In the beginning of this year, I made a blog post about my goals. I knew more or less what I was aiming for in the first half of the year. However, for the second half of the year, I was foggier. I didn’t quite know what I was going to do. I knew what I wanted to do. However, wanting to do something and actually doing it are often two different things.
I meant to do a post like this in July, but ha ha ha ha…that clearly didn’t happen. Instead, I put a pause on all my projects. That’s why I am writing this post now. I do wish I was writing blog posts more frequently just to let everyone know what is going on, but then I remember that it often takes me 3 hours to write one blog post and it becomes evident why I become discouraged to keep you guys updated.
Maybe I should just try brief updates, like in a bullet-point format or something. I don’t know. I suppose I’ll think about it.
What Have I Done So Far?
Well, I can tell you guys right away that I have met my first all-year goal! The first one was a diet correct. Originally I was just going to correct my vegetarian diet which I’ve had since I was in 2nd grade, but I’ve been changing over to vegan. I eat mostly vegan, with literally the lone exception to Bertucci’s because of “tradition” reasons. Eating a primarily vegan diet has given me lots more energy, more food variety (a point I want to touch on at some point), and I’ve knowingly lost about 15 lbs without even trying. I actually think I’ve lost more weight than that, but I haven’t checked my weight for years! I was 232 lbs in April and I reached 215 recently. So, I’m going to say, I am doing quite good with that.
Money Correction and Business (the two other all-year goals) have been a bit more difficult.
I was doing kind of okay with the money correction for a while until I overspent in May and Quicken just continuously got out of sync for me to the point where it was useless, even when I put everything back in. At least I learned how to control my shopping impulses? For keeping track of money, I know I’m going to have to think and experiment on what way is best for me. I have a feeling I have to physically keep track inside of a notebook.
Business-wise feels pretty stagnant. I got worn-out from going to two conventions in March and didn’t really bother to sign up for another one after that. All the sales from my online store have been of family members. Right now though, I feel like I should just focus on creating and releasing content. I don’t know though…maybe I’m being near-sighted, like I recently discovered (I’ll talk about that in a bit). That being said, I DO feel like I’m just preparing for next year. Like, okay, me, I got a taste of how conventions are selling in Artist Alley…now WHAT will I do next?! Hmm…
I suppose one out of three isn’t too bad, right?
Okay, I did not do a lot of these things in the months they were meant to be done in, BUT I did complete some of them. Or a few of them.
I managed to:
– fix my online shop and open it in a timely manner
– complete comics subsite
– create a conventions subsite (although it’s not completed)
– drew and completed several Naitmaric and Fairolk comics, released onto Instagram and Patreon
– completed the storyboard for MAKE ME A MODEL, which is the comic I was referring to when I talked about focusing on it; it was completed several weeks before the deadline of May 1st!
– completed episode 25 of Kelly’s Journey
– drew the first 12 pages of both MAKE ME A MODEL and EVERYBODY LOVES ASHLEY (the unnamed comics in my goals, mainly to keep them a secret)
– I launched MAKE ME A MODEL, both Natimaric & Fairolk 1-panel comics (the “short” comics), and EVERYBODY LOVES ASHLEY in July, just as I aimed to do! (And then proceeded to cancel ELA because I had no interest in it)
I don’t know about you, but I think what I got done is a pretty dang good amount of stuff. I can’t remember the last time I was this productive! I mean, okay, so I’m going to argue I am still not productive enough and I could absolutely do more. I just need to figure out how (will bring this up later).
If you would like to read a bit more on my goal progress, feel free to read:
Goals for September through December
I was going to lay this out like my original post, but I found that too difficult because I decided to change my approach a bit on how I’m working on my projects. I mean, I guess it’s not really THAT different enough. I’ll talk about it after this.
For the September, I am learning responsive web design and redoing the entire TKN website. Again. I released with the release of MAKE ME A MODEL that I needed to cater to ALL screens, not just desktops and laptops. My deadline is September 30th. I have been attempting to relax for about a month and a half now, so I’m going to be gradually working my way back up to speed. And let me tell you, I want to get back up to speed! I hope to work on other projects a bit around the website redesign, but I do not expect me to.
As for the rest of the year, I:
– expect to have two new Naitmaric and Fairolk comics series out (two 4-panel comic series) for October
– continue to work my way through Make Me a Model; I want to do every single page around the same time, but I think I’ll limit myself to between 12 to 24 until I’m far enough ahead to work on all of it at the same time
– expect to have additional illustrations and advertisements for Make Me a Model, which I currently like and desperately need for VARIETY!
– Kelly’s Journey episodes 26 through 30, as well as the rewrites and edits for episodes 1 through 30 will be expected to be completed by December 31st, 2016 and no later than 2 AM on January 1st
– have my Japanese notes fully typed up by December, 31st, 2016
I am also aiming to have short stories for Fairolk and Naitmaric completed for January 1st, 2017, as well as the remainder of the convention illustrations. There’s some extra stuff I would like to do too (primarily proper character biographies with beautifully done character sheets), BUUUUUUT…that’s extra. If not, that can be carried on over to 2017 as part of it being a big year for me.
I already know though that I really want to go into 2017 with a blank slate in everything, with the lone exception to Kelly’s Journey, which I will be putting the finishing touches onto and releasing in April 2017. Anything I came up with later this year that doesn’t end up fitting can also go to 2017.
Okay, maybe actually getting back to my Japanese lessons may be part of that too, unless by some miracle I do that anyway.
Where Did the Deadlines Come From?
When I hit the pause button on my projects, I was met with the same ol’ reaction from everyone: I was doing too much and I should do one thing at a time. However, I know I am capable of handling multiple projects at one time! I just crashed, that’s all!
But…why did I crash?
For someone who spends a lot of time with themself and asks themself a lot of questions and observes what they do, I somehow glazed over this before. I think I just accepted it as routine: I would start one project, then add another and another and another and another, and suddenly my brain is all like “I WANT TO DO A HUNDRED THINGS RIGHT NOW” and I crash. It’s like I hit the gas peddle too hard.
I looked over what had happened this time and I noted everything that went wrong:
– I didn’t relax according to my mood, therefore I ended up more stressed out than before;
– I wasn’t interested in one of the four projects;
– I had poor time management;
– I pushed myself beyond my limits in a bad way, which caused delays and additional stress;
– most surprisingly, I was being near-sighted with my projects!
That last one, oh boy. That came as a surprise! I never thought I would be nearsighted to my projects. I know I used to be farsighted, to the point where my projects never would come about. It seems I have now reached the exact opposite! That’s CRAZY!
“Kelly, how were you being nearsighted?”
Make Me a Model is mostly the project I was being nearsighted with. While I had a vague idea that I needed to do the website and make advertisements to post up on my social networking pages to promote the comics, I decided that I wasn’t going to focus on those. Not really, anyway. Not until I needed to. That resulted in a lack of substantial content for the website, as well as a lack of variety on the advertisements. Trust me, there is only so much you can do with 13 images.
If I had taken a step back to evaluate ALL aspects of Make Me a Model (not just the comic), I would have seen that I should have done additional illustrations and the website a lot earlier. And do you know what? I would’ve!
The rest of the comics didn’t really require much…but that’s okay. I feel like better management of my time would have made the process much smoother.
A Hint to the Change
I think some time at the beginning of this year, I decided to make “checklists.” To be fair, they were more of slightly detailed task lists. I had a 30-minute one and a 1-hour one. I noticed that the lists were fun and seemed to almost lighten me up, allowing me to jump between my task, as long as I completed them. Even when I didn’t finish EVERYTHING on the list, I usually got most completed.
The checklists were typed up on the computer, with two lines to detail what I was expected to work on in the time frame I was given. The tasks on the sheet were given static names, although I often found myself crossing them out to better compliment what I needed to do.
When I failed this time around with managing my time, I took a hint from this earlier experiment. I needed something that I was going to give me a better overview of my projects, as well as keep me on track. Something that was going to give me the time to switch around on projects, especially when my brain wants to.
That’s when I made the Project Details sheets.
The Project Detail sheets, at the very least, are a set of 5 pages: an overview of the entire project, preparation work summary, primary project details, additional project details, and additional thoughts & notes. The additional project pages and the additional thoughts & notes can be added where needed.
On these pages, I put down the date I started planning them, summarized the projects, figured out which one is the primary project and which ones weren’t, but still important, and thought about the preparation work that needed to go into them, if any at all.
I also made a chart with all the projects I want to do, plus how much time I will allow myself to do. I made up a 15-minute checklist and tweaked my 30-minute and 1-hour checklists as well to include 5 tasks and blank tasks names for anything that wasn’t filled out.
Since I’m just starting this, I’m being fairly loose on the checklist sheets (plus, I know right now I just want to focus on my website). The project details are MUCH more important right now.
I did find that I don’t seem as frantic in my head trying to learn responsive web design thanks to the project details.
I suppose we will see the results in the upcoming months!
I expect I will be tweaking the project detail sheets as I go.
I’m not doing too bad this year.
Let’s aim to enter 2017 with only the remainder of the Kelly’s Journey projects and maybe Japanese notes and extra projects I didn’t really plan on doing this year.