[CREATIVE WORKS | PERSONAL] Stories & Anxieties, Oh My!

Hello, everybody! What is UUUUUUUP?

So, new formatish thing. As you probably can see, this blog post starts with a ~YOUTUBE VIDEO~ of mine. I’ve been wanting to do YouTube for a while, but I wasn’t sure how to properly execute my idea. Finally, I decided to make my YouTube channel correspond with my blog posts. I thought that would be the easiest way to do content and they would compliment each other — the video would be a bite-sized version of the blog post.

Shout out to my husband, Hurricane360 a.k.a. Hurricane500000 for editing the video for me!!!! I really don’t feel like editing my own videos (I don’t really have time for that), so him editing them really takes the stress off. I really appreciate it!

Anyway…onward to video content details!

ONLINE SHOOOOOP

My online shop had a really, really really soft launch because I got sick the day I launched it and haven’t had the motivation to promote it yet. This video kind of quietly promotes it as well.

If you are interested in purchasing the shirt, I have it available in Straight Cut, Fitted Cut, and Kids Cut. I really like the black one, but my friend got the Sport Grey one and it looks AMAZING.

ANXIETY BLAHS

When I recorded the vlog, I was only dealing with anxiety. As of typing this, I’m actually dealing with depression. I want to curl up in bed and never ever leave and just completely give up on life…but I know that’s part of the depression lies. To be honest, I’m alive right now because I have reasons to keep moving forward — from having a life with my beautiful husband to seeing TrainerKelly’s Network be successful, I want to keep moving forward.

Of course, anxiety cripples me and depression whispers bitter lies into my ear. At least with depression, I am at a point where I know how to handle it. Heck, sometimes, I can even use it as a springboard. Anxiety is harder for me though, however. I haven’t learned how to deal with that other than to ignore it, which I don’t think is a very good idea, but I haven’t had the quiet time I need to understand anxiety like I do depression.

There are numerous reasons for the anxiety, as well as the depression, most of which is the overwhelming amount of stuff on my plate. I appeared on a TV show, which will eventually be edited and posted. I finished my online shop and did a very soft, quiet launch of it (to be honest, I wanted it to be a lot louder) and got sick for just over a week. I needed to get back to work on TrainerKelly’s Network and actually get working on the story content, but felt stuck. I have Camp Anime coming up that I am internally freaking out about because I have to run a panel and I’m really not up to do that. There’s a couple of other things as well that I can’t really discuss, but they too are causing me anxiety.

I know people will try and say one day at a time and…well, that’s what I’m doing. Camp Anime is honestly the only thing that needs to be prepped — everything else is something I can do in bits and pieces. For instance, for TrainerKelly’s Network, my goal is 5 minutes a day. For 5 minutes a day, I work on the story content. If I can work on it for longer, great! If not, that’s okay too. Just 5 minutes.

There are two more things going on that have triggered the depression and anxiety, but I am not at liberty to discuss them at this time, if ever.

CAMP ANIME ANXIETY

Camp Anime is giving me anxiety for primarily for two reasons: 1.) I have to run a panel and 2.) I don’t actually want to stay at the camp overnight. The latter reason isn’t too worrisome, but the first one is. I feel overwhelmed by the task and I would rather use my time to be at my booth than teaching people my panel.

I’m trying not to freak out about my panel, but I am. I’m going to be teaching people how to dance parapara, which is a synchronized dance from Japan that I’ve been dancing for just over a decade (man, how time flies). I’ll be doing this by myself and my head is spinning — I want to make sure people can learn the dance. I want to teach people parapara basics to make it easier to follow along. I want to do a special performance at the end that is really just a parapara event in disguise and encourage people to dance along to the songs. I’m sure I am overthinking everything, but my mind is SCREAMING in distress. Least of which I may or may not have somebody to watch over my booth (okay, I will, but…uuuuugggggh, I need to know NOOOOW).

I suppose I just need to sit down and prepare myself. The convention is about a week away at this point…ugh.

Sometimes, I think I should just drop it, but I already said I am going. I just need to suck it up and do my panel.

THE STORY CONTENT OF TRAINERKELLY’S NETWORK

My online shop is now up and ready for items to be purchased. I’ve been attending conventions for the past two years, trying to get my name out there and start fostering connections. However, nothing will move without the story content.

Characters are just pretty illustrations until you start learning more about them. Until you begin to read their stories. Until you finish one story and head onto the next and the next and the next. Until you can start to connect with the characters and their world, merchandise means nothing.

I watched people slowly get into MAKE ME A MODEL! when I released. I’m not sure how Fairy Glimpse or Naitmarish Glimpse are doing because Instagram isn’t the most interactive website, but there is still a bit a content. This is not enough. There is a need for more. Something more than snapshots of characters’ days.

The overarching story needs to start. The world building and character building needs to begin in greater volume than what is currently going on.

The story content truly needs to start and in order to do that, I made a list. I made a list of everything I must work on for the story content (as well as Wave 2 of Characters). I wrote it without feeling pressured or scatterbrained, but rather very relaxed. Everything on the list either helps to move the main storyline (even though that may not be obvious at first) or helps to flesh out the worlds.

My aim is to get as much content done for December 1st. During December, I will be rolling out the content slowly, probably starting with the 4-panel comics I really wanted to do for July. The short stories will probably be released in 2018 like I originally planned, only to give time between me writing them and me editing them.

I do feel a constant pressure to do more main storyline stuff, but I know that will come in time. I am starting it now and putting in the groundwork for it. I d need to do a bit more world development so I can understand the more solid timeline than I do now (it’s vague, but I know more or less where things are right now). I will have to keep checking with myself and question whether or not I am delaying to get to the storyline, but right now…I just want to get to the solid points on my timeline, so when there is plenty of content, I can direct people properly.

On a more positive note, thanks to some mini stories I had begun to write on Patreon as complimentary to the Glimpse comics, I will be using those comics (and the 4-panel ones) to build the short stories off from. Since they are only snapshots of what is going on in Naitmaric and Fairolk, I think it’s a great idea to expand on them in short story form.

I am hoping to also turn some of the short stories into comics as well, once I get to them, and kind of have everything work off of each other. That way, if you don’t really like my artwork, you can read the short stories. If you don’t like the short stories, then you can read the comics. If you don’t like either…well, you can probably just get off my website because you aren’t a part of my target audience. Probably.

TRAINERKELLY’S NETWORK IN GENERAL

Besides from the story content, the online shop opening, and the homepage being updated, I am aiming to update all the pages to a more consistent layout. The variety will come simply with the banners and hyperlink texts instead of how I currently do the layout (everything but the basic shape is different).

I want everything to be even easier for people to access and read. I think the current layout is too difficult and a bit too tedious. Hopefully, I will be able to update the layouts when I start rolling out content again.

FOR A COUPLE OF DAYS A WEEK

To me, TrainerKelly’s Network is my only job and it is my only work. However, I have been going to some place — let’s call it W — for a couple of days a week. I’ve spent the last two months getting somewhere between 10 to 12 hours a week. Knowing this is not enough to pay all my bills (almost all, but not all), I set out for a second place to go for a couple of days a week for some additional money. I also looked for a full-time place as well, but I knew I didn’t really want that — I wanted a second part-time place. It took me probably a month and a half of applying and waiting to finally get into one!

Both places — W and S — are good. They both require low energy usage, which is exactly what I need. By that, I mean I generally don’t go home feeling like I just want to crawl into bed and sleep for the next two days. I can actually come back and do my actual work.

My ultimate goal is for TrainerKelly’s Network to support itself, support me, and support anything I want to branch off of it. However, until then (and I hope it’s sooner than later, but not too soon where I am not ready), I will be going to two places a couple days a week.

(By the way, the week that I started the second place (S), W started giving me almost 40 hours. That’s hilarious! I had asked them earlier to give me hours and they were like “SURVEYS” and it looks like I got what I asked for. For how long…I am not sure. The manager says for the rest of the time, but I will wait and see.)

ANYBODY MISS KELLY’S JOURNEY?

I had been spending days doing nothing, but feeling my anxiety and depression. I needed to get out of it. I took a moment to just ask mentally for help with that. I soon enough got my hint — when I spoke of TrainerKelly’s Network (TKN) in my head, with phrases such as “I need to work on TKN” or “I want to work on TKN,” I switched it out with KJ (Kelly’s Journey) instead.

For those of you who aren’t aware, Kelly’s Journey is a Pokémon fanfiction of mine that I have been working on since elementary school, although the current version has been since around my freshman year of high school in 2006.

It has been on the back burner for the past year or so because I wanted to focus on my original content. However, I felt like working on it this time. It’s been almost a year since I last worked on an episode.

I have viewed Kelly’s Journey as practice and a playground for my writing in the past and even to this day, I still do. I used to give it more priority, but since acknowledging the importance of my original works, it has fallen into the background.

It also has become something I fear of posting nowadays because it’s a retelling of the anime series and I don’t really want The Pokémon Company to come after me. So, if Kelly’s Journey suddenly disappears from the Internet, please don’t be surprised — I probably ended up taking it down out of fear and because I don’t want people to come to me for Pokémon, but for my original content.

My fantasy has been, for a long time, The Pokémon Company discovering the fanfiction and actually liking it so much, instead of ordering a cease & desist, they actually work on a collaboration with me instead to get them released, kind of like a new set of Pokémon novels. I would want this to happen after I get much later in the series, just to make it more difficult for things to turn around in any way, shape, or form.

I expect the worst though that they would sue me and order me to destroy everything related to KJ instead and that I wouldn’t even be able to salvage my original characters for that series and convert them into their own original series that I already have going on in my head. Just that thought breaks my heart…

…I really prefer my more fantasy scenario instead, but that’s just me.

Anyway, while I’m not writing Kelly’s Journey, it did its job after two days of working on it: it greased my writing gears to help me get back to work! Since then, I’ve been working on scripting one of the comics I have on my list.

ONE THING AT A TIME…OR EVERYTHING AT A TIME?

Whenever I express that I am overwhelmed and want to do too many things at once, one of the most common responses is some variation of “one thing at a time.”

I become overwhelmed by all the tasks I want to do because I don’t know which one to do. Doing one thing at a time doesn’t help me when I can’t pick just one thing to do. If I knew which one to do first, I wouldn’t be having this problem in the first place!

That’s why I ended up experimenting and found that when I want to do a bunch of task, I pick out the ones I TRULY want to do (and the ones I absolutely must do). From there, I block out time to do a bit of each. Maybe an hour for an illustration piece, 15 minutes for writing a short story, and 10 minutes for scripting a comic. Or maybe 30 minutes for sketching, 1 hour for inking, and 3 hours for writing a blog entry. Regardless of the task, I try and block it out to realistically get started. 5 minutes works for writing, but gets me no where with drawing. 1 hour works great for drawing, but I may start to get distracted at the 30 minute mark when it comes to writing.

After doing all the tasks in their bite-sized format, one of them ends up sticking. One of them clings to me and rolls down the hill and doesn’t stop until it runs out of gas or I finish.

If you are someone who gets overwhelmed because you want to do a billion things at once, take a look at your list and break it down to the important ones. Like, don’t worry about obligations set up by someone else (like your employer) because those are probably easier than when you do stuff for yourself. Focus on you and your tasks and your needs. Then set aside realistic time.

Don’t know what a realistic time frame is for you? Then experiment. Time yourself. How long does a task take you from start to finish? If you find you can’t finish I particular task in one sitting, at what point in time did your attention start moving away from it? How long does each component of the task take? Once you figure these out, try my method I mentioned above and see what it does for you.

When I recorded the vlog, I thought I had to block out time. Turns out, I didn’t really — one of the comics ended up jumping out right away and I am working on that. I think I’m almost to the midway point of that comic…I think. We shall see soon enough. Maybe you’ll know in my next vlog.

Overall

  • I got hired for a second place to go to for a couple of days a week because I have bills to pay and debt to obliterate.
  • I made a list of story content to complete before December 1st of this year (2017) in order to start rolling it out.
  • I worked a tiny bit of Kelly’s Journey in order to get my gears moving. It worked!
  • I am stressing over Camp Anime.
  • The online shop is OPEN!
  • I am aiming to do online videos to post along side my blog entries.

And I think that is it. Thank you for reading and thank you for watching!