and try to not let it alter my perspective. However, grief has shown me a new much darker side than I'm used to and I surprised to see it manifest as anger, rather than sadness. This has definitely contributed to my actions and or lack of forward motion - as I waste valuable energy wrestling with my own demons. I'm working every day on this, from the moment I wake to the moment I try to sleep. Although there are setbacks, I think I'm making some headway, finally.

So how did I do with those Creative goals and resolutions in 2016?

  • Get the SFI classes done and gone, so I can focus on creative activities alone. [Not done - I finished half of the course and was awaiting my exam to get permission to do the next half, when my school cancelled my course. At this point I was doing 4 calls a week with online tutors and becoming more confident in speaking Swedish. There were notable improvements. I was so irritated that I have not yet gone back. I became so angry at speaking Swedish that I almost would go mute with rage, through blind frustration. I still need to pick my moments, and I also need to bite off some humble-pie and go crawling back... eventually.]
  • Finish the short stories I'm working on. [With the help of friends, I finished editing three shorts ready for Kindle self-publication. I'm still going to do this, due to the original publication requesting them having disappeared from sight, and there's no shame to me in self-publishing. It's just frustrating to have to create your own covers and it's slowing me down.]
  • Concentrate on my novel - MUTAGENE and reworking EIBON HEIGHTS - a feature film script. Not sure I'll finish either, but they will be the main focus.[Got through two days of editing MUTAGENE. Admittedly just before my Father's death. No excuse. Need to sort that sh*t out! I have a plan. I just need to execute it and become blinkered to anything else.]
  • Release a book of short stories. [Still plan to do this, even if it's a short book / brief collection.]
  • Maintain the dedication to writing activities and professional development. - as part of that I'm attending the LSF'16 (London Screenwriters Festival) and focusing on the art of pitching and improving my punctuation (one of my weak points). And I'm still going to my writing groups - even if it's just to share these stresses in a group setting. [Cancelled last year's LSF, have rebooked for this year. Genuinely intimidated by the networking aspect of this.]
  • Misc. film production activities still. I will be doing things, but it will an as and when they happen type thing. But It's not forgotten! [To that end, three short scripts are 'In production'. One of which, I helped write, DON'T FORGET TO BREATHE, is going into production in March 2017. The other two are still TBC.]

What now?

I will say this - I haven't been lazy, despite not being focused on achieving my goals. What does that mean? Well it means that:

  • I've written three short films (one of which is In Production),
  • I've shot and edited 31 Vlogs, and have 6 How To Videos shot and ready to edit.
  • In the process, I've researched film production gear and tried and tested various devices and applications to find out what works for me and perfect some kind of process. I still have much to relearn.
  • I've been actively engaged in relearning Video Production and Marketing, with a view to publishing and Marketing products on Social Media. I've created one YouTube Vlog channel and I am looking to create a 2nd. This is all aimed at helping me promote the other creative works, when they are ready to release.
  • And I've been reading a lot - enjoying many fine scripts and novels and short stories, with a view to subconsciously soaking up language, structure etc.

In the background, I am aware of my challenges:

  • Working too much. I have a challenging job, delivering client work that often requires me to work really long hours to hit ambitious timescales. Sadly in the downtime, when there is some, it leaves me creatively depleted and in need of rest. I need to look at reducing the hours I work and potentially not committing to such demanding timescales in the future.
  • There are things going on that I can't talk about in a public domain - to do with certain financial and legal activities, that require my attention. What I can tell you is that looking to purchase a property - and to do it in a foreign country - is a very demanding and time-consuming thing. These things cannot last forever and they will benefit my creative endeavours once they're concluded.
  • My health - I will always have a problem with lack of sleep and depression and therefore a weakened immunity system. I'm working on Sleep hacking, with a view to improving my ability to sleep and therefore fight depression and improve my creative stamina and stave off illnesses. I was out of action for three months when I had a serious chest infection and mysterious constant fever. So far so good, I'm doing better this year at turning my fitness around, but sleep is an ever-present issue.

So that's it.
Thanks for sticking with this long rambling piece.
I set this down more for me than for you, but I hope there are useful insights that may be of value, at least as to whether to judge me on my lack of creative output.

Any advice?
I am genuinely open to new approaches and ideas. Any thoughts on the above that you'd like to share? let me know?

 

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