Happy New Year, dear readers! It’s 2016, already! In fact, it has been for 7 whole days, and I’m finally getting around to posting this: my 2015 Retrospective, and Goals for 2016. But better late than never, right? And 7 days isn’t really that bad: as much as I wanted to, I never got around to posting my 2014 retrospective last year—despite having a draft of it and everything. Wah-wah!
2015 has been an interesting year. In some ways, I’ve made some good progress on the work/writing front, but in other ways, I really haven’t done enough. But I think it’s so important to take stock of what I have done this year. As I’ve talked about before, I tend to look at the unchecked items on my To Do list and beat myself up over what I haven’t done, rather than give myself credit for what I have. It’s so easy to lose sight of your accomplishments, and so important not to.
So let’s have a look, shall we?
What Have I Accomplished in 2015?
I definitely made some exciting achievements this year, in terms of
– I’m also in the process of signing a contract for an article with LA Weekly (hopefully pubbed around January 31), which will mean I’ll have hit the local trifecta: LA Magazine, LA Times, and LA Weekly! Pretty cool.
– I produced a video segment for Playboy.com (submitted as a written pitch but they wanted video)! It was a bear, but now it’s done and will be available on January 18! Major Woot!!
– I took a comedy writing class and performed a standup comedy routine that was very well received
– I took a really great story-writing class with Nikki Levy of “Don’t Tell My Mother” (if you’re in LA, definitely look into it; Nikki’s awesome)
– I did NaBloPoMo again, though I didn’t actually do the whole month 🙁
– I completely revamped my resume, from a chronological format to a freelance format, which I’m pretty proud of. I also think it helped, in that…
– I garnered a little more notice and attention, to the point where…
– I got closer to getting a job, including a fairly high profile-ish one… but I didn’t actually get the job. Ah well. Still good networking opportunities and maybe they’ll pay off in the future
– I developed possible relationships with editors at other publications—Narratively, The Toast, TV Insider, Bustle, ATTN:, and AV Club—who seem interested in my writing, though I haven’t quite hit that sweet spot yet of actually writing articles for them (still, networking is important)
– I started Accountabilibuddies: a little group (3-4 of us) of writers who email each other twice weekly to declare our goals for the week and try to keep each other accountable
– In June, I helped found a new in-person writing group for women writers in the San Gabriel and San Fernando Valleys of southern California. We meet monthly for networking, workshops, and learning, and it’s great! (We’re on Facebook; let me know if you’d like to join us)
– I attended BinderCon writers’ conference in LA, which is great
Content Strategy, Web Work, Video Editing, Dancing (or I suppose you could say, everything else):
– I did a ton of work for Swing the Doc (which is finally nearing completion, and we have an exciting announcement, though we’re not allowed to say it yet!), including attending Camp Hollywood, and helping organize and run our big party in the house where they filmed the party scene from the movie Swingers
– I’ve gotten more comfortable with WordPress and web design, including creating a brand new website for Culver City English Country Dance, and I hope to find some paid work with these skills in 2016 (if you know of anyone hiring, please let me know!)
– I got involved with Culver City English Country Dance and the Victorian Tea & Dance Society (and even made myself a new Regency ballgown days before the Jane Austen Evening), and I’ve been calling dances for both (and plan to do more in 2016)
– I played more with video editing, and created a Halloween grand march and a Christmas video that I’m really proud of (though the jerks at YouTube or somewhere have since rendered the latter useless because of copyright infringement. Copyright infringement is what YouTube is all about!!!)
I also attended some great musicals, concerts, and events:
- Jane the Virgin and Dancing With The Stars panels at Paley Fest
- Long Beach Comic Con and Fandomverse, where Alex spoke on the Gen Zed panels
- Pride & Prejudice The Musical (La Mirada Theatre)
- Carrie The Musical (La Mirada Theatre)
- The ThreePenny Opera (A Noise Within)
- Matilda The Musical (I’m obsessed!), Finding Neverland, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, and Fun Home (all on Broadway in New York)
- Dear Galileo (Lark Theatre, New York), a great new play written by my colleague and friend Claire Willett (also check out her brilliant novel, The Rewind Files)
- Barenaked Ladies with Colin Hay (woot!) and Violent Femmes
- Pentatonix and Kelly Clarkson (absolutely brilliant!)
- Weird Al Yankovic Mandatory Fun tour
- A live showing of the American Ninja Warrior (MuricaNinja Whoa!) finale, and
- The full 7-film Star Wars marathon, starting at 1 a.m. with the Phantom Menace (yuck) and ending with The Force Awakens, which was Ah-Mah-Zing!
And I did some traveling:
- The Society for American Music conference in Sacramento in March
- New York in October, where I saw all those Broadway shows mentioned above
- My niece’s wedding in Danville, Virginia (almost North Carolina)
- Metro DC area for Thanksgiving, where I caught up with family and good friends whom I miss dearly
- Switzerland for Christmas, where my brother lives with his chaotic but amazingly talented family (and the jetlag is still killing me)
It was a pretty full year… Which is good!
In fact, this post has gotten so lengthy that I think I’ll save my 2016 Goals for a separate post. And who knows, maybe I’ll put up my 2014 retrospective soon too, even though it’s a year late.
So what did your 2015 look like? Was it all you hoped for and more?