How many projects is too many projects?

If you were to ask Ryan Seacrest, there’s no such thing as too many projects… and I would tend to agree.

In any person’s life, there will always be times when there is so much to be done, or there is so much that you want to get done, that nothing seems to ever get done. You organize and prioritize your list of things to do, but as you near crossing one thing off the list, a couple of more pop up that you quickly gravitate toward because they’re fresh and exciting, causing other priorities to take a backseat. It can be daunting for sure, especially when it doesn’t seem like you will ever have the time to finish it all. I’ve recently found myself in this exact place, but what I’ve come to realize is that it is in this madness that I find my sanity. I am a naturally creative person, and in my pursuit of making a living as said creative person (weather as a writer, a film maker, graphic designer or a combination of all three—known now as a hyphenate), I have mostly been able to stick to one project at a time, pour all of my energy into it and then move on.

But in the last month, several opportunities have opened themselves up to me, all from different and varying formats, all of which have something in them that is unique and different, something that I wouldn’t miss out on for anything. And with all things considered, I couldn’t ask for a better position to be in.

As everyone who has read this blog knows, I have been working on a new novel that I will be publishing in November. Not only am I busy putting together and crafting my marketing campaign for this book (including the title contest), I still need to put the finishing touches on the cover (which I have scheduled to debut on November 1st) and I’m in the middle of editing the manuscript to get all of those pesky errors flushed out. Because I have a date, this is certainly my top priority, but there is plenty of other projects vying for a turn at the table.

Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been helping out as 1st Assistant Director on a promotional video for a new children’s web series that looks to go live on Kickstarter sometime in November. It’s an interesting little skit show that will appeal to young kids and their families; a wholesome show that will also allow kids to post artwork, stories and videos for inclusion in the program. I will be discussing this project in more detail as they become available to the public, but for the time being, there is a bit of a hush-hush mandate, so I’d better shut up now before I get in trouble.

Speaking of Kickstarter, I am also working on a campaign for my own project, a feature sports drama that I wrote and will be looking to direct. Again, this one is still on the down-low until the campaign is officially active, which won’t happen until I have my own promotional video complete (which, as the timeline falls into place, won’t be until right around the publication of my novel). I’ve got the location, the crew, the actors and the equipment; right now it’s just about finding the right date that works for everyone involved, because you know… when you ask everyone to work for free, you have to give a little room to breathe.

Recently, I was doing a little fall cleaning and came across a business card for someone I met a few years back at a film festival while promoting my short film, My Necklace, Myself. She is a director/writer/producer (a hyphenate like me!) who mentioned on her card that she liked westerns. Well, I just so happened to have a western story I’d been kicking around that I thought she might be interested in possibly producing and/or directing. I emailed her a little about me, and a few days ago we spoke about the project and what we may be able to offer each other. Now, I’m reworking the pitch a little (freshening it up from the early days of its development) so that I can send it to her. If things go the way I hope them to, I will soon be looking to write the full script.

On a similar note, I was approached a few days ago on the set of the promo video about the possibility of adapting a book based on the real-life exploits of a man she knows. I said I’d be interested in reading the book, which I devoured over a day. Let me tell you, the events and situations this man has lived and survived is simply extraordinary. Participating in his goal of getting his story to the big screen is a no-brainer. I will be contacting him in the next few days to offer my services as screenwriter and get a few questions answered. Once he agrees (if he agrees!), I will need to begin some thorough research on certain events and figure out a narrative that will both respect him as a man and respect the journey he took. It will certainly be a complicated and tough journey, but it will be well-worth it in the end.

Wait a minute… I’m not done. My sister contacted me the other day and asked if I’d be up for writing and filming a short film that would be played at her wedding reception in January. Her idea was to do a silent black and white movie set in the twenties that involved her and her fiancee. How could I possibly say no to that? Now it’s just a matter of coming up with a good story and finding a film date that works for everyone involved.

All of this and I’m still working diligently as a freelance video editor for Treelore Theatre and their light, fun skits, all the while waiting for my friend to deliver the first draft of a manuscript that she has asked me to co-write with her.

As you can imagine, with so much to do, and so much I want to do, it’s hard to start (or complete) any one thing. What needs to be done first? What is more important? Is a deadline approaching? Will it ever end?

I certainly hope not. I’m having too much fun!

Of course, none of these projects offer (or guarantee in the foreseeable future) any compensation whatsoever. Everything listed above is being done because I’m passionate about the project at hand and would very much like to see them succeed in one way or another. If they do, fantastic, because then I will get to see some fruit blossom from my hard work. But if not, at least I walked away from the experience with fresh ideas, new perspectives and new friends and colleagues.

Each of these projects are (and will be) rewarding in and of themselves, and I don’t look to stop anytime soon. To have so much to do doesn’t just keep me busy, it gives me validation that what I am doing is already worth something to someone, regardless of monetary value. To get anywhere in any creative field, one just needs to keep plugging away, learning and growing and creating. Eventually (and if you’re lucky enough) something will suddenly click with the public. It may seem like a lot, and at times may seem like I’m not putting everything I have into each one, but believe me when I say, I am. No matter what it is I’m working on at any given time, by working on so many varied projects, I am able to explore many different things that help balance out and support the ideas and concepts of all of the others.

Besides, who needs rest when you are having this much fun?

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