Plans for 2017 and learning how to move forward.

A little over a week ago, I began the new year with a rather bleak summation of my progress in 2016. Nonetheless, my eyes are set forward and I have lot of plans for this year. I wanted to share some of my personal goals so that I can be kept accountable for my work.

Branding

Branding is a big part of my plans for 2017. My reputation, website, YouTube, Patreon, etc. have all been pretty miserable failures overall, and a lot of that has to do with my failure to represent myself well.

As of today, I finally secured @EsportsJohn on Twitter as well as got my name changed on Team Liquid. I plan on spending a lot of time cleaning up my website, YouTube, and Patreon and creating proper graphics and a logo for all of them. It will take a lot of time to learn the necessary skills and adjust everything to my liking, but I plan to put a huge emphasis on branding this year.

I will also finally invest in a domain name for my website so I no longer have to deal with the WordPress URL. I didn’t have any money to spend last year, but I think it’s an important part of my success to invest some money into my name this year.

Writing

I bounced around between several companies last year trying to find some semblance of stability doing something I enjoyed. It was a year of growing pains, and I think I’m the better for it.

Inven Global
In November, I began working as a copyeditor at Inven Global and have since been promoted to an editor of sorts. For the first time in a long time, I have a stable job that pays nicely, and I intend on keeping it for the duration of 2017. My focus at Inven is primarily news articles; currently I have the goal of writing at least one news article per day for a total of over 300 by year’s end. So far I’ve kept pretty close to that standard, and I’m hoping that no sudden depression will suppress me anytime soon.

LiquidHeroes
also joined back up with LiquidHeroes. It’s hard to describe exactly how I feel about the organization, but it’s sort of like my personal project. When I first came on board in late 2014, I didn’t expect to do much other than write a few guides for Heroes of the Storm since my interest in StarCraft II was waning, but it quickly grew into a lot more than that. Fueled by the passion from my co-editor Vaalia, I spurred on ahead and attempted to really make something out of the section. From July to December, our news coverage and feature article numbers more than doubled, and we were actually one of the top sources for Heroes of the Storm alongside GosuGamers and even The Score.

When I split from the org in March, we were commissioned by Blizzard to write all of the HGC coverage, and we received numerous invitations and paid trips to championships around the world. In short: we were the real deal. The material and organization of the group fell off the face of the earth after I left, and LiquidHeroes pretty much died. Coming back to the organization, it’s my hope that we can regain our previous standing and push things even further than before. If nothing else, I want to prove that I can run a group of writers and create a successful publication. My work there is primarily the work of a head editor, but I do plan on writing a few feature pieces for them.

Blogs
When I first opened this site, I told myself that I would write a blog post once every week at minimum, but I’ve published almost nothing. This year, that’s going to change. I’m not a very interesting person, I think, and most of my thoughts revolve around gaming; nonetheless, I really want to make a positive effort to write more often, even if it’s just a paragraph dealing with frustration or boredom.

There is no specific amount of posts I’m aiming for; this is more of a self-motivation thing.

Video

I originally opened a YouTube channel so I could just post things occasionally for articles, but at some point in 2015 I ended up getting caught up in several mediocre podcasts and eventually doing my own personal videos. As mentioned above, my YouTube was a complete failure. I put very little effort into the videos, and I got very little out of them. Both of the podcasts (Strat Chat and Nexus Nights) are now defunct, but at least I learned some valuable skills from them.

HotS Thoughts
The original thought process behind creating this was to educate people with informational videos that drew deeply on my own analytical knowledge of the game and statistics—basically, I wanted to be like a Day9 figure for Heroes of the Storm. Unfortunately, I think that train derailed at some point, and I got more and more complacent with the videos. On top of my insecurity about my weight and my self-image, the videos were very sporadic, often going several months before the next release.

My goal this year is to re-purpose this series and use it more for my personal branding. Video time lengths are getting seriously shortened, from 15-30 minutes down to about 5-8 minutes. Subjects will be straightforward and to the point without preamble or announcements or anything of the sort. I will include overlays as well to make it look a lot better. Release dates may still not be regular; it’s something I’m still working on.

Heroes History
Heroes History is a new video series I’m looking at creating. The idea is to discuss one specific event or set of events in Heroes history alongside a “guest historian”, which would be a pro player or a caster. The show will be tight, only around 3-8 minutes, and will include a lot of detailed facts and video clips. Again, I will also create a nice overlay so that things look professional.

Personal stuff

There are a million things I need to improve on personally…self-image, eating choices, work motivation, time management, etc., etc. The biggest ones (pun not intended) on my mind are losing weight and protecting my mental health. I’ve gained back a lot of weight in 2016, and it’s very disheartening trying to work it off, but I’m making an effort to walk/run or do some parkour every day. Physical well being is the first step to mental well being.

Mentally, I’m doing my best to avoid stressing myself out. After a year of examining my condition, I think I can generally recognize when my brain is speeding up or slowing down; by compensating and finding ways to reduce my stress levels, I will hopefully avoid severe bouts of depression in the future and maintain my workflow at a steady rate. Some days I’m itching to do more and more and more, but I have to force myself to hold back, and that’s very difficult.

At the end of July, my lease is up, and I’m moving from Georgia to California (Sacramento). I am still quite poor with a lot of debts that need to be paid off, but I believe if I put my mind to it, I can afford the move. Going to California will be a huge shift in lifestyle, but I’m hoping that getting away from all the stuff here and being on my own helps me focus on my work and improve. It will also be a huge boon for me when I want to go to esports events since California is chock full of them.

Last, I will end up at BlizzCon 2017 as a reporter. Whether I make enough money to move to California or not, I will be at BlizzCon. I am absolutely determined in this resolve.

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