Turning the Page and Building on Success in 2015

I’ve already reminisced about the ups and downs of 2014, so I figure it only fair to take a bit and look forward to what this coming year could hold. The last time we did this dance and made the terrible mistake of thinking 2014 would be more merciful than 2013, I laid out a list of resolutions to myself for the year that lay ahead. As I went over that list, I saw a number of successes and failures, including one defeat so spectacular that seeing it on the list made me laugh.

Not an “oh this is fun” laugh, either. It was a mournfully unamused laugh, to be sure.

There were some successes, though. I did land a new job on a new project where I’m allowed to be creative, and through force of will and some guidance by a very dear friend I’ve managed to adjust and improve my outlook on the world. I’m a more positive person now than I was in January, even if my sense of humor is still morbidly dour. All the same I could have done better, and that’s exactly what I plan to do.

With that, here are my resolutions personal goals for 2015…

  • Keep Working. So, an unfortunate reality of the video game industry is that most game studios still don’t employ full-time narrative writers. Most of the people penning your favorite games are contracted on a per-project basis, which is a mixed bag of good and bad. I, personally, prefer to go into an office every day and be a part of the development team as a whole, but at the end of the day I’m perfectly okay with working under contract provided that the work is steady. That’s all I want in 2015 – to keep a steady workflow going and keep working for companies and games that I can be proud to be associated with.
  • Finish The War on Christmas. I had this on last year’s list, too, and to be perfectly frank I dropped the ball on it. I spent much of my 2014 battling depression, and in the midst of that I just didn’t feel like being creative. That hurt me in a range of ways, with not finishing the book being one of them. I want to jump back into it and get back on track, and hopefully I can have a draft ready by the end of the year.
  • Improve My Fitness. I had “Return to Army Shape” on my list last year, and I dropped the ball on that one, too – again because of my fight with depression. This year I’m aiming a little lower and looking to simply work my way to being in better shape. I’m not obese or anything of that sort, but I do feel healthier when I’m more svelte. Plus a healthy body leads to a healthy (or “less bad” in my case) mind, which is important in my line of work.
  • Read More, and Read Different. I’m currently reading a biography of Walt Disney, one of my personal idols. I’m ashamed to say that it’s the first book I’ve picked up since Halloween. In 2015 I want to read more books, and I want to expand my horizons beyond my literary comfort zones. If you want to improve your own writing, it’s imperative that you read everything, and absorb everything. It’s a lesson I’ve preached for years, and it’s about time that I follow my own advice.
  • Write More Short Fiction. In addition to jumping back into The War on Christmas, I also want to produce more short story content. When I see writers like Nika Harper publishing engaging and entertaining stories at the frequency that they do, I can’t help but feel lazy. I am someone who always has a million ideas bouncing around in his head (some better than others), and I’m tired of having good ideas slip away. This is yet another step in improving my lapsing discipline when it comes to writing my own shit.
  • Update This Website. I’m, uh, sorta notorious for going upwards of six months without writing a new blog. There are two primary reasons why: 1.) I rant myself out on Twitter. What could have been a well-thought and elaborative blog post turns into a string of six-plus tweets which still don’t get the point across. I’m starting to get better at that. 2.) Sometimes I just don’t have a whole lot to say. When I’m doing the same routine over and over I can be pretty damn boring. I’m vowing to be less boring in 2015, as I solemnly promise to go out into the realm of the day star more often.
  • Save Money. I don’t have a lot to say about this. I just figure if I write it down then I *have* to follow through. So, there it is. Save money. Because I like money.
  • Keep Depression at Bay. I’ve been engaged in a bitter conflict with depression for as long as I can remember. I tried to fight that battle in secret for a very long time, and in the end all it did was hurt the few people I let see that side of me. Since I’ve started being more open about it, my interactions with my friends and the world have been more amicable, and though it’s not helped to “improve” my situation, it has certainly done a lot to minimize the collateral damage I do during a down period. I intend to continue to wage this war, knowing that each day that I can laugh and go to sleep with a smile is a day that I’ve won the fight.
  • Sling Words; Get Money. This is as close to living the “thug life” as I’ll ever get. Which is to say, not very close.

There you have it. It’s a slightly longer list than last year, but I also have slightly more ambition than I did at that time. I have a bunch of smaller “would be cool” things as wekll, like starting up my YouTube and doing more Let’s Plays and livestreaming, but I can live if I don’t get around to that. Mostly I want to be able to accomplish enough that I can look back at this time next year and say “damn, this was pretty alright.”

I hope all of you will have the chance to say the very same. Here’s to a happy, healthy, and productive 2015 – Happy New Year, you beautiful party people!

Feature Image: IWDRM