Geeky Stuff · Productivity · Time Management · Writing

A Geeky Guide to Leveling Up

In a video game, when you gain enough experience points and you’ve fought enough monsters, you level up.  Leveling up generally means that two things happen: First, you get access to better equipment and new quests, and second, the quests also have leveled up and you face a new level difficulty.  So how do you level up your real life?  How does it feel once you’ve leveled up?  What do you do once you’ve leveled up?

Start from the bottom and break down big goals.

You may wander into a few caves where there are level 70 trolls and you’re still rocking your level 5 daggers, metaphorically, of course.

In normal person speak:  You may have big goals you’re trying to achieve or big obstacles to overcome.  Rather than running full tilt at these things, sometimes it’s best to break what you are doing down into smaller, more achievable goals.

If you want to write a movie and get it made, but have never written a script before, setting a 3-month deadline for that goal is likely to lead to some heartache.  That’s making your goal int a level 70 troll, and you’re not ready to fight that troll.

Instead, you might want to take a screenwriting class, or read books on screenwriting.  Maybe your 3-month goal is to take a class and have a rough draft of your script, by that point.  That’s more like a level 10 troll, and something you can definitely manage.

Leveling up takes work.

In lots of games, there are ways to grind and gain levels quickly.  The problem is, if you don’t put the work in, you miss valuable lessons and content along the way.

Most of the people you admire scraped and hustled when they started out.  Lots of writers worked a full-time job while writing their first novels, comics, etc.  There might be a few that got lucky and somehow got the maximum payoff for minimal effort, but those people are usually few and far between and they often had someone helping them along the way.

There are times that putting in the maximum effort will be frustrating and disheartening, but we don’t get anywhere by standing still.  Keeping going.  If you work strategy isn’t working and you’re not making progress, step back and re-assess.

How do you know when you’ve leveled up?  Things get harder.  But they also get easier.

You know you’ve leveled up with the difficulty of things kicks up a notch, but you also find yourself able to rise to the occasion.  You’ve worked hard to gain new skills and insight, and though the new challenges are unfamiliar or unventured, you still have a bit of inspiration to go after them.

I won’t lie, there are times “gaining a new level” fills me with worry and anxiety.  I wonder if I am able to face the new challenges in my life and still manage my time.  You can use that fear as fuel, take it as a dare to dream bigger and do more than you did before.  In many ways, our biggest limits are in our head.

Geeky Stuff

Geek Girl Bucket List

I’ve never actually written a bucket list before.  I’ve said things were on my bucket list, like going to Star Wars Weekends at Disney World, but that happened more out of coincidence than actual planning.  So I decided to make a list and document it here.  I call it a “Geek Girl” bucket list because a lot of the things I want to do in my life have a geeky thread running through them.

  • Write and publish a comic book.
  • Write for Marvel and DC.
  • Go to Disneyland during their Halloween festivities
  • Write a comic that is published through Image.
  • Start a writer’s group.
  • Visit Harry Potter World
  • Visit Sweden.
  • Learn Swedish and speak it fluently.
  • Go to a TED Talk.
  • Give a TED Talk.
  • Record and produce my own geeky podcast.
  • Participate in a Zombie Run or walk.
  • Learn how to code websites.
  • Have a child and take said child to comic con.
  • Dress that child in an amazing, handmade costume.
  • Start a Youtube Channel.
  • Teach a workshop about writing comics.

It’s not a long list, but I figure it is one I can add to as I go along.  What is on your geek bucket list? Or just your bucket list in general. I would love to know!

Comics · Writing

It’s Okay For People To Like Things…I Promise.

My head has been down the last few weeks as I tried to finish costumes for Salt Lake Comic Con and continue the decluttering project I’ve decided to do on my entire house.  I still check Facebook and one pattern of posts struck me as really strange and kind of bothersome.

The Harley Quinn Haters.

Let me explain, these are not fans who hate Harley, quite the opposite, they claim to love her but in the same breath, they make memes that shame new fans of the character. I saw several of these memes in various geek spaces online, and some were in regards to the many girls and women at SLCC that dressed up as Harley Quinn and how they needed to stop.   Some of these memes were accompanied by images of Margo Robbie as Harley Quinn and the original incarnation of Harley Quinn from “Batman the Animated Series” claiming that if you weren’t a fan of Harley from the start, don’t start now.  Because gasp! then you’ll be a fake geek girl. Apparently, we can only like things if we liked them all along.

What I found even more odd is that I found saw lots of Leto Joker cosplays at SLCC and yet, I saw no memes whatsoever shaming those dudes for their expression of fandom.

Harley Quinn holds a very special place in my heart and if her story resonates with other women, I say there’s plenty of room at the table for more fans.

It all boils down to this for me though:  It’s okay for people to like things.  It’s okay for them to start liking something only once it becomes popular.  Not everyone had awesome parents who took them to the comic shop every Saturday, or bought them an NES when it was first out.

I grew up loving all things DC, but in my early twenties I dove deep into Marvel comics.  I have a collection of West Avenger and Defender comics I cherish, and no one is going to tell me I can’t like something just because I got into it later in life.

Personally, I want more people who love geeky things in this world, not fewer because we shamed them out of their adoration.

So let people like what they like.  Geek culture should not be a test or a competition of who can prove they liked something first, or know the most about it.  That’s a competition we all lose, because we miss out on awesome new folks joining our geek community.