Devil’s Tower — August 2017

2017 Q3 Update

Here we are again…another quarter snuck up and autumn is upon us. While it’s been a super busy summer full of distractions and fun, I continue to make progress on my goals for this year. With the exception of blogging every day which I dropped at the end of last quarter, I’ve moved the ball down the field on all of my goals and made progress on new goals not listed here.

Progress on 2017 Goals

Visit my seventh of seven continents

Antarctica is booked, paid for and insured. We’ve completed our paperwork and even got our cabin upgraded (pretty sweet!). However, I continued to procrastinate shopping for warm clothes and really need to get on that. If anyone has any recommendations for snow pants, mid-layers, socks, waterproof gloves, and a waterproof backpack, I’m all ears! As soon as I post this, I’ll be spending the rest of my Sunday afternoon on Amazon.

We fly to Buenos Aires on November 13. If all goes well by next update, I will have completed this goal and have pictures to share.

Read ten books

Goal accomplished! I finished reading my tenth of ten book yesterday. This quarter, I finished Unnaturally Delicious, Team of Rivals, and On Liberty. I haven’t decided what I’ll read next, but I think I may take the week off.

Keep alcohol consumption to no more than 6 drinks per week

In spite of throwing a few cocktail parties, attending a wedding with college friends, a handful of milestone birthdays, a bachelor party, and a far more active dating life, I’ve managed to stay on track with this goal. As of today, I am only one drink “in debt” on my accrual system, effectively one week behind overall (pretty impressive for 3/4 of a year if I do say so myself). I drank around the same number of days as last quarter (36 days versus 33). Clients were easily my worst influences, accounting for 31% of the 85 drinks consumed this quarter.

Visiting Casey Brewing & Blending — Glenwood Springs, CO

I still need to pull back a bit (I averaged 6.47 drinks per week this quarter), but suspect life to settle down a bit going into autumn. Well, maybe. Over the next three months, I have on the calendar three weddings, a weekend getaway with heavy drinkers, two distillery tours, a handful of birthday parties, a two-week vacation on a boat, a company Christmas party, two holiday parties of my own, the holidays themselves, and my 30th birthday. At present, I do not plan on making exceptions to my rule. We’ll see how I do.

Assemble a show bible and write the pilot for a dramatic series

Getting there, slowly but surely. While I invested 135 hours into research for my show this quarter (shy of 253 hours in Q1, but a huge improvement from the mere 57 logged in Q2), I am still far from where I want to be. I’ve outlined the life of Alexander the Great and the Old Testament, but still have roughly 325 years of Jewish history to go before I’ve covered all the history I intend to lean on for my show. My friend, Shirl, has been a huge help by taking over the outlining of the Trojan War and aftermath (thank you, Shirl!). With any luck, we’ll finish this part of the research by mid-October and I’ll have the rest of the month to start analyzing it for adaptation purposes. I’m not yet ruling out the possibility of achieving this goal by the end of 2017, but it’s looking grim.

That said, we did have a very successful location scout of the town where my show shall take place and I feel better than ever about my showing taking place there. Spearfish, SD is a very beautiful small town and fits perfectly.

Spearfish, SD (Photo: Justin Lang)

Finish a feature-length screenplay adaptation

Again, very little progress. I only logged about 19 hours of work into this since July. I blame a plot puzzle for giving me writer’s block here and feel like I’ve slowly worked my way through that, but the truth is that I need to break this goal down into more tangible short term objectives to make better progress against it. If anyone has any advice on how to more systematically outline long stories, I’m eager to have a conversation with you.

That said, I invested 53 hours into three other awesome film projects this quarter that distracted me. I feel good about them and am excited.

Good Excuses

I logged 125 total hours less than I did in Q1 and Q2, which is pretty dramatic. That’s over three workweeks’ time less than previous quarters, even after I quit blogging(!) After digging through the data, I have some theories that in aggregate probably contributed to working so much less this quarter.

  • I invested a large amount of time into a fairly serious relationship in August that unfortunately did not end up working out.
  • I was out of town for fun 4 more days than in Q2;
  • All three of my immediate family members’ birthdays fell in this quarter;
  • The 4th of July weekend knocked out 4 days singlehandedly;
  • I’ve had a good handful of out of town visitors including clients;
  • I saw twice as many movies this quarter than last quarter (12 versus 6);
  • and Game of Thrones.

With the holidays and vacation ahead, I anticipate a comparable amount of time lost in Q4. But we’ll see. The more I do these updates, the better I understand my life and learn what’s working for me or not. If you have goals and are serious about pursuing them, I strongly encourage you to track them and publish updates.

Stay tuned until the end of the year for a final update!