Hello! It’s time for my 2019 wrap-up post, and I thought I’d go over the 9 things I did right this year in my writing and in life.
2019 was a good year, but it still had its ups and downs. I co-wrote my first episode of TV and got into the WGA, did all the freelancing and traveled a good amount, but I also worked myself into the ground and burned myself out a few times.
I’m still learning how to balance everything, but this year also marked the beginning of building some really amazing things I’m so proud to be a part of.
Without further ado, here’s the list!
#1. Learned How to Teach Yoga, Started Teaching Classes
I’ve written before on this blog on how teaching yoga has impacted my creativity and writing.
I completed my 200 hour Yoga Alliance Training in the spring, and since then have been teaching regular classes for a South LA school and for Gold’s Gym.
Learning how to teach yoga did a few things:
- Reminded me how critical the mind/body connection is for creativity. Mindfulness and movement is critical to maintain our creativity. Sitting in a desk all day isn’t good for us, and I rediscovered how key curious movement is through yoga.
- Taught me how to be more confident in my presence. When I’m teaching yoga, I have to talk for 60-90 minutes straight, gently guiding my students through the sequence I prepared for them. I learned how to speak calmly but with authority, and that practice is invaluable for every aspect of my life, from pitching to how I simply hold myself in a room.
- Learned how to make bomb playlists. Does your yoga teacher’s playlist have an acoustic cover of safety dance on it? I think not.
I’m hopping into a new writers’ room this January, so I won’t be teaching group classes this spring.
However, I will be starting up my free yoga in the park again, so be sure to follow me on Instagram for more updates on that! IG: @YogaforTVWriters
#2. Created a Community with KingdomofPavement.com
In Los Angeles, all of the different art forms are scattered and siloed in their own fields. Our mission with Kingdom of Pavement is to not only highlight rising artists, but to create a community in LA where creatives can learn and gather for our open mic nights.
I also designed the supersoft Kingdom of Pavement t-shirts we have for sale in the store — these unisex tees fit like a dream and are my favor
#3. Traveled to New Places
I wrote a blog post earlier this year about how my ghostwriting and freelance work has allowed me to travel and work from anywhere.
Travel is critical for writers and creatives: we need to be able to experience the world in order to write about it.
I also took a lovely research trip for the new pilot I wrote this year, and wrote a blog post about how to go on a research trip for your work.
#4. Wrote to My Authentic Experiences
I’m so proud of the article I wrote for the Los Angeles Times about how pole dancing helped me come out as bisexual. If you haven’t already, check it out here!
Writing about my authentic experiences is so important to me. I’ve been on a journey to practice honesty and vulnerability in all aspects of my life, and this was a major step forward in that goal.
#5. Grew My Freelance Business — and Wrote a Book About it!
Freelancing has been a godsend, and I’m so grateful to be able to freelance when I’m not in a writers’ room.
I wanted to share my tips and tricks with others — so I wrote a short li’l book about it!
For the past few years, I’ve been meeting with fellow creatives who were trying to figure out how to make space in their life for their work without having to wait tables or take on a traditional “day job.” I’ve been sharing with friends and strangers tips and tricks, and thought I might as well write a book about the most valuable things I’ve learned, sans the fluff.
I have a bunch of posts on here about freelancing as well if you want to get a taste of some of the things I cover in the book! (Go to my popular post page and scroll to the “freelancing” category)
Freelancing has allowed me to meet some really incredible clients, travel all over the place, and sustain myself in-between writers’ rooms.
As creatives, we’re taught that the only way to succeed is to starve. But because we have such unique skills and crafts we’ve learned, we can leverage these things to create successful freelance businesses to give us the freedom we need to pursue our art.
I also have a whole chapter devoted to how I freelance on Upwork, which is how I made my first $10,000 back when I was a showrunner’s assistant.
#6. Wrote for Multiple Forms and Mediums
I wrote so much this year — but not just for one form! I’m working on a novel, I wrote and published my freelance ebook, I wrote one pilot and revised two others and started on a new one, I helped to produce an interactive murder mystery for FourFront Media and wrote a piece of the experience, I ghostwrote several memoirs and nonfiction books and dozens of articles for the aforementioned LA Times and Kingdom of Pavement — it’s kind of a miracle I don’t have carpal tunnel (yet.)
I’m also still writing and releasing chapters of my millennial noir series that I’m posting here on the blog (let’s face it: I’m way behind but still having a blast writing this serialized story!)
I learned so much from writing for different forms and mediums, and highly recommend every writer try to write for a few different forms. It’s a great way to challenge yourself and get your work out there.
#7. Read Widely
I’m constantly trying to read and absorb as many new experiences, skills, and books as possible.
I read and loved Ronan Farrow’s new book as well as some odd books about crime and hypnosis and the history of burglary.
Audible was one of the major reasons why I was able to read so much this year, and I highly recommend — especially if you’re *over* all the LA traffic.
#8. I Helped My Friends Build Their Businesses
…which I can’t really talk about here, but there’s no one I’d rather work with than my friends.
In my opinion, everything we build should come from a place of altruism and friendship.
Together, we’re stronger than if we just tried to do everything by ourselves.
#9. I Embraced the Unknown.
I never really know “what’s next.” I kind of just… do things. And the puzzle pieces fall into place from there.
I have strategies based on my goals, of course. My whiteboard is covered in steps to achieve my annual goals.
But even if you create elaborate plans, it’s not always up to you.
So embrace the unknown, and let’s go running into these roaring 20’s together 🙂