I start school again on Wednesday, so the summer is almost completely over for me. In a way, I'm really looking forward to the semester ahead of me, to learning interesting things and getting back into a comfortable routine. Next week, I'll probably give you an update on how my first few days of school went, and what classes I'm taking this semester, but this post itself is going to focus on looking back to the summer that is coming to a screeching halt.
I had several expectations and goals coming into the summer of 2015, most of them, in hindsight, unrealistic. Others were completely realistic, but because of my poor planning skills, they fell apart. Most of these goals were written down in their respective sections on each category on this website. In this post, I'll be going through those goals (and others that were not written on the website, but were nevertheless committed to) one by one and grading myself. I'll be honest, I think the summer was a failure in many regards. But hey, I always have tomorrow, and there will be many more opportunities to be productive in the next few years. And I still did a lot of important things this summer, and I can rest in that.
But sometimes you gotta look back on your mistakes and consciously correct them. And that's what we're going to do here today.
Blogging Every Day
I almost completed this. Up to the week before Kidz Camp, I had released a blog post every single day except for my birthday (but I was going to let that not count, because hey, that's a day to relax). Unfortunately, I had gotten to the point where there were so many things that I was trying to get done in such a short amount of time that I literally start hyperventilating from the stress. That was the point where I knew I had to give up some things. And that's why The Christian Artist and the blog took an extended break.
Towards the end of July, I was starting to realize just how unrealistic posting every day really was. I eventually ran out of things to talk about, and was neglecting making the art that was the purpose of the blog in the first place, simply because I needed something up, and didn't have time to write a chapter of my novel or record a song. That's why I'm running by a new schedule (that and college is starting soon, and that eats up a lot of your time).
Overall, I'd give myself a B+, though, for how long I consistently kept a once a day schedule and tried to find interesting things to say. If I had set less unrealistic goals for the blog, I could have easily gotten an A. It's not that difficult for me to write up something that's been on my mind.
Read The Bible Every Day
I love reading the Bible. I love learning more about what God wants from my life and what others like me struggled with 2,000 years or more before me. Unfortunately, I still haven't gotten into the habit of reading it every day. It tends to be in spurts of weeks where I'll consistently be reading. That's not to say that I don't pray or read Christian books or talk about theology or do any other number of Biblical things--I'm alway thinking about God and learning more about Him. But I still haven't got it into my thick skull how important it is to make a habit of reading the Bible every day. And so this one gets a C.
To Look Skyward
I was supposed to have the first draft completed by now. That didn't happen. At all. I wrote maybe 2,000 words in total the entire summer, and so that is an abysmal failure right there. I stressed myself with too much other work and then wasted other time that I should have been spending on writing. No, I haven't given up on the book. Now, I'm just going to have to push through it and have it finished by the end of the year. And that means working through college. The good thing is, I will be in a creative writing class this semester...so that helps. And yes, I'll be doing NaNoWriMo again this year, somehow... We'll see how this all works out.
Yeah, I'm giving myself a D-.
Writing In General
I definitely was good about writing a lot this summer...but really only for the blog. My fiction was virtually nonexistent this summer, and for someone who wants to be a writer full-time, that was a pretty dumb move. I feel like I wasted a lot of time when I should have been writing, playing video games or just scrolling endlessly through Facebook. One of the reasons for this was that I let the routine die after the college semester was over. I allowed myself to veg and not be productive, and that habit sunk in very quickly and very detrimentally. Yes, this summer was very relaxing and restful, but it, unfortunately, did not fulfill my expectations, and that was entirely my fault. I didn't schedule my time out right.
I'm giving myself a C+ here.
Writing Excuses Master Class
No, I didn't really expect to fulfill this goal. I really would have liked to get back into the groove with following along, but every time I thought about it, I realized how far behind I was in To Look Skyward , and I couldn't do it. A D here, only because I didn't really expect to actually do this one.
Going To A Recording Studio
Well, this didn't really happen, but there was really no way it could have, with all the craziness that was going on. I really want to do this eventually, but I don't think this will be the year for it. D.
Writing Songs For Kidz Camp
This ended up not happening, not only for me but for Audra as well. There just wasn't much to go off of, and busyness set in and we lost track of time. Maybe next year. C, because it wasn't the most important thing in the world anyway.
I wish I had done more of this, but there are some issues I'm still working out with my microphone, and again, the busyness of everything else set in (that and it's more difficult to find a quiet spot to record than you might think). I did do some of it, though! So B- here.
Continuing To Write Other Songs
I did more of this than I was expecting to. Songs often just come to me, and I have to start putting it down or else the inspiration is lost. I've written entire songs just humming melodies and trying out random words at work before. And I have several songs in the process of being created right now, that will probably come to me over the next few months. So, huzzah! B+.
The Christian Artist
I did really well with this one, all things considered, and even though I ended up taking a break, people are still enjoying the podcast and even crazier, those people are not all close friends of mine! Random people have stumbled upon the podcast and enjoyed it, and that blows me away. I'm going to give this one a solid A-, with more exciting things to come.
Grill The Bear
The only thing I really did in this field was make a sort of promo for the next two episodes. I still have all the editing to do, and it's still going to take a long time. IKi'm going to try to have them up sometime in the next year, but with everything that's going on... I just don't know. I'll probably have to take a week or so to focus entirely on this, but it'll get done eventually. D here.
News Channel Spoof
Man, I pretty much completely forgot this existed. Way back at the end of last semester, some of my junior high kids and I got together to record a funny video, spoofing a news broadcast. I still haven't touched the editing of it, even though it probably won't take that long. Sorry, guys (and by guys, I'm talking to my seIventh graders)... I'll do it soon, I promise! F here, unfortunately...
Kidz Camp Skits
This was a booming success, quite possibly the best thing I did this summer. It was definitely the one I had the most commitment to. Though I stressed myself out by stalling this far too long and getting the editing done last minute at Kidz Camp itself, I still would call these videos an incredible victory on my part (and the part of everyone involved). I'm going to give myself an A here, and I'm not even going to feel guilty for that.
Kidz Camp Shorts
Well, we filmed these, and we're going to use them next year...but I ran out of time and had to decide to not try to have them edited for this year's Kidz Camp so I could actually spend time with the kids this year. But hey, that's okay. Everything worked out. C here--definitely could have planned it out better.
Look here, another thing I said I'd do but didn't do at all. See a trend? I'd still like to do these, and college might be a perfect excuse to start talking to a camera, but for now these aren't happening. D here, unfortunately. I kept meaning to do one of these, and I just kept forgetting...
This was another roaring success on my end. Our Monday night RPG group was one of the best things I did all year, and I'm still excited for the future of this world we've created and the system we're beginning to design, even though we've had to take a break from Mondays for now, because of school and what not. But we'll be back before you know it, and the world of Satorii will live again! A for this one, because it worked soooo very well.
Games In General
This was kind of the bane of my existence this summer--video games and role-playing games. No, they're not bad things in their own right, and they are a great way to relax, be creative, and experience a good story. But when you have other things to do...they can be a horrible temptation. In retrospect, though, I learned a lot about what makes a good game, in both electronic and tabletop format. From The Last of Us to the Fate Core System to Betrayal On The House On The Hill to Fiasco to indie games like Shelter (which I will talk about soon), games can be so much fun and provide so much entertainment with good friends by your side. I have much to talk about in this area, given that I engaged in it so much this summer, but I'll leave that for a Saturday.
I'm going to give myself an A here, even though these took away some of my other projects. I still greatly enjoyed myself, and learned a lot about anything and everything game-related.
Well, there you have it. It's been an interesting summer for me. But all of that is behind me now, and I'm looking towards the future. Soon, you'll see the goals on the website change as I figure out what my plans for the fall semester are. And you might see a category or two added to the line-up. We'll see...
Thanks for reading. Hope you had a great summer, and that you'll all have a great rest of the year.Here's to 2015.