2017. The year of me.

I wrote last week about my content backlog. I’ve finished one audiobook (it was great) and have already made it halfway through another. It’s also great

With content consumption out of the way I’d like to focus on content creation. As someone who writes for a living, I have to create constantly. If I didn’t my editor would be righteously (and rightfully,) upset. Still, as much of me is in the lines I publish for work, there are a lot of side projects or ideas I like that have been given the short shrift.

In my quest to become excellent at my job — one I’m lucky to have, I devoted my full energy to becoming a model employee. That means showing up before anyone else, and learning how to do my job while everyone else is either asleep or just waking up. My shift starts at 9am, I would routinely get in at 7am for months. No overtime pay, no pats on the back (I didn’t do it for either, mind you.) That hard work has paid off. I feel confident in what I do, and my six month check-in meeting with my boss went supurbly.

I get in later, now, but still before everyone. This means I’m not an adrenaline-fueled person in the morning, and can afford to stay up later at night. It’s that second part that interests me.

In the extra hour or two that I stay up at night I can do a lot of stuff. Work through my media backlog, BS on the internet, hang out with people (which I have been!) or, y’know, make stuff. I’ve offhandedly mentioned podcast or writing idea to people around me and they’ve responded favorably. These are things I know I could do. They would take time, and effort, and would be annoying at point, but no one else seems to want to do them.

Doing things is scary. They could flop, you could look like an idiot, people can judge both it and you. And yet, like doves to a flame creative people flock to, and endure the PITA that comes along from making stuff. Because then it’s real, and it’s ours; it can be shared with other people (sometimes that’s the point) but we can look on at our creation like proud parents.

My muse here is my friend Alex O’Neill, host of the Irrational Passions podcast, and content machine. Alex is doggedly determained to become a full-time member of the game’s press. And he will be. He’s doing everything right. He makes things, constantly. Podcasts, lets plays, blog posts, a weekly video show. Did I mention podcasts? He spends hours carefully planning what he’ll make, assembles the tools and teammates he needs to get them done, and does them.

He’s got the work ethic of an Olympian with the genial, jovial swagger of a got-it-made-in-the-shade creative. I love working with Alex because it’s like working with a dictator wearing Bye Felicia sweatpants.

He and I have worked together both on his podcast (my favorite show to guest on), and the on-again-off-again will-they-won’t-they podcast Waffles Vs. Pancakes. A show I named, commissioned art for and promptly don’t host.

I’ve said it before, but I’ll declare it here. That show, and other projects of mine will become consistent parts of my calendar in 2017. If I don’t write things down, or plan them out they all go to hell and a handbasket. I’ve been lax on the personal creation front for my professional life. That’s an important move that I knowingly made, and I’m happy to have done it. Brandt from one year ago would be beside himself to know what opportunities lay in front of me and which accomplishments lay behind me.

Which projects to focus on is my current concern. Like the content consumption list, I have a whole lot of ideas. Some might be one offs for fun, others might be consistent; honestly I’m not quite sure yet. But if 2016 was the year of laying groundwork, 2017 will be the year of getting things done.

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