Three Words for 2013

Last night, I sat down with my little black notebook and continued working on my three words (see author Chris Brogan on this exercise) alongside another re-read of “Amazing Things Will Happen” by C.C. Chapman. I really feel that it’s one of the best books that I’ve read in the past five years, and I’ll put it next to Seth Godin‘s “The Dip” as something that comes along at the right time to make me think and reconsider what I should make happen in my life.

Around 11PM on Christmas Day, I came up with those three words. I printed them on paper and took some time to color in the words with the pencils I keep on my desk, then I fixed the page to the side of my computer where I would be able to see them. There are five days left in 2012 to outline the plan to make good on those three words, and I intend to do just that.

Most of what I do in a creative aspect is tell stories, both my own and those of other people. During a wickedly fun time with the Dead Robots Society crew, I was asked about narration and voiceovers, and I brought up the difference between reading a story and telling a story. As a voiceover artist, I see myself as a storyteller who should work with an author to bring the full auditory experience to a listener. As a writer, I need to tell the stories that live inside my head and heart, and I need to get them out in a coherent fashion. I’ve decided that I need to focus more on telling stories and bringing them to life.

Some of the phrases that I put down during the exercise involved my wanting to not be afraid or scared of those aspects that I felt had some overwhelming control over my life. I dislike being nervous and afraid; I’ve always had issues with anxiety and it manifests in poor health and bad judgment. I don’t want to be fearless, because that is only half of the solution. Part of not living in fear and anxiety is the courage to face fears and concerns head-on, and work to resolve them rather than hide from them or make excuses that allow them to perpetuate. Brave is a better word, since it requires facing those fears with courage and resolve rather than pretending that they don’t exist.

Many of the projects that I wrote about during this exercise were projects that I had already started but that had been sidetracked due to different concerns. There was also the issue of my health and wanting to get back to taking care of myself with a regular exercise regimen, something that I had been doing but that had slipped in the last few months. I’m great with ideas, but much of what has kept my voiceover work and writing in the background has been a lack of delivery, which requires that I finish projects that I start. This year, I want to focus on finishing the projects that I start, not beginning projects that I won’t finish. At the end of the year, I want to have more in the “done” and “completed” columns so that I can streamline my focus to the ventures that allow me to tell stories for the better part of my day.

Doing exercises like this always makes me feel small yet immensely empowered. I look to other creatives in the hope that I can be both successful and happy doing that which I love, and I hope that I can continue to improve in that craft. Sometimes, I wish that I could sit down and talk with even one of these authors so that I could get more validation as to if I’m doing the right thing or if it’s even worth pursuing something this crazy.

But, waiting for someone else to validate what I want to do isn’t necessarily brave, and it doesn’t always bring me closer to finishing what I started. And, while listening to others is invaluable, there comes a time when I need to take a deep breath and begin to tell the stories that matter and use my voice to make a better 2013.

Finish, brave storyteller.

I think that sounds like a plan.

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