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finding peace among the chaos

Or, Pretending that we've got everything under control.

Well well well if it isn't the second week of 2023. Did you make a resolution? How's it working out so far? Doesn't it seem like the older we get the faster time passes?

I'll apologize in advance. I wanted to write a funny post today but, owing to the fact that here in the Toronto area we haven't seen the sun in like...60 million days, I feel like being serious.

Please bear with me, you'll hear from silly me again real soon.

Being a filmmaker is challenging and it's something I don't think young people consider enough when choosing this lifestyle. When you pursue a career in art, 'spare time' will feel like a mythical realm reserved for people who aren't you. If your art doesn't pay your bills, you're forced to balance paying work, life duties, social activities, and finding time to make your art. It can seem like an nearly impossible task. I regularly get the feeling like I'm running in front of a tsunami and at some point it's just going to consume me. One glance at my inbox telling me that it's 95% full reminds me of the many things that need to be dealt with.

Sometimes you might fantasize about throwing in the towel and going to a 'simpler way of life', living off the grid or what-have-you. But you do art because you have to create. So how do we control the pressure we feel? Or the pressure that we put on ourselves? Pursuing art is a privileged, but it's certainly not for the faint of heart.

"If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice."

I had an interesting conversation once with a friend who was studying successful people. We were discussing whether luck just happens, or whether these people put themselves into a position that essentially made their 'luck' happen. I think there's actually something silly like this going around on Tik-Tok at the moment, something about manifesting luck.

Mostly we concluded that luck is just that, a random good fortune, but hard work is going to put you in a position that will make good fortune more likely to happen.

Below I'm going to lay out what I'd like to do with 2023 and how I plan to do it. We all know the best laid plans can fail, but I believe it's better to make a plan than to 'let the wind direct your course,' as they say. As in the words of Canadian legend's Rush (and some philosopher guy) "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice." If you do not plan then you are more bound to fail. And if the plan fails, we make another. Of course this is just how I think. You do you. There certainly is a time and place to be carefree, but if you're an artist, I think you need to be clear of what you want and how you're going to get there. So here we go, my best laid plans categorized and from easiest to hardest:

Film Goals:

  • Apply to the WIFT mentorship program

  • Submit to Sir Peter Ustinov TV Screenwriting Award

  • Make another Short Film

  • Get my feature script to it's best possible state


  • Wash sheets and towels at least once per week.

  • Move towards a zero-waste lifestyle

  • Eat Healthier

OK, so you can see how some of these goals are quite general. Now I need to go in and break down how I'm going to make these goals happen. I personally like the SMART method so I'm going to zoom in on each goal and ask myself:


Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time Bound?

Goals like the screenplay award and mentorship application have built in deadlines so they're automatically time bound. They are both relevant to pushing my film career forward and, because I'm approaching 30, the Sir Peter Award is particularly important to hit this year. They are both achievable because I'm doing the work to be ready to submit to these programs. They are measurable because I either get into these programs or I don't, but as long as I submit to them I will have achieved my goal.

But most of my other goals are quite broad. So I need to go in and break them into smaller steps to make them achievable by the end of this year. For example my goal to 'Eat Healthier' is going to need to start with something small like replacing one meal with a healthier option. This might mean I need to find time to meal-prep so I don't fall back on fast-food or quick dinner options that are ultimately unhealthy choices. Is it realistic to find time to meal prep? If I think about the places where I waste time in my day, then yes I do think it's an achievable and realistic thing to demand from myself. Let the tsunami continue!

So I would carry on doing this breakdown until all my goals are SMART. Because I'm making this plan, I feel some semblance of control in my life, and I feel excitement for the future. This is one of my methods for being ready to face each day. Putting a checkmark beside accomplished goals is surprisingly rewarding. But it's also important to remember that life throws curve balls, and plans can change. I will work hard to achieve my goals but I won't beat myself up if I fail. I'm only human.

If you happened to read this far I really appreciate you using your precious hours to read my words, and I wish you all the best...luck for 2023!

Until Next Time!



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