This column is written by Sally Hassan, the creator of Ghetto Nerd Girl. I talk about how to get through the vital steps of making a web series as smoothly and painlessly as possible.
It feels good to erase stuff from the goals list!
We all know it’s no secret that making a web series is hard work. Broken down into the 3 phases of production it can be quite daunting. But we are the ambitious ones and we have to push through the obstacles. That can be rough at times especially when many of us hit road blocks like lack of funds, help, locations, equipment, and everything in between. It’s easy to get stuck and not know how to continue. This can be especially true when working on aspects of web series that are not within your skill set.
Most of our lives we have someone telling us what to do. Our parents, teachers, coaches, professors, bosses, etc. We become accustomed to living within their structures of rules, deadlines, assignments, chores, etc. Most of them suck, but it’s how we have accomplished almost everything in our lives. They pushed us whether we liked it or not and helped us to accomplish many things. There’s a lot we can take from this in order to motivate ourselves to complete our web series.
It’s likely you’re embarking on this journey on your own. No one is telling you what to do when to work on your series, or that it’s even important. This can be liberating to not have structure but it can also be discouraging if you lack organization. If you don’t push yourself it won’t happen. Luckily you are not the only one going through this struggle. Here are my tips on how to stay focused and get your ish done.
Where the magic happens.
1.) Monthly/Weekly Goals - Give yourself some deadlines to specific & attainable goals. Bonus points for adding yours to Stareable’s monthly goals post here. We can help cheer you on and hold you accountable.
2.) Buddy System - Exchange weekly goals with a colleague or friend so you can check in with each other. I know I’m more likely to accomplish my goals if others are involved. I hate showing up empty-handed.
3.) Recruit Help - Filmmaking is always a team effort so if you’re struggling with a task let someone know. Outside of actual filming I have a tendency or working on pre & post work by my lonesome. I don’t recommend this because it can get overwhelming and easy to just stop when no one knows what’s going on. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!
4.) Schedule Time Wisely - Don’t schedule work sessions at 5 am if you know damn well you’re not a morning person. That’s just setting yourself up for failure. I like to put reminders on my phone for independent work sessions so I know not to slack when the time comes.
5.) Stop Treating It Like Work - I know I’ve been calling it work, but it’s more like your creative project. It is your heart and soul in an art form. Remember why you chose to do this. At times I’ll feel bogged down but as soon as I push myself to do the damn thing I’ll get in the zone. My creative energy will take over and I’ll wonder why the heck was I putting this off for so long? You wanna get there as often as possible.
6.) Limit Distractions - Turn off your phone, keep your Internet browser closed, and get down to business (unless your work is phone or web related). Make sure you’re in a quiet place where no one can disturb you. My husband will pop into my office every now and then, but I’ll politely remind him that this is my time to focus and I’ll return once I’m finished.
7.) Take a Break - Reward yourself in between the work sessions for staying on task! It’s ok to still have a social life and enjoy some parties, vacations or quality time with loved ones. It may take away from work time, but it’s a necessary recharge to get you to 100% once it’s back to the creative grind. A good balance will keep you happier and less stressed.
Nothing like some inspirational pencils!
Not a day goes by where I don’t think about my web series. It’s a constant question of, “What can I do today to move my project forward?” No task is too big or small to accomplish. Everything counts. I’ve become accustomed to patting myself on the back even if the only thing I do is post a pic on my GNG Instagram page. It’s definitely better than doing nothing. Do you have any tips or tricks to focusing on and achieving your web series goals? Tell me I’d love to hear about it!