This has been a year in two parts. For the first half of 2017, I was finishing my bachelor’s degree in Philosophy at Wesleyan University (with minors in Creative Writing and Film), but for the back portion of the year (actually slightly over half), I’ve been living in Brooklyn, trying to make the writing dream come true.
As such, the goals accomplished in each half of the year are drastically different. I had much more large amounts of free time at school, but I was focused on one task (my thesis) for much of the year. Since graduating, I have much less free time, but I think I’ve maybe focused a little bit. So without much further ado, let’s see what this year was like for me.
Films: 173, including 84 from this year. I plan to watch a few more in the remaining days of the year, but this is just under how many movies I’d like to watch in a given year, if possible. I cataloged all of them through Letterboxd. This was a first for me, and a practice I hope to continue. I may write up a top ten list in early January.
Books: 9 since graduating, but I read a few during my last semester of college. I started cataloging these on Goodreads post-grad. I read two novels and some non-fiction (mostly for my job at Gizmodo), but the bulk of my reading has been play scripts. Gotta stay sharp somehow, I suppose. I’ll probably hit 10 if I can finish the Young Jean Lee anthology I started a while ago. She’s hard to read a lot of in a row.
TV/Plays: These I haven’t been cataloging at all. This is my goal for 2018, if I can find a suitable service. I may do it analog on Excel or Google Sheets if necessary. I will say the PBS broadcast of Indecent (which I included in my Films count) was one of the best things I saw this year. Favorite TV includes The Good Place, Bojack Horseman, Rick & Morty, Steven Universe, and No Activity. I also got into the first season of Letterkenny, a brilliant sitcom I look forward to more of once I can figure out how to watch it.
Music: This is another one that’s hard to categorize. I listened to about 50 new albums from this year, but countless others from years past that I haven’t been able to catalog very well. Standouts include, in guitar music: The Wonder Years, Remo Drive, Oso Oso, Strange Ranger, Walter Etc. and Slaughter Beach Dog. In hip-hop, I mainly stuck to old stalwarts: Open Mike Eagle, Milo/Scallops Hotel and Jay-Z. The big surprise is a lack of musical that I became obsessed with like last year.
Scripts: 2 (1 Revision). I wrote a pilot this year, Punching Bag, about a ghetto superhero and his friends. I also wrote an American Dad spec for contests. I didn’t hear anything back, except from Nickelodeon who said they’re sending me some letter I have yet to receive. I spent the bulk of my script-writing time this year revising my thesis musical Aporia! A Tale of Rhetoric and Philosophy for its debut at Wesleyan.
Productions: 1- Aporia! at Wesleyan. While it didn’t draw the crowd I would have wanted, I am immensely proud and was honored to be recognized for the same by the University.
Other Fiction: I wrote a poem and short story for an anthology I named, I Think I Love You. I Also Want to Kill You. at Wesleyan.
Essays: 27. I wrote 18 articles for Gizmodo, 1 for HuffPost, 6 for this blog (including this post) and 2 philosophy papers worth mentioning. While I didn’t love every non-fiction piece I wrote this year, I am especially proud of “China is Here, Jack” an analysis I did of Big Trouble in Little China, maybe the best piece of media studies I have ever done. I am also proud of the work on this blog, as it has been entirely self-motivated.
Music: I wrote 6 songs this year. 2 with Ezer & Maskin and 4 with Make August Count. 2 with MAC will be on our forthcoming album, and one with Ezer & Maskin was the first song of our new musical. I also maybe wrote the last song or two for Aporia in 2017, technically but I’m not sure.
Submissions: 4, I believe. 1 to BMI and 3 to network fellowships that only wanted specs. Nothing back from any of them.
Money Made As A Writer: Something around $4,000 from my time at Gizmodo. A tie, then, with two summers ago when I got that amount to write the first draft of Aporia! This will probably beat 2018, but I’m not sweating it. I’ve become a bit disillusioned with culture blogging, as I’ve written about on this blog.
It’s good to do a little review. I was much more productive than I thought I was this year, and not all of it is when I was at college. I actually feel much better about my output than I thought I would. My goals for next year are going to have to be more modest, though. I will have less free time to write than I did before.
Write 2 Scripts
Write 2 In-Depth Media Analysis Essays
Write More songs than last year
Keep up reading/viewing/listening numbers and better catalog
Do WAY more submissions