28. F*ck Off, 2015. Welcome, 2016
As I write this it’s 11:15pm in London.
The last day of 2015.
I’m sitting in my monkey dressing gown, drinking tea, being reflective. This is how I like to welcome the new year nowadays. There was a time when I would spend New Year’s Eve drinking, counting the minutes through the bottom of my pint glass. But not anymore. Times are changing.
A phrase I’ve been saying a lot this past year.
Let’s see why:
- Proposed to my girlfriend. She said yes. We drank cider from jam jars in a Japanese garden as we fed overly zealous squirrels.
- Spent the year living in and exploring London.
- Started working as a freelance podcast producer.
- Started a new podcast called Luke’s Massive Storytelling Podcast Thing … Made 45 episodes.
- Made an audiobook w/ Thom Robson.
- Published The Missing Body Parts Of Mr Doherty and Conspiracy Of Old.
- Wrote and made Keith, a short film in 7 days. It got me my first Vimeo Staff Pick.
- Helped my friends make a children’s book. Helped Ben Errington publish his first short story. Helped Matt Butcher publish a short horror story.
- Started Hawk & Cleaver — a story studio.
- Got serious with my writing and wrote 2x 80k novels.
- Finished working on Doghouse w/ Emma Reading. It got me my second Vimeo Staff Pick.
- Added a fourth author, Daniel Willcocks, to Hawk & Cleaver.
- Decided to live by themes instead of goals.
2015 was the year I gained confidence in my ability to make “noteworthy” stuff. I remember last year thinking how great it would be to get a Vimeo Staff Pick. A badge of honour I was hoping to pin to my self-esteem one day. And now I’ve got two. One for each breast.
Along with the Staff Pick’s came the view counts. It may not seem like much, but it wasn’t so long ago the idea of 80k views would’ve sounded impossible to me.
I also realised that the badges and the views don’t actually mean that much. You still have to wake up the next morning and go to work on the next project. Square one is always waiting for you.
2015 was the year I found the ability to wake up super early. I kept a daily habit. I journaled. Came up with 10 new ideas. Read lots of books. Made at least one step forward with a project/film/book/podcast/whatever every single day.
2015 was the year I got serious with the craft of writing. I realised I was sticking to comfort zones. I said f*ck that(!) and wrote my first novel in 6 weeks. I wrote my second novel a couple of months after that. I saw the hole in my craft/career/catalogue. I’m doing my best to fill it in.
2015 was the year I said “no” to a lot of things. I became reclusive. I spent my evenings indoors. I missed piss-ups. I missed gigs. I missed work parties. I didn’t need them anyway.
2015 was the year I found out that I’m an INFJ personality type. I don’t usually go in for that kind of thing, but if it fits I sits.
2015 was the year I realised I don’t need London. I’ve spent most of my life wanting to get here. And now I’m here, I’ve realised that it wasn’t the city itself that drew me here. It was the adventure of something new. There’s many more cities waiting for me to explore.
2015 was the year I realised I’m not a 24/7 hustler. I thought I could be one of those guys. A hustler. Never sleeping, always working. Only stopping to moisten my drying scleras.
But from never breaking, my body started to physically break down. I stumbled into weekend long slumps, unable to move or think or love. I hate that guy. I hate that my fiancée had to deal with that guy.
2015 was the year I realised that having goals will kill you. Better yet, to live by themes.
Speaking of which. Here’s the themes I’ll try to live by for 2016:
Tell more stories, better.
To further my storytelling skills. To build my catalogue of books. To better sculpt my voice. This includes all forms of storytelling. Films, comics, books, games, etc. As long as I’m writing or publishing, I know I’m heading in the right direction.
Now that I’ve started to make a semi-significant amount of money from activities OTHER than my day job, I’ve realised that I could one day, become fully independent. I’d like to keep exploring that.
Make her happy.
By her, I mean my fiancée. Maybe not just her. Maybe I mean family in general. My mum, dad, sisters, nephew, grandparents. My cat. Friends. Maybe, but mostly I mean my fiancée.
Things I hope to do in 2016:
- Finish the Hipster Trilogy.
- Start work on a feature film.
- Crowdfund a Hawk & Cleaver comic book series.
- Move to Manchester for a while.
- Leave the day-job.
But hey, if I don’t do those things, I won’t be sad. I know that working on those themes is what will keep me level. It will keep me moving in the right direction. It will keep me breathing.
If I had to give the ME from last year some advice. I’d tell him to keep throwing stones, lean into your weirdness, make haste, slowly. I’d also tell him to look after his appearance a bit more. Eat fewer burritos. Do some burpees. Put the cookie down!
It’s now 00:50am.
Happy new year!
Oh, if you made it this far, how about heading over HERE and buying my new book.