Procrastination, Integrity, and Unicorns: Making My First Web Series
Last year I had an idea. An awesome idea.
My idea was about unicorns. After seeing Unicorn Poop Cookies all over the Internet, a short scene popped into my head. And then another. And another. And then I realized that this was not just a short and silly video idea, this would have to be a series of videos. It was the first time I had an idea for a web series. I’ve had lots of video ideas, blog post ideas, article ideas, photo shoot ideas, but never a web series idea. I was excited and inspired. I even went so far as to tell my friends about my idea because, unlike most of my creative projects, I couldn’t do this one alone. But, like most of my ideas, it stayed in an Evernote note, occasionally being added to, but never acted upon.
My loyal friend Procrastination stayed by my side telling me things like “Well, Summer is almost over. You can’t start shooting now.” and “Take the Winter to work on it, and you’ll be ready to start shooting when the snow is gone.” And then I got a new job with early mornings and long hours and Procrastination’s friend, Laziness, insisted I spend my post-work hours enjoying the Summer weather reading in the park.
“Great people do things before they’re ready.” - Amy Poehler
And then, for whatever reason, (maybe I had finally settled into my new work hours and was less exhausted, maybe something in particular inspired me) I finally said to my friend Kelsey, “The Unicorn Hunt. We’re doing this.”
I wasn’t ready. I just had a bunch of vague video ideas and a very rough logo sketch. But, once I got going, there was no stopping me. We had design meetings to draw our logo and graphics. I refined video ideas into scripts. I made an episode schedule. I planned DIYs, a Tumblr, and bonus material. I shopped for royalty-free music online. I was determined to make this happen.
In a way, I was, and still am, dragging Kelsey along for the ride, but having someone expecting a script, a design direction, or a day of shooting has kept me accountable and on track. When attempting a project all on my own, I can tell myself of sorts of excuses and I’ll except them because, well, they’re my excuses. But having someone who will know if I flake out, procrastinate, or try to blow the whole thing off keeps just enough guilt over my shoulder to keep me going.
“Say yes and you’ll figure it out afterwards.” - Tina Fey
We started shooting outdoor episodes in September (“We gotta get the outdoor episodes done before the dreaded cold and snow!”) and soon after I set a premiere date: October 16th. Eight weeks and five videos later, I am still loving every minute of it! Even though my old friend Procrastination is still around persuading me to wait until the night before a promised video date to finish editing a video, I am proud to say I haven’t missed a video date yet. I learned from
that integrity is keeping your word, doing what you said you’d do. I’ve had a lot of projects started that I let fall away, but sticking with one feels amazing! The best part is that it is an ongoing project, so I get the high of putting out a video every other week, as well as the discipline of sticking to schedule. It’s a good balance of work & reward. I’ve still got lots of ideas for The Unicorn Hunt (more than just videos!), so I hope I can keep riding this high for a long time. This integrity thing feels pretty awesome.
“You don’t have to get it right, you just have to get it going.” - Marie Forleo
Even without many views, subscribers, or followers, I'm having a blast making stuff that I love with my best friend. And, we’re pretty confident that it’ll catch on since unicorns are totally
right now. So, we’re going to keep making plans and dreaming big. Sure, it would be fun to be a big YouTube hit but, it’s still pretty fun making unicorn jokes with my best friend, writing unicorn adventures, and making unicorn art all the time. Even if it’s just for our own amusement.
(But, seriously, please watch our videos!)