2017: The Year I Buckled Down to #MakeNewThings and Got a Ton of Stuff Done

What a year it’s been! 2017 has proven that a single year can be both the best and the worst at the same time.

The last time I wrote a post like this was at the end of 2014. 2014 was an AMAZING writing year for me; I accomplished more that year than I ever had before. But in 2015 and 2016, I slumped. A part of that was depression, another was politics, and another was my obligations to other ventures. But I was resolved to change that this year! See, writer Geoffrey Thorne talks a lot about making new things. The drive to #MakeNewThings. The NEED to #MakeNewThings. It runs through the veins of every storyteller, and his endless encouragement with that mantra got me going. I reorganized my life, got my priorities in order, and even made some new friends along the way. All with the end goal of turning on the creative spigot and just going for it.

So, how did I do? Was I successful? Here’s a recap of this year’s creative accomplishments:

  • Beginning January 1st and ending today, I started the #365SongsChallenge. The goal was to pick one corresponding song each day as it relates to what was going on in my life, while forcing myself be creative in a small way everyday. I consider the project a grand success! You can check out the finished playlist right now on Spotify.
  • I wrapped a 4 year directing tenure on The Pendant Shakespeare aka The Wild Bill Variety Show, completing a project that many thought couldn’t be pulled off — Romeo and Juliet: The Sitcom. Now, I’m staying on as showrunner and dramaturge. We just completed As You Like It, and we’re waist deep into production on King John.
  • I rewrote an old script titled “Word Wars” and submitted it to Pendant’s Seminar anthology podcast. The short dropped as part of Episode 77 this past October.
  • I Assistant Directed Jeffrey & Susan Bridges’ Henderson & Havner for 6 episodes over the Summer. I wound up mixing the majority of these episodes, and one scene in particular proved to be the toughest I’d ever directed. Fun tiiiimes!!!
  • For 4 weeks in April & May, I wrote a short-lived political column called B-Sides. The plan was to do it on the regular throughout 2017, but with life and other creative endeavors taking priority, something had to go, and it wound up being the thing few people were reading. You can read my four columns here (United Airlines), here (California Pear Flag), here (Movie Rankings, Ranked), and here (The French Election).
  • I wrote my very first feature-length screenplay, based on an idea I’d been tossing around for over a year. In 2018. I will be revising it in a page one rewrite.
  • In September, I participated in VEDS/BEDS (which stands for Vlog/Blog Everyday in September). VEDS is a project that originated with Jesse Coder (CodedLockFilms), and grew to include his friend Matt Guion (bandgeek8408) and others. This year, Jesse, Matt, and I were joined by Spartanite87, Jeffrey Guion, James F, and Tessa.
  • I started writing for Watchtower of Babel News and Astonishing Marvels. These sister sites are all about DC and Marvel, and my main job there has been writing reviews for Inhumans and Agents of SHIELD. I’ve also made some great friends here; Paul, Michael, Katie, John, Jason, and fellow newcomer Jacob? Y’all rock. 💯
  • Completed another year as the technical lead at The Audio Verse Awards. 2017 was our toughest and most logistically challenging season yet, but darn, we got the job done!
  • I created Story Bake: my very own creative outlet on YouTube! This project has eaten most of my time this year, with preliminary work beginning alllllll the way back in June. Story Bake is wholy dedicated to storytelling; I’m starting with video essays and vlogs, but the plan is to branch out into interviews, original storytelling, and possibly even… pizza? Yeeeeah. So far, I’ve written 7 scripts and released 5 videos. I’ll love you forever if you check it out on YouTube, subscribe, and share it with your friends. Also, my website/Tumblr is storybake.net. How convenient!

So that was the creative side of my 2017! I have a TON planned for 2018, and I very much intend for next year to be *my* year. I have a couple new things in the pipeline, and of course, Story Bake is only poised to grow from here! Do you like Myst? Star Wars? Marvel? DC? Well, all of those and more are topics I’m already writing video essays about.

Thank you for your support and your friendship! Rock on, and Happy New Year!

Follow Story Bake on Twitter @StoryBakeHQ, on Tumblr at storybake.net, and on YouTube.

And for more musings like these, follow The Beallman on Twitter.