This post originally appeared at Hand Crank Films. Here's to a great 2014.
Every New Year, I make the standard list of resolutions. They often involve exercising more and eating less. But this year more than ever, we're on a search for Quality. And to me, quality means connecting with things and people that resonate, fulfill their purpose, and last.
Here’s a few ways I think we can all add quality to our stories in 2014:
> Find the Romantic Hook: Romance is the deepest connection – the way we find joy in the smallest things. While it’s the most powerful of all the hooks, it’s also often the first to be let go under the grind of the day to day. Don’t let this be buried under the incessant paperwork. Fight hard for it. Don't let it go, above all else.
> Listen to Better Soundtracks: Every piece of media we consume affects how we feel. Don’t waste much time (other than a few guilty pleasures – New Girl anyone?) on content that doesn't reinforce who you want to be. Instead, find your soundtrack that inspires. Then march to it.
> Find a Better Cast: Surrounding yourself with people that don’t dream the same way you do is a killer. Cut their scenes as much as possible, and hang with people who want to share the same crazy life you do. That’s the best way to reach new heights. And the most fun.
> Produce Quality Content: Every email, every tweet, every Facebook post and video, is part of your brand and reflects who you are. Your content is what fills your own personal TV channel, and if you want people to watch, you have to focus on quality. No, it may never be perfect, but it should add value and make people’s lives better. Progress, not perfection.
> Ignore the Critics: Producing (rather than just consuming) is risky business. You’re going to have to eventually throw stuff out there for people to see. Inevitably, you’ll get feedback that is negative, snarky, and mean. But you’ll also get good feedback. Use it to improve and fuel the engine. The best advice I ever got: Don’t get dragged down by people who never had the guts in the first place.
The Big Questions and the Big Answers do matter. By stealing some of these resolutions, maybe we can all do well and put a ‘dent in the universe’. Be who you are.
Your thoughts for 2014? Let us know. And check out our new work here.
Photo: On the set of Caleb Young's feature film 'Ghostwoods'.