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Five Things of 2010

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Jeff Lipsky #2I think most of us get to this time of year and we look ahead to the next, setting goals and kindling that feeling of excitement of going into the New Year with a fresh start.  I know I’m the guiltiest of all for setting unrealistic expectations for resolutions (Last year on my list were: Learn Chinese, and Trapeze Lessons.  Huh?) but this year I decided to, before making a list, look back on 2010 and figure out what things I actually LEARNED as a human being.  Writing these things down really helped me put things in perspective, and made me more excited to set realistic goals for the next year.  I wanted to share these because maybe they could help someone else too, or at least inspire your own list!

FIVE THINGS I LEARNED IN 2010:

1) Improv will save your life.

I don’t mean this literally, but I do mean that studying improv forces you to follow your gut, and that’s something that I think, nine out of ten times, serves you better than ruminating about something, on stage OR in life.  Almost every time I’ve ignored my gut instinct I’ve regretted it, in my personal life or my career.  The problem is that thoughts like, “Make sure not to make anyone mad!”, or “That won’t work, no one does it like that.” etc etc, have gotten in the way of hearing that instinct’s voice clearly.  Training myself to RECOGNIZE that my gut is talking to me, and dismiss those “logical” thoughts that squash it, has been an ongoing process for me this year, but one that, now I’m conscious of it, has let me make decisions faster and made me more secure and decisive.  And headed off a few disasters during production!

2) If you want the prize, you have to build the ladder rung by rung.  There are no shortcuts.

The process of writing has never been fast and fluid with me, but I recognized the fact this year that I had unrealistic expectations with my first drafts; that I expected them to come out fully formed and perfect, and that the need to rewrite made me feel like I was a failure.  Then I read some biographies and some great writing books, talked to some writers I admire, and realized that good writers lay down a foundation and then refine and refine.  The first draft is a first step, nothing more!

I’ve realized that this point applies to other things in life as well.  A lot of us see people we admire, and we might envy them and feel like we deserve to be where THEY are, think things like, “Why do THEY have that role and not me?!”  (I know I felt that early in my acting career a lot.)  But the reality is, that those people built their careers rung by rung, role by role, draft by draft.  Yes, sometimes it’s luck, but mostly it is HARD WORK that shouldn’t be resented:  That work is what makes success all the sweeter, so learning to enjoy that BETWEEN work is the key to success, I truly believe it.

3) Knowing yourself is your greatest strength.

Corny as hell, I know, but honestly I never really UNDERSTOOD this phrase before this year.  Wil Wheaton actually helped my AHA about this on the set of Eureka. One day he mentioned that he usually wakes up two hours before he’s due to be picked up to go to set to act, and I honestly thought he was bugnuts CRAZY!  I asked him, “Why would you do that?!”  His answer: “Because that helps me do my best.” Oh…OH!  Wow that…made sense.

Wil has worked a LONG time as an actor, and has been able to recognize how to be his best with the things he can control himself.  It was quite inspiring, and made me be more aware of MYSELF that way.  Having the opportunity to act a LOT this year, and write a LOT, and produce a LOT has made me recognize things that honestly help me perform better.  These things might be as simple as eating oatmeal first thing in the morning, or writing scenes on a tablet BEFORE the computer, but the awareness has helped me do better work, and be more confident as an artist.

4) In order to grow, you have to learn how to delegate.

With the Guild, Kim and I have done EVERYTHING from day one; production, advertising, marketing, I promise, EVERYTHING!  This has led to The Guild consuming every single minute of our days, with no room for doing anything else production-wise.  Last year we made a decision to try to develop other properties, but it’s been quite a learning process over the months to let go of some tasks, like hiring a bookkeeper, or having Brian Kameoka help us with the Social Media, getting interns, etc etc.  It was a challenge to even figure out HOW to use an intern, because we automatically did things solo; it didn’t occur to us to ask someone to help us even if they were sitting in the same room waiting for work!

Slowly but surely I’ve forced myself to ask before starting a task, “Is this the best use of my time?  Could someone else help me do it?”  And if the answer is NO, I find someone to help us with it, because there are so many things I need to do that I CAN’T have someone help with, I HAVE to get help, or nothing will get done at all!  Don’t get me wrong, we don’t really have a staff or anything, (or even an office), but just being aware that there are resources we can use to lighten our individual loads, has led to us being able to work with creators and develop other things that hopefully we will be shooting next year!

5) Just because you feel it, doesn’t mean it’s real.

I can’t tell you how much this simple statement made a huge difference in my life.  Until this year, work-wise, I lived with a tremendous amount of anxiety, to the point where, if I DIDN’T feel anxious, I had guilt set in that either I didn’t CARE about something enough, or that relaxing and trusting that plans would happen correctly was sheer hubris, and was inviting disaster.  This method of living led to me not being able to enjoy the successes in my life as much as I could, made me kind of a pill to work with sometimes (sorry Kim Evey! :) ) and put me in a depression that led to writer’s block before Season 4 of The Guild.

It was an amazing revelation one day to wake up and say to myself, “Is this anxiety actually HELPING solve anything about my problems?”  And when I thought about it, REALLY thought about it, I eventually said to myself, “Actually…no…” And like a mist, the feeling dissipated, and I was left with a clear vision:  Those emotions were not necessary to do good work.  There was something working against me, inside my own head, that was not reality anywhere else outside it.  AND: I had power over it.

Because of that simple realization, my acting and my writing and everything else I do has improved and I’m enjoying everything more.  Not to say that anxiety hasn’t reared it’s ugly head again time and time again, but all I do is take a few breaths and ask myself, “Is what I’m feeling necessary, or some kind of reflex?  Is this real and justified?”  90% of the time, the answer was no.

I hope this list has inspired you to make your own list, and help you launch into the New Year feeling confident and optimistic, and PROUD of what you’ve accomplished.  You deserve to celebrate yourself!

Now I’m off to see the New Year in, probably playing video games, haha!  :)

  • http://carldog.wordpress.com Carl Yeager

    So, I open up my RSS reader, and BAM! the first thing that comes up is this post with that photo. First. thing. I was absolutely stunned. Speechless.

    That is an absolutely, hand-to-God, flat-out, awe-inspiring, frackin’-AWESOME, beautiful, stunning, and gorgeous photo of yourself, Felecia. Wow. Just… wow.

    I just HAD to come over and say that on your blog. You can now resume your regular programming. Thanks for your time.

  • http://carldog.wordpress.com Carl Yeager

    And, being the f**ktard that I am, I completely mis-spelled your name. Nice. *facepalm*

  • Alison

    Knowing yourself is the greatest strength. Sooo true.

    I have found in the last year a lot about myself as well. Two years ago I was in a horrible motorcycle accident with my husband, it completely shattered my tibia and fibula, i couldn’t walk for 7 and a half months, in that time, besides playing a lot of w.o.w. lol, i watched people.
    T
    o me if felt as if life was going on around me, but I was standing still. As I watched I realized, that so much in life is taken for granted, and not appreciated in a way where most of us are going to look back with such regret. I would watch how people reacted to one another, some were rude, some were shy, lots were impatient but, most were blind, blind to the things that truely matter. I look back now fully recovered, and being 24 years old now, I feel in that one year I learned more in that one year than I had in my entire life. I get giddy walking to the mailbox, or standing in the kitchen while eating yogert, these things that I couldn’t do for a short time, but that people take for granted everyday.

    So I hope like you have, and I have, that we look back on the year and realize, what shaped us, what made us stronger this year. I never settle, I am always striving to be better, because when you feel you can’t improve, you’ve given up. If I learned anything from the accident, and having to learn how to walk again, and how I thought nothing was going to be the same, the one thing that kept me going, even through all the pain was, never give up.

    Happy 2011 Felicia, it’s good to know there are people who will look back and not have as many regrets.

  • http://www.fireflybetweenthelines.com Robin Hudson

    The best thing about turning 40 was being able to no longer give a rats ass about what other people think about me. Anyway, around NYE I try to remember what that feeling was like and give the world a metaphorical finger! You’ll know what I mean when you get there, girls!

    Happy New Year, my people! Let’s make 2011 fantastic!

    Now, back to leveling my NELF Rogue!

  • http://www.atomicislandstudios.com/ Michael North

    I have been reading your blog for about a year now and this is my first comment. I felt it fitting to say here at the end of 2010 that you have been a huge inspiration to me since I have so many common interests. Great minds think alike :) Although I am 41 as of 6 days ago and have learned many of the life lessons I am happy to see you are discovering you have however shown me many things about writing, marketing, and all that.
    One of my goals for 2011 is to sculpt roll playing miniatures for the Knights of Good so perhaps you will hear from me this time next year or sooner.
    It’s good to know you’ve learned to step outside yourself and look at the situation from a third person point of view.
    Michael

  • http://iris-impressions.com Iris

    Very insightful post. I think learning from your actions/inactions and understanding yourself is one of the most valuable things you can gain from life. All the best for 2011!

  • http://members.cox.net/rlckansas/frontpage.html Robert

    Great post to start the New Year!

    It can be strange to realize that the simple suggestions to improve your life can be the most important and profound. Sometimes life is complicated, but sometimes we make it more complicated than it is.

    I’m also looking ahead and pondering. I see what’s going on with the book business, publishers, and ebooks. I think back over my experiences with small presses these last few years. I’m wondering if it’s time to consider self-publishing my fiction and stop waiting for publishers to pick up my projects, and go crazy when they make odd demands or don’t return emails.

    I guess we all have food for thought in 2011…

  • http://jophielsbigadventure.blogspot.com Jophiel

    I’ve been working with this stuff myself for years. It’s a full time thing! Hope you had a happy new-year! Here’s to me getting to interview you one day :)

  • http://www.feliciaday.com Felicia

    Alison, thank you for your comment, it made me tear up! :) What a beautiful perspective on life, thank you for sharing your experience.

  • http://www.jamiechambers.net Jamie Chambers

    Good list, food for thought for anyone most definitely. And I know you and I talked about number four long ago. Glad you’re finally catching on! ;-)

  • Maria

    This was quite inspiring. Thank you Felicia, I admire your hard work and your openness with everyone about feeling anxious, unsure, etc. It reminds me that someone with your success has felt the same way! You are great, I love your work, and I can’t wait for The Guild and your other projects to entertain me more this year!

  • http://www.feliciaday.com Felicia

    Not saying I’m good at it yet, haha.

  • http://voixdemichele.com Michele

    Improv has totally been saving my life, too. Lovely and insightful post, Felicia. Please don’t stop writing.

  • http://www.imperiohermione.livejournal.com Keoni Rivera

    I’m a college student and have insecurities with writing similar to what you have, and feel bad about it sometimes because i am part english major. But now that i see that a person as intelligent and admirable as you (as well as other fantastic writers, as you said) i feel a lot better. thanks for this!

  • http://www.imperiohermione.livejournal.com Keoni Rivera

    also have fun playing video games! i’m going to go play some too lul. bye.

  • http://www.jenniferxjoseph.com Jennifer Joseph

    Great blog entry! There are many useful pieces in here that relate to me but especially the part about following my gut. I’ve had some horrible things happen in my life that I didn’t think I would make it to the other side of and every one of them can be attributed to me not following my gut. I’m not sure why I continue to go down the wrong path but this is the year for change. I can’t believe I didn’t know you had a blog – I’m a huge fan. Thanks Felicia and Happy 2011! :)

  • Bee

    Amazing list! My year was very similar, especially in struggling with anxiety over pretty much the same issues, and giving up the need to do everything myself. So nice to hear someone who has achieved so much dealing with the same things, makes it less insurmountable! Goooo 2011!

  • http://geeknews.net Andy

    Great retrospective and it’s honest. Thank you for sharing.

  • http://www.newmusicmonday.com Tim

    Old year evaluations are maybe even more important than new year resolutions since the old informs the new. I find myself in a similar spot of having identified my insecurities and shortcomings but also beginning to see my successes and strengths. Now I just need keep refining. Thanks for sharing.

  • Stephanie

    Felicia, Your post was absolutely amazing! Great way to start a really late day. I’ve got to reach deep in there to really think about the learning experiences this past year.

    And I can most definitely relate to Alison. I was in a motorcycle accident… but mine happened almost 6 years ago now. I did not shatter my tibia and fibula, but I did fully break my pelvis in half. I thankfully had a fast healing process [two months or so?]. Nonetheless, you look back on it, and wonder what you’ve done with your life. It changes your perspective completely.

    Granted, I definitely still slip up and sometimes don’t appreciate some of the things that are right in front of me. At the end of the day though, you smile and thank whoever you choose that you’re alive and able to do something more with your life. To really step out there and try to make a difference, even if it’s a small one.

    Thanks for the wonderful post. It’s really grounded me again :).

  • http://www.iplaywinner.com TeamSpooky

    I never really understood how you could do so much of the stuff yourself. Makes me kind of think you need a boyfriend. Or girlfriend, I don’t judge. ;) Unless you’re already getting your kicks in with your childhood Crush, Welsey. ;)

  • http://lifeenthusiast-bnbookchick.blogspot.com/ Pam Clarke

    Felicia-What a wonderful insight to begin the new year with! Thank you for such honesty, I think most of us forget that it takes a stronger person to show their vulnerability. It’s inspiring! May the new year bring you more insights, and fulfillment.

  • Gene

    Wow…………Indeed the photos are stunning,but not as awe inspiring as your intellect.
    Your insight into the meaninglessness of anxiety has truly moved me.
    It is a joy to start the new year with such a wonderful Day!

  • Dee

    Hey Felicia.

    I confess i hadn’t heard of you, until… being a bit of a wow player… i stumbled across the guild when looking for some tactics or other online, early last year.

    I’m not a blog reader, but I found myself curious about the type of person who took on a project such as the guild, when it was obviously a massive challenge.

    I’ve found your blog to be inspirational during 2010. With thanks (in no small part) to your tweets and blogs, and after years of wishful thinking, i’ve taken on the biggest challenge of my life to date. Some days I shake my head and wonder how i’ll achieve my goals, but mostly… i take a breath, remind myself that it may take 10 years, but if i keep putting it off, then eventually…. it will take 10 years! (Might as well crack on then).

    So… quite simply… Thanks!

    May 2011 be better than any year you’ve had to date, but not as good as the years to come. Hope you keep doing what you do :)

    Dee.

  • http://www.milestonefilms.co.uk Miles

    These are great and wise insights Felicia, thanks for posting!

    I’ve definitely found as we build our own business and choose our projects that the ‘rung by rung’ approach is key, as is appreciating the little victories and really EARNING your success bit by bit rather than demanding it or trying to grab it prematurely.

    Also, pertaining to your point 5, I just watched this great clip of Joss talking about the dark side of writing, and that’s something I’ve found too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=war30T8iv9Y – it’s comforting to know that people who inspire you also have a hard time sometimes. Anxiety is something I’m plagued with but you’re right, it can be overcome, slowly but surely.

    Thankyou again for your generous and helpful words, and a very Happy New Year to you and all Guildies. Here’s to an amazing 2011!

    Miles x

  • Eric Allen

    Thank you for this!

  • Nicole Smith

    Thank you for sharing, Felicia! I loved this, and it’s made me think about the lessons I want to take with me into 2011. Best wishes to you in the new year!

  • http://www.irfanhusayn.com Irfan Husayn

    How true!

    Alison, you are so close to understanding the reality.

    Wish you, Felicia and all the rest (who come in contact with each other owing to her efforts) the best of luck in 2011 and beyond.

    Frankly if there is one thing that is gonna see us through all hell here on this planet is staying in touch with each other to learn more, to live better and to keep the Hope Torch alight, no matter what.

    I don’t know if I really should stretch it further, here, but (folks!) we must invest some time of the day trying to understand our Purpose. And if some of us don’t get time for that during the day then everybody knows each day is followed by a night time giving us the opportunity to just be alone with ourselves (read with our Creator). Surely understanding the self is understanding God and vice versa. Last but not the least, it allows us to look at life and how it treats us in a way extraordinary.

    God bless you all, A’min.

  • http://www.vortexgamesinc.com @MShaneman

    It’d be cool to see the list of books you referred to.

    For knowing yourself, have you used “Strength Finder 2.0″? I personally know hundreds of people that have used&love it. It has my highest personal recommendation.

    I love that I tweeted to you that success&happiness are never an accident as I wished them for you in 2011, before reading the blog. =D

    BTW, thank you for making BlizzCon 2009 unforgettable for me with a special small act of kindness&compassion. I hope you never “lose your connection to the ground” & become a diva/stereotype! ;-)

  • http://www.pamstucky.com Pam Stucky

    I’m not an actor (nor do I have aspirations to be one) but I took an improv class several years ago, simply to challenge myself. I have to agree, it was an intensely powerful experience with applications throughout all of life. I’ve often thought I should take another improv class again. It pushed me to be vulnerable, which was more rewarding than I ever imagined.

    Speaking of vulnerability, for the past week I’ve been plugging this amazing TED talk by @BreneBrown, because it had such an intense impact on me:

    http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html

    About the power of vulnerability, human connection, courage, belonging, shame, worthiness, authenticity. Check it out – it’s worth it!

    Happy New Year!

  • http://tragedyrestore.blogspot.com/ David Boyle

    What I learned this year:

    1.> Finding the right balance between zen and motivation is less like juggling on a tightrope and more like sliding down Occam’s Razor on your crotch.

    2.> It’s ok to give yourself a break once in a while.

    3.> When in doubt, go for a walk. Seriously. I’ve made my first headway this year against a 16 year fog of depression and the key to it was walking. Making your brain make happy juice turns out to be easy… at least, things seem more manageable. I just want to point out that I am not a huge fan of exercise for its own sake, but I’m always glad after forcing myself to do it.

    4.> About knowing yourself: we are creatures of habit. Your cognitive override is a quiet little voice riding on the back of a crazy monkey. That said, the monkey is trainable. Form good habits and then sit back and let the trained monkey do the work. Changing attitudes and behaviors isn’t really an uphill struggle without end, just a conviction to overcome the inertia.

  • http://tragedyrestore.blogspot.com/ David Boyle

    5.> If you are depressed a lot, or for a long time, that will change the physical structure of your brain to the point where it will become a self-sustaining state. Looking in the mirror and saying ‘shee, I’m pretty awesome,” is not about wishful thinking or pathetic overreaching… it’s a way to reprogram your mental state. Surround yourself with supportive people as much as you can.

    6.> Keep a clean, well-lit space for writing. That applies to every aspect of your life, really. Clean up the house. Clean up your head. Do all your email every day. Make those phone calls. The most prolific writers in the world (Isaac Asimov being a great example) had a habit of answering every fan mail they ever received.

    7.> As for the existential crisis: we are built to see meaning in things and to react to perceived meaning. That fact is in and of itself either meaningful, or it isn’t. People who assume that it isn’t are exceeding their programming and wind up insane. So, even if God is dead or the sky is an empty black void or whatever, the awakened individual should understand that it is necessary to believe in something. What you do has meaning. The way you live matters, until Cthulhu rises.

  • http://twitter.com/dpohlen Dawn

    Miss Felicia- Thank you for that very insightful blog. I actually sat down and took some notes to further reflect on what you had to say. I was sitting here thinking about the year past and wondering what I REALLY want to accomplish this upcoming year, and what HAVE I already done. I realized the biggest thing I have done is finish several things I started. I know doesn’t seem like a huge deal. However I realize it really is an accomplishment because I didn’t always let anxiety about what other people thought get in my way. I have learned to delegate this year as well, at home and work. It has been a hard thing to do since my mother was a famous one to say “If you want it done right, do it yourself.” As you know this is not always the case. Learning to trust your family and co-workers that they are competent and capeable of doing some of these things to ease your burden-amazing! Much love to you in this New Year!

  • steve

    Did anyone actually read the article with a photo like that?

  • http://tragedyrestore.blogspot.com/ David Boyle

    Jeebus Christ, the commenting here is BROKEN. Well, you all got half of my list, go visit my blog if you wanna see the rest.

    Thanks for the reading Felicia, but seriously, I don’t THINK I’m retarded, so I’m a bit befuddled over the whole not-being-able-to-reply thing.

  • Dani

    That was a very interesting post!

    This year for me was about trying to figure out “now what?” after I finished college last year. I think I still need a lot of time to figure things out, but I think I had some important steps this year… Much inspired by you, actually, I started (very slowly, granted, but I started) to build my ladder. I started a film course and worked on 3 short movies this year. They might not be great movies, but I’m proud of them and mostly I was happy to see that I can do stuff. It’s always really scary for me to say “I can do *something*” because I always feel like if I’m not an expert in doing something, I don’t want to assume the responsibility to do it, but this year in order to work on those short movies I had to go with “I’m not sure I can do this, but I can try…”, and that was huge for me. It’s a process, but I’m trying to convince myself that I need to try stuff first, even if I end up failing.

    Another interesting thing that happened was that during the process of producing/shooting the first movie, I manage to piss-off/have strong disagreements with mostly every one from the team. I tend to avoid conflict as much as possible so I was surprised I was the one fighting with every one else. After it was done, talking with someone from the group, she told me I come off as extremely arrogant and rude and at first I was like “wtf? but that’s the thing I avoid the most and that’s what I hate the most in people” and then it hit me that I had been told that before, in my first year of college by 2 different people, who barely knew me back then. And then, I was told that again, later this year… so finally I realized that when in stressing situations, when anxiety hits me, I don’t know how to express myself to other people, and instead of solving situations, I make them worse. So that point you made about anxiety, that makes a lot of sense, and I need to work on that too.

    So anyway, thanks for this post. And thanks for being awesome and inspiring so many people. Happy new year!

  • Samantha

    Just because you feel it, doesn’t mean it’s real.

    I’ve been battling this myself recently. I’m 28 and since the birth of my son when I was 18, taking care of my grandparents and then taking care of my fiance and his three kids, I developed a martyr sort of attitude like, if I didn’t sacrifice everything for others, I’d feel guilty, then it felt like doing things just for myself wasn’t right, because I wasn’t worth it.

    Lately, I’ve had to let go of that perception, I finally en-rolled in school (it took so much force of will to do it.), not taking crap jobs where I slaved for thankless people. It is nice to know, that I’m not the only one who has issues like if she doesn’t worry or isn’t anxious it feels like it isn’t important.

    It’s taken a lot to try and climb out of that hole.

    Also, thank you for what you did for Gemstone IV, I’m a long time player and we’re all so happy you made the effort for us!

    • DarkEmeralds

      Brava! I, too, admired the beautiful photo, of course I did, but what I really wanted to say is this: I’m about 100 years older than you, and I did NOT have the insights that you describe here back when I looked (relatively) as beautiful as you look here.

      In other words, beauty and wisdom CAN come in the same person at the same time, but from my experience it’s extremely rare, so congratulations on a very unusual accomplishment. Everything you say here is true, and a wonderful reminder even to those of us who’ve had quite a few more New Year’s Days to wise up.

  • Nikoel

    Inspiring. Makes me want to do the same. And I’ll be sure to keep some of those things in mind too.

  • Ana Lucia

    I wish a wonderfull 2011 for you.
    I’m wrinting from Brazil, so just forgive one Englist error or two – or four, five =D
    I loved your post. My mind know all the true in your words, but my heart is fool and didn’ absorved yet. But I’m working on it.
    Again, my best wishes for you in this new year.

  • nks

    re 1. I trust my instincts, until now I got lucky. unfortunately I also speak before I think lacking any kind of filter, this is one severe side effect in my opinion. now I am working on trying to trust my gut and not talking without thinking first. it is a long process.

    re 2. I have always known that. sometimes you get lucky and catch a break, but usually you have to work for it. coming from an athletic background you learn it early.

    re 3. I don’t think I know myself, I still haven’t found myself and one day I will hit my stride and then it will be awesome.

    re 4. Learned it the hard way, and I do have tremendous difficulties to delegate and have to force myself to trust people to get it done and not check it all the time.

    re 5. I have to admit I don’t really get it, but I am just not wired that way. I am not saying that I don’t feel, but when it comes to work I am able to shut myself out and do what is necessary. My shrink said it is because I am actually able to completely live in the moment, for the price that planing ahead and anticipating things is not my greatest strength and that remembering things is difficult. the past is the past and the future is unknown.

  • Andre

    There’s a reason why those ideas stick around. They seem to be so obvious as words on a screen, but they can be really powerful if you’re ready to put them to work.

    I finished the “Leliana’s Song” module in “Dragon Age:Origins” about four minutes into the new year, BTW. These things happen.

    Have a happy and productive 2011, Felicia!

  • Dave H

    Thank your for the excellent post, Felicia. You’ve said very plainly what it’s taken me lots of years of trial and error to glimpse.

    One of the things I’ve noticed about the “luck” that we envy in others is that it’s not really luck. As you said, they worked hard to get where they are; we see only the results of that work. Their so-called “lucky breaks” are really just opportunities they were able to exploit because they’d done the prep work already: learning about the business they wanted to be in, practicing their craft, making connections and building relationships, knowing themselves and what they could do, and knowing who else coupld do what they couldn’t. That’s not luck, that’s preparedness.

    Also, your #1 and #5 points might seem a little contradictory. Most people think “going with your gut” means following your emotions. It’s not that way at all. Your gut feelings come from your mind recognizing that something’s not right with a situation. It might not be able to explain why, but there’s a pattern there that’s just not consistent with who you are, what you expect, or your values as a person. Emotions are the opposite; they make you see, think, and believe things that aren’t real. They can encourage you to overlook the truth in pursuit of those fantasies. I’m not saying emotions are bad – anybody in love would whack me for saying that – but they can’t be trusted to run one’s life.

    Thanks for sharing your wisdom, and I hope 2011 is a great year for you!

    P.S. Speaking of video games, it was nice meeting your character in Fallout New Vegas on New Year’s Eve!

  • S.

    Hi Felicia,

    First, thanks for a great year. You’ve given me a really, really fun time.

    Second, about your anxiety: What you have discovered is a very basic “mindfulness” technique. Classically, you don’t even need to rationalize it, just to “note” it, stay with it for a while without doing anything, and it will get embarrassed and go away.

    If mindfulness works for you (it doesn’t for everybody), you might want to do it a bit more formally.

    There are two ways to describe mindfulness: The modern, scientific one with lots of neurological terms (where they explain that you are training your prefrontal cortex to be more independent of your hair-trigger panic-loving lower-level limbic system), and the traditional, Theravada Buddhists “vipassana” one (where they have a whole philosophical system about how these feelings come and go, are not satisfying, and are not you). Both work, but note the vipassana one comes with a built-in religion.

    Google will be your friend, but there is a great (and highly entertaining) intro to both of these ways by a neurologist named Rick Hanson over at AudioDharma called “Taking in the Good” (http://www.audiodharma.org/teacher/70/). Hanson also wrote a book “The Buddha’s Brain”. The U.S. military has its own program (http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,1920753,00.html). There are a bunch of schools teaching this to kids now, like Goldie Hawn’s foundation (http://www.thehawnfoundation.org/).

    Basically, though, it’s all just sitting on your ass watching your breath go in and out of your nose. Expect to feel silly at first. I-hope-nobody-is-filming-me silly.

    It has certainly helped me. It wasn’t anxiety in my case, but a constant, low-level irritation that I wasn’t even aware of until I barked at the kids for no good reason. Now, in the rare times it surfaces again, I just go “hey look, irritation”, watch it for a few heartbeats, and it leaves. My wife says I’m a better person. I couldn’t say, but I’m certainly a better father. Which is good enough for me.

    Anyway. Thanks again, and please keep up the good work.
    A fan in Germany.

  • http://nocluefilms.com Fred

    Thank you for sharing. This is an excellent post and great food for thought. I will think of this all day. And that picture on your blog – you look amazing! Keep up the good work and much success in 2011!

  • http://doomful.tumblr.com/ Stacy LeFevre

    I couldn’t have written it better myself because I have high expectations of myself and my artwork, which causes me to have high anxiety and thus, stunts my creative flow. I’m curious about taking an improv class now, I’ve just seen it as a way of acting, and now I’m interested in it because I still have trouble trusting my gut. I at least trusted it enough to lead me to where I am now, but I feel as though I could do more with my life.

    Just in the past few months, I’ve rediscovered myself and my passion for art, but I know I still have a long way to go. The only resolution I’ve decided on is to be happier, by whatever means possible. :)

  • Brett Glass

    Great post, Felicia! You’re blessed with a good brain in your head, plenty of talent, fantastic friends, and a time when the world is more ready than it’s ever been to appreciate what you have to offer. And the lessons you’re learning are positive ones rather than the more bitter ones that come from facing adversity (let’s hope you don’t ever have to deal with too much of that). I fully expect to see even greater things from you this year. Have a fantastic 2011!

  • Hans Hinners

    Ms. Felicia,
    At the risk of stating the obvious, you are wise beyond your years.

    Here are some of my favs.

    Fear is the mind killer.
    Others will see success when all you see is failure from what it looked like in your mind’s eye.
    When there is doubt there is no doubt.
    There is nothing noble in needless suffering.

  • Katy

    Thanks for your words about anxiety. I’m still toying with the idea of making one of my resolutions to worry less, but with a new baby on the way (my first), I’m not sure that’s a realistic expectation. On the other hand, worrying doesn’t accomplish anything, unless it leads to action. I’m going to take my cue from you, and stand up to my anxieties in the new year.

    Oh, and that is a breathtaking photo! It looks like something from a magazine spread, definitely professional.

  • http://homepage.mac.com/gregmachlin Greg M.

    #2 and #5 are particularly helpful. I’ve gotten better about my morning anxiety–a lot better–but it still crops up now and then. And I took “The Lords of Perth” from draft 2 to the beginning of draft 5 (the final pre-agent draft) this year, but as I finish Perth, and start a new novel, it’s great to have that reminder…

  • http://www.feliciaday.com Felicia

    Yeah commenting is a bit broken, will work on getting that fixed, sorry!!!

  • Zach M.

    Thank you for opening my eyes. I took your advice & things are looking completely different now. It may be campy( & a little vapid), but your blog helped me get my thoughts straight & now I’m looking forward to each new day. Thanks.

  • Jay Winter

    The way you got over your anxiety was pretty much the same way I did, and it’s nice to know I wasn’t the only one to deal with it this year.

    I think I woke up one day, looked at how reclusive and shut in I was and how often I was avoiding doing things and missing things because of my anxiety and I remember sitting up in bed and saying “I can do better”. I spent from Jan of last year, till Jan right now going out, dealing with things, putting myself in situations I found hard deliberately, and just giving it my everything.

    There is no cure for anxiety quite like when something clicks in your head to make you change your perspective. Perspective and anxiety go hand in hand, and I think there needs to be more done to help people realize that to help them overcome it.

    Congrats on your amazing year, and thank you for being an inspiration to ordinary people who share your problems, by being extraordinary. <3

  • Tony

    Great photo! Kudos both to the model and to the photographer who took it!

  • http://caseymckinnon.com Casey McKinnon

    100% agreed. In fact, if I were to sit down and write a blog post on this topic, I’d probably write down the same points! Happy new year, Felicia! Good luck in 2011! XOXO

  • http://tragedyrestore.blogspot.com/ David Boyle

    No need to apologize, F. I had all kinds of sycophantic, fawning comments queued up… I suppose you’ll have to do without. You’ll never know if I like that picture or not. Happy New Year, though!

  • http://tragedyrestore.blogspot.com/ David Boyle

    Folks, you may all enjoy this link from William Gibson or @greatdismal ‘s twitter feed.

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2011/jan/01/how-to-better-person-2011

  • Mohammed

    Great post. Looking into improv myself, which I have to anyways for voiceover, haha. Great seeing you perform as part of Hammer, and also finally meeting you, even if for a few moments. Hope I can finally start making things happen. Been too long in the waiting, and I know too many other people who have hit it big.

  • setsuko

    One of the thing I’v learned this year is I should stop being so shy and have the guts to tell people how great they are (I’m still working on the part where I’m telling someone he is not great at all, but that’s not the point here).

    So well… here I am thanking you.

    I’ve been in acting class since september. I’ve been working so hard that sometimes it feels like I’m gonna cry blood. I find your list very inspiring. It gives me faith because, let’s face it, for now, I suck. I think that’s mostly because of anxiety and because I’m having too high expectations. So your post helps me, it reminds me I need to give me the right to fail, that I have to keep working and other things I’m still having trouble putting into words.

    So … Thank you and of course a happy new year to you :)

    (This year I also learned that I should stop apologising all the time. However, I’m sorry if my english is kinda crappy/weird. I’m just a poor little french frog.)

  • http://www.pamstucky.com Pam Stucky

    Commenting seems to be a zen lesson in patience and delayed satisfaction. I posted and nothing happened, so I waited a while and eventually it magically showed up! :)

  • http://scurvytown.com Lauren Magee

    This is such a wonderful post! It seems we learned very similar lessons last year! Here’s to more positive learning experiences in 2011, and maturing even more as artists!

    All last year, I was itching to do improv, guess this year is time to scratch that itch! We don’t have a lot of outlets for this in Cincinnati (at least that I am aware of), but where there’s a gap in the arts, some friends and I have found ways to fill the voids.

    Last year, I learned to be fearless. It’s completely empowering and generally kind of delightful. :D

  • Kcat10

    Thank you for this blog, Felicia. You’ve really helped me with it, for I too have struggled with so many of the things you list here. Thank you for the real solutions you offer. I’m incorporating them into my life as I write this. You are a wise and amazing soul, and I am grateful that you are with us on the planet today. Bless you, and may 2011 rock for you!

  • http://lienonmetheseries.com david Beatty

    As I write my own reflections on 2010, i can’t help but see the similarities with your post. Thanks for the inspiration, the familiar ring of enthusiasm in your writing and your positive outlook. Anxiety IS an illusion. It does help the challenges before us, it only keeps us stagnate. It is a vicious cycle and builds momentum with practice. The more we stress the better we get at it. It takes a considerable amount of patience to work through the tendency to stress about certain intangible problems. But in the end, it’s totally worth it to just breathe and focus on what’s REAL. Awesome Blog, Love The Guild. :-)

  • Sulpixia

    Hi Felicia,
    Very inspiring list. New Year coming is a perfect time to meditate, really. I just can’t do the same. Hours I’m trying, my sheet is blank. Again. Another year. Must say your positivity is just great. Made me smile, and forget about my blank piece of paper for a while.

    I’m writing from Southern Italy, I worship The Guild and, honestly, I’m in love with you.
    I think you are an amazing actrees and writer. And woman. Maybe this is just another useless comment, and you will read it quickly. But I don’t care. This year I haven’t really TALKED to anyone. Let 2011 start by talking to you. :)

    Anxiety ownes me, and sometimes i just feel too weak to fight back. But what you wrote about anxiety cleared my mind. And for this small thing you did for me, I thank you.

    Sorry, my English sucks.

    Don’t stop being the honest, beautiful artist you are.

    Sulpixia, from Naples, Italy.

    P.S. Happy new year!

  • Sulpixia

    P.P.S. It’s 2 in the morning in Italy right now!

  • prowse

    Someone here, commenting, might have already seen the following commonality; you spoke of your conquering the Fight-or-flight syndrome(?) or for others their addiction to their own adrenalin, when you spoke of anxiety levels.

    For me, I liken that to my stead-fast belief that I can only be creative starting at around 1am or so, and work ’til I drop. Problem has been, most of my work completed in that fashion has always been returned as “GReat so far, please revise and add where marked”.

    Lately, however, I have been “pushing” myself to stop PUSHING myself. And so I have set out to accomplish work detail at around 1PM. Since then, I have been getting work in faster BEFORE deadlines – even self-imposed, self-prophet-ed deadlines – and getting strange looks along with, “[blank stare, jaw almost drops] Greeaat woork, Prowse. We’ll post this up now.” In other words, they cannot believe they don’t see a need for re-do or polishing or re-write. I have received recognition of this too, so at least I know it’s “real” from someone else’s point of view.

    It sounds like I am tooting my own horn, which I am, and that is one thing I learned how to blow better!

  • prowse

    You mean, “…looking forward to each new [Felicia D]ay” !

    Come on, I had to! It was just sitting there waiting for the edit.

  • prowse

    Not that I am a Dyer Hard Fan (Wayne Dyer, that is) the “Buddhist Anxiety Cure Thing” (my words) really reminds me of *Dr. Wayne Dyer’s decidedly existentialistic approach to feelings – especially feelings of remorse, anxiety, anger – Bad or undesirable, unproductive feelings.

    And, physically along these lines, the mind-over-matter approach can work. We all occasionally get large muscle cramps, usually below the knee, ankle, foot bones – ouch. What were we taught as kids was to “walk it out” or “put some Robutussin on it!”. But, in high school, I happened to have a gym teacher who taught us Transcendental Meditation techniques to help us stretch for the game or meets (I was in track). So, basically, we would think of how calm we cloud be or imagine ourselves to be, remember that feeling, be able to recall it.

    So, since then, when I would get a cramp, I recall how it feels to NOT have a cramp, hold still – not move my leg at all – and with in seconds, lieterally like 5 or 10 seconds, cramp GONE. Completely gone. At first I was amazed, but soon it became, “OK, that’s done, what’s next to do today?”.

    I remember as a child, I would get a cramp, walk it out, and wlka it out out ouch ouch. Rest. Ouch. Pause. DAMMIT. OUCH. Walk, walk. After about 10 MINUTES, the cramp would be “gone” but I would still feel a slight pain and stiffness for at least the rest of the day and usually into the next.

    Well, at least for me, TM actually “does it” and I think TM can work for brain cramps, too! But, seriously, I don’t think this would work against “pressurized” cramps, such as when bloated “in cycle”; but, I am a guy and don’t know. Still, perhaps TM would be helpful for women then?

    * “Doctor of what, exactly?”, idk

  • http://orangerful.livejournal.com orangerful

    You actually inspired me to sign up for an improv class starting in March. I’m both excited and horrified! But listening to amazing women like you and Tina Fey talk about their experiences in improv (and seeing all the fun you have doing it and the other amazing people you meet) I knew that I needed to try it. The last half of this year was really rough for me and I feel like I need to do something to force myself to break out. After reading your post today, I KNOW I made the right choice signing up for that class on an impulse before I had time to talk myself out of it.

    Thanks Felicia! You always inspire me. Can’t wait to see what new stuff you do in 2011, I will always be a big fan. :)

  • Alison

    Your very welcome felicia, thank you for making one of my all time favorite past times, watching the guild! I can’t wait to hear your big secret! I also can’t wait for season 5! :o) Happy New Year.

  • http://www.dirtydogooders.com/author/trin/ Trin

    And thanks to a recent Groupon, I’m totally taking trapeze lessons. No reason to give up on that dream either!

    • http://www.bing.com/ Patsy

      Gee wilirlkes, that?s such a great post!

  • http://www.dirtydogooders.com/author/trin/ Trin

    As an anxious, creatively driven redhead I must say this blog post hits home for me.

    I had a bit of my own personal breakthrough about a year ago when I decided to: 1. take an acting class and 2. realize that I loved it enough to do it even if I sucked really badly. I got tired of listening to the voices that kept telling me that I wasn’t pretty enough, or skinny enough, or young enough, or, worst of all, good enough, for it to matter. (Just because I felt it, doesn’t mean it’s real.)

    Fear is a dark, insidious creature that creeps inside of you and strangles dreams – so I decided to kick its ass! I started auditioning for things…and then getting cast in them (which brought a whole new set of terrors)…and hanging out with all these amazing and talented people. So a year later I can report that I’m…what’s this feeling again? Oh right: happy. Joyful. At peace.

    So here’s to a year of continued growth and reading more of your awesome blogs!

  • http://www.vortexgamesinc.com @MShaneman

    Being half-Chinese and having had to self-teach some of it to myself, if you have to travel a lot for Eureka or anything, learning Chinese should be “easy” with a program like Rosetta Stone (or whatever Googling turns up for you), or some top quality audio tapes. Hearing it is critical, and practicing speaking it with a program that hears you and gives feedback is also critical. (This assumes you don’t have time for traditional classes.)

    I guess to be considerate of others next to you on the plane if you’re not on your own little island in first-class, you can’t do the talk back part, ha ha. Go with audio tapes+books, then.

  • DLSigler

    Felicia,

    A friend forwarded this post to me, sort of showing me that I have permission to grow.

    When asked to describe myself, I tell people that I am a left-handed person trapped in a right-handed body. Which is to say that I am mostly a creative thinker who mostly follows logic instead of his heart.

    In youth, I lived life as an adventure, but with time I began to focus on security. I now live well, but have lost a level of passion that makes life truly a joy.

    Thank you for points 1, 2 and 5 specifically. You have described my block to creativity completely. With a light on these things, I may take up writing again.

    Thank you, Felicia, for writing these things.

    Thank you my friend for sending Felicia’s post along to me.

  • Joao Salvador

    what if anxiety twists one’s perception of reality so much by overwhelming and taking over one’s perspective, that “gut feeling” is really just yielding to that anxiety and thus obtaining temporary peace?

    what if one is so blinded by false overconfidence derived from that illusory pathological “reality” of false inner peace, that one fails to understand one’s long term environmental needs and to adapt appropriately to it in a timely fashion?

    what if one could see in a world of the blind, would one not fear that because one sees one is bound to make mistakes the blind never would? wouldn’t it be anxiety speaking to see advantage as disadvantage, hope as fear, and destiny as curse? isn’t the cup half full already and not half empty? may one not drink from it already if one is thirsty?

    aren’t all decisions that really define us an act of courage born out of the deepest anxiety? isn’t that the definition of heroism?

  • Stefan

    Great post! Just wish I was able to take it in and follow all the great advice…

  • http://missjenyoung.com Jen Y

    Brilliant post, Felicia! You are a wise woman and an inspiration!

    Improv has saved me more than once as well. Both in following instincts and in adapting to circumstance.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Taracat

    I’ve been following you for a while now, and have seen you grow even as you were learning. The insight re: delegating is dead on, and one thing I have trouble with myself.

    It’s part trust, part accepting others’ competence, and part learning to effectively communicate what you need done. I’me pretty good with the last, but still find myself foften stunned by getting a finished product from someone comepletely opposite from what I needed. (Doesn’t help that the other is frequently in China and I don’t speak Chinese 0_O)

    Oh well, the more I learn the more I need to learn :)

    Probably why, at 57, I still don’t know what I want to do when I grow up @_@.

  • Tieros

    I’d post this on the wall in my office, but that picture would get me in trouble. Just Wow :-)

    Thanks for such a great list. It’s amazing how easy it is to forget even the most basic and obvious of truths about ourselves when things get hectic.

    I’ve had this explosion of creativity lately where everything I’ve been working on over the past 20 years has all come together in just a few weeks, and it amazes me every day to see how it is developing. All it took to get past all these years of frustration and struggle and self-doubt was two things: scheduling uninterruptable thinking time into my day, and sharing the seeds of the ideas with other creative people. The clear delineation of isolation and cooperation led to inspiration. Oops, too many “-ions” in one sentence :-)

  • http://www.oncemoreintothevoid.com Gary Karp

    Felicia,

    May I repost your blog on my site (giving credit of course). The five lessons you learned, especially 1, 2 and 5; everyone can benefit from. I learned so much from improv and living in a state of “yes and …” that I encourage everyone to adopt the mantra. Perseverance and good hard work are necessary to create any dream into reality. The really cool thing is when you are moving towards your dreams it does FEEL like work. Even if you are staring at a blank piece of paper for minutes that seem like months. And, of course, not everything you feel is real. As someone who suffers from anxiety I try to remember that all FEAR really is, is FALSE EVIDENCE APPEARING REAL.

    Thank you for sharing your 2010 lessons. Happy New Year and all the best in 2011!!

  • a. f.

    You and I work in different industries, but I can totally understand the guilt feelings & success. I think when a person is climbing fast, this happens. There are those couple of moments where you feel like you’re in a Pink Let’s-get-this-party-started video, but in general, there’s the oh-shit-how-am-I-going-to-keep-this-up feeling, the oh-shit-how-do-I-make-it-to-the-next-level dread.

    One important thing to think about is that every year you are successful, there is maintenance. And if you move on to new projects, the old projects won’t dissappear. There will always be some maintenance for those older projects. And if you have a specific project that brings uber-success, and it starts to drive you crazy because people can’t get enough of it, don’t forget about it. I did this once and it was pretty bad for about a year.

    Eeks, and if you ever write a script that is perfect from the get go, be wary! Make sure you’ve got a good editor… better, a drill-sargent-turned-editor who isn’t afraid to chop up a perfectly good script.

    Congrats on the bookeeper! I think you may find this to be one of the best decisions to ensure you don’t go crazy. :D

  • http://www.lumenactus.com Tom Konkle

    Good post.

    Thank you. I needed to hear that too.

  • Dave

    Life is to short to learn everything on your own. So learning from others is super important in my opinion. And these struck a chord with me. Being an acting student that sense of anxiety is almost constant and starts almost on the first day of the semester, and it completely effects my work, cause I lose control of myself and give that control to my anxiety. so thank you Felicia for being open about things like this. Also I agree with building the ladder rung by rung, but please know that there are those who look up to you (and others) who have already put in the work and started to climb. Best of luck in the new year, excited to see what’s coming

  • http://www.design-in-goerlitz.de Metrissimo

    Dear Felicia,

    thank you a lot for this blog-entry. Very wise words, not new, but very inspiring. The part about being anxious is de facto VERY true and I had to read your list to get aware of my own anxiousness. I’ve have to think about it.

    Delegating is a very hard piece of work. I know that by myself and even harder is too me, to say “No!” instead of “Yes. Sure. I can do that too.” This is something I try to cope with for about 2 years, but I’m improving. Actually I don’t know, how you do get along with delegating, because I’m still not able use the resources surrounding me. Every work done by others must be corrected by me. Everytime I meet somebody who could help me with my tasks, I get nervous and anxious, because I am responsible for the work done. Still I can’t find somebody to help me with all the different think to be done. So I can unstand your situtation very well. In german “Selbständig” means freelancer. If you divide the word “Selbständig” into “selbst” and “ständig” it means “by myself” and “permanently” :D. And that’s the very problem.

    Best greetings from Germany *wave*

  • http://www.thecausemopolitan.com/ Sloane Berrent

    Wanted to thank you for your annual review. Inspired me (and I wrote a post about it). Happy new year! http://bit.ly/2010annualrev

  • Tony

    Nosce te ipsum? (ha ha ha)

  • http://www.youtube.com/clenbullard len

    Aha. Your frontal lobes declare victory. Stress less ness.

    May you have a year as successful as you need to be happy without gaining weight. ;)

  • http://about.me/mikedonatello Mike Donatello

    Dunno about #1 — you’d never, EVER catch me on a stage for anything but presenting at a conference — but you’re spot-on with the rest. After years of telling myself that I couldn’t write a decent dissertation, I finally got over the doubt and depression associated with writing and just started banging on the thing. BOOM! Proposal defended a couple weeks ago and, if I nail everything, I should have the degree by summer.

    Which leads to a #6 (or maybe #3b?): DON’T EVER QUIT. It’s taken me 20 years to finish a five-year degree, all because I gave up too soon. Now, the rule I tell my kids is that someone else may tell you that you have to quit, but don’t ever tell yourself that. Better to die trying than to try d… um, something. Whatever. Just do not give up. (Props to the USN for inspiring that ideal.)

  • someguy

    great blog and is that a radiohead reference in no. 5?

  • http://deletingtheadjectives.com Rachel

    Great list. Didn’t realize you had a blog. I’ll be reading.

  • http://www.csdaley.com Christopher

    I love number 5 the most. I beat myself up constantly about almost everything. As someone trying to become a published author every rejection that comes back devastates me. I have taken very little time to stop and think about what I have accomplished and enjoying the journey.

  • Sean

    I laughed when I read your #5. I feel like a lot of people who are still trying to be successful in a less then perfect economy have driven themselves crazy this year.

    My anxiety this year came from the fact that I was working 7 days a week, split between 3 jobs. I actually got so used to it that when I finally bought a property and cut back down to a normal 5 day a week schedule, I haven’t been able to sit and enjoy it. I feel lazy for just coming home after my 8 to 5 and sitting on my ass. So, instead, I’m burning through projects at the house like a mad man. Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that I’m getting so much done, but there’s no reason for me to get everything done, immediately, right now! I just can’t get out of the zone so that I can sit and just enjoy something simple (The Guild, which i need to catch up on, for example, lol). Hopefully we can all learn to relax a little bit in 2011 and regain some sanity.

  • Charlie

    I would add that you need to have faith in yourself and trust in your abilities to be able to take the steps necessary to accomplish your goals. Often times self-doubt gets in the way as we get scared to fail, so we never try in the first place. Or we don’t think we are good enough (or never can be good enough) so we don’t take the time to improve our skills and start thinking the impossible is impossible. The first step is the hardest, but necessary in order to get down the path to achieve your goals and dreams.

    Great list…thanks for sharing and Happy New Year!

  • Chris

    Been a fan of your work for a few years now. After reading this post, it makes me so much more of a fan of you as a person.

    I don’t usually find people’s personal musings and life-comments to be inspiring. I guess I’m just cynical that way. But, your post has made me pause a bit.

    Personally, number 2 what struck a cord for me. I came to a decision last night and “Rung by Rung” reinforced that. I have toyed and fiddled with the idea of various projects of my own for a long time, including writing and creating my own video pieces. Last night, as my wife and I were going to sleep I told her, “Lets do something epic.” By this, I meant for us to take on something we’ve never done before, something challenging and, well… Epic.

    I think its time it’s time I moved forward and made that first rung.

  • http://www.maywoodband.com Sarah Sheldon

    Thanks for this. I see a lot of these road blocks in myself and seeing them from your perspective is encouraging. I really admire you and hope I can make some of the same improvements for 2011.

  • Jeri Ellsworth

    Thanks Felicia!

    This was exactly what I needed to hear today. Perfectly timed.

  • Neil Myers

    I have several friends who don’t understand why I follow several “celebrities” via social media. This blog post has done wonders to help explain. You are far from a typical celebrity.
    As much as I admire your work in entertainment, I’ve gained more from your willingness to share yourself honestly in your blog. You are a primary example of the power of using social media to build community with an audience. Always the pioneer!

    Oh yeah, and why the heck didn’t Fast Company run more photos from that shoot?!? ;-)

  • Marc

    Learn Chinese at your own pace on chinesepod.com. (No, I don’t work for them.)

    Take a break from the madness for a long weekend at Club Med to learn trapeze. The one in Ixtapa, Mexico, has them, along with a great staff of instructors.

    See, it doesn’t take so much effort to accomplish all these small goals…

    BTW, I just watched The Guild for the first time ever last night and I’m hooked. You looked so familiar but my first thought was, “Hey, she’s that actor who plays Chloe on 24.” (Not true, but whoever plays Chloe, she’s also musically inclined cuz I saw her sing in Girls Guitar Club. Honest mistake, right?) Then I checked IMDB and I’m jumping up and down screaming to my wife, “Hey, it’s Penny from Dr. Horrible!”, and she’s all like “What the HELL are you talking about?”

    Thanks for all your work. You make people happy.

    Your new fan,
    Marc

  • Manuel

    Hi
    Point 3 is interesting. In truth there are very few people on this planet who actually know their true self. It is not just an introspective look at your own character, psyche etc. In fact it goes beyond the physical as well as the mental plains. The secret has been passed through aeons of time and is not limited to cast or creed. If you search for the truth you have the potential as Socrates said to “truly know thyself”.
    Once this awareness is realised the power from within is immeasurable.

    Best wishes for 2011

  • http://www.girlsspeakgeek.com AJ

    Have you thought about creating a 101 things in 1001 days list? I did one a couple of years ago and never managed to even come up with 101 things – eek! But I did do some cool things in that 1001 days so I’m starting again this year.

    It’s a fun way to mix up short term and long term goals, give yourself more than a year to progressively achieve things and inspire yourself with something bold to do if you’re bored (though you’re so busy I don’t know if you’re ever bored).

    I just thought of it because taking a trapeze class is totally on my list :)

  • Muhammad

    Well that’s some thing to give a try and thank, you did a good job.

  • David

    I have to admit that until I read Wired this week I did not knew who you were …. but there I realized that you created the some great things :) moreover I want to thank you for your annual review post! It really Inspired me in this start of the year (a very anxious one for me … so it really helped :)

    Have a great year !!!

    David

  • George

    I follow your blog and over the last several months I have reviewed most of your galleries. I love your “The Guild” series. You are creative and insightful and that has such appeal in contrast to the mindless and empty images that are thrust upon us as symbols of beauty. And, while the attractiveness of your personality vaults you far ahead of what most would point to as a classic beauty, I think the most beautiful and sexiest thing about you, is that you do not realize how truly beautiful and sexy you are.

    I wish you continued success and happiness.

  • http://fabiansawake.blogspot.com/ Fabian Rush

    Wow Felicia, you are such an inspiring person. After reading your blog yesterday, I decided to stop being so anti-social and start blogging. I’ve never had much of an interest in social networking, and I learned that’s a bad thing for an indi-filmmaker these days. Last night I wrote my 1st blog, and today was the first shoot day of a new web series I’m developing.

    Wishing you an amazing (and productive) 2011

    Fabian

  • Pauly

    Okay so I’m a little late reading this I know, but I still wanted to comment. I liked a lot of your reasons and found they have mirrored my own self discoveries in a way. I strongly believe the greatest thing we can do for ourselves is to be honest with our self reflection. To really look inward and learn how we are wired up and what it means to our lives and our happiness. Really knowing who you are, why you do things, why you feel things is extremely powerful. More so than I think some people think (especially those who don’t truly know themselves and believe the mask of “who they want to me” is the same as “who they are”).

    I always like reading about other people who have come to the same or similar conclusions themselves. Selfishly, it helps to validate my own feelings and selflessly I am excited that they are that much closer to true happiness and contentment.

    Here’s to a new year!

  • Katia

    Thank you so much for this post!
    I’m still young, but I put so many pressures and like you said, anxieties, onto myself. I justify it by saying to myself that it keeps me aware and noticing issues I should fix, but in turn, it creates my biggest wall instead. I will try my best this year.

  • Percevalex

    Hello there Felicia,

    Well you’ll be the first person to who I write a comment on Internet, as much as I study in IT, as much as I just really start using it. I’ve been following you and your team on facebook lately and I have to say the products you guys are doing is amazingly good. And please tell them how awesome the work they do is from a fan, recongnition is something people don’t receive enough these days.

    True that I’m right in your niche, ex w.o.w. adict like you once were, late twenties and a gamers at heart. I stopped playig w.o.w for 1.75 year and I came back in last june, and I meet someone online that is now my Girlfriend, that was unexpected on my part. Because you know I’ve played a lot to that game since release of Vanila wow, and I’ve played with many womens, meet them in real life, making 12 hours road trip with 3 other guys in a car full of CPU and stuff to sleep (We actually had to drop some sleeping bag so we could fit in all the CPU) good old memory. But what I was trying to say is that I never seek love on wow and one night I was bored and they were in need of a healer for a 10 man and well that’s where I meet her, she was leading and was my co-healer and we did 5-6 boss in ICC, for me it was the first time. Then I went to see her in California wich is quite a trip for me since I live in Québec, Canada.

    I’ve watch a few of the interviews that you’ve made and read a few articles you wrote on your blog and I find them quite inspiring. You see I’m a procrastinator, a really bad one and I’ve knowed that for a while now … good proof that I’m a procrastinator … but looking at what my love do everyday, and reading and listening to all the stuff you done made me see myself on a different angle. I know what you mean by feeling anxity and guild to not feel it, I’ve had to deal with that for quite a while now. But the way you wrote it made me realize how much I don’t need to feel those emotions at all. How futile they are. Like you said I’m sure I won’t be able to get rid of those completly but still you made me realize that I can deal with them, and for that I really thank you. I’ve done a second Bachelor in IT management during 2010 and I’ve learn a lot about me and gather strenght so that I can finaly beat that flaw I have to report thing I could do today, tomorrow.

    Now I’m looking for a job and I hope I won’t have to do as many interview this time as it took me to get my first job after my first bachelor in management, and then loose it cause of a thing they call a recession. Who know that job I applied to that they want to open an office in L.A. might bring me close to my love :)

    I wish you a great year to come and I can’t wait to see a season 5 of the guild if there will be any.

  • Eli

    Felicia, I don’t know if these words actually reach you and I know you have prob heard this a million times. But congratulations on all of your success. I look up to you. I can imagine how great of a change all this success has brought to your life. I just wanted to say thanks for being who you are and for going after your dreams. Because you have you inspire me to do the same.

    I hope to one day amount to something like you have. Your stories and your genuine-ness inspires me and you’ll always have a fan in me.

  • Junson

    Thanks Felicia. This list hit home, especially #5.

    I will make sure my own guilt doesn’t screw me over in my day to day life.

    I’m willing to bet that the celebrities out there that have breakdowns have a huge amount of guilt, coupled with so many fans clamoring for their attention and making them feel cheap.

    I’m very glad to see a living example of someone who handles this well. Maybe pursuing an acting career is worth the risk.

  • http://dramatecture.blogspot.com Toni

    You are so right with the thoughts about improv. I was a BA in theatre holding playwright with stage fright. How silly is that? So I auditioned for Comedy Sportz and trained there for two years. It was scary and I went through a lot of personal shifts in my life as well while I was doing it, and while it might not have ended up the way I had hoped it would, it laid a foundation for me as a writer and a person that I will always use. Improv is good for what ails ya!

  • Big Bad John

    Loved you as Veronica in New Vegas. ROCK ON!

  • Efe

    Just the right read for just the right moment, thank you.

  • http://www.twitter.com/tigerangel2 TigerAngel2

    All I could hear, while reading the last point, was Sarah from LABYRINTH saying, “You have no power over me” and then glass shattering. I doubt that was your intent, though.

  • José

    Felicia, I am with everyone else here in their praises of this blog post.

    There were things in it that really struck a chord with me. One in particular being when you talked about listening to the voice of your own inner instinct. I found my inner voice in mid-2009 and I cannot overstate just how much good it has done for me. All my life I have dealt with deep, emotional issues and this voice helped me to overcome them while I discovered a lot about myself in that process and in listening to it in general. I eventually became emotionally self-sufficient because of having found my inner voice AND that lead to my becoming able to love others, which has added another layer of peace and joy to my life (said love allows me to further neutralize any remaining lifelong issues and it makes me feel more connected with and to other people). It’s really a wonderful bliss.

    Thank you again for sharing, Felicia, and much blessings to you and everyone else here.

  • http://femininity.squarespace.com Jennifer M.

    Wow that makes a lot of sense. I love what you said about listening to your gut. I’ve really been trying to get better at that lately and not second-guess myself so much. It’s easy to be plagued with self-doubt or ask too many people for advice when deep down, you already know the right thing to do. Learning to trust my instincts really has gone a long way to making myself a more confident person, for sure.

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  • Joe

    Dear Felicia,

    I’m a bit late to reply, but what you wrote about first drafts is similar to what I’ve struggled with for years about writing. I’m working on getting things to come together for my own projects and I check in on your blog from time to time, as well as others, who are successfully producing theirs.

    I used to feel similar about first drafts needing to be perfect, only with me writing takes so much effort that I felt I had to get it perfect the first time or it might never get done. (As I’m sure you know, rewriting and fixing problems can be more time consuming and require more effort than writing the first draft.) The realization that got me to accept the inevitable rewriting is that I want my best ideas and my best execution of those ideas to be my final product. When better ideas or a better way of writing come to mind, isn’t that what we should go with? As long as the idea comes in time for me to include it, I’m perfectly happy. If not, I save it for later.

    I’m glad to see that you’ve come to realize that there is no reason to feel like a failure because your best work didn’t come out fully formed the first time through. I hope that, like me, you’re happy that you were able to go back and make it better.

    My best wishes to you and yours for the rest of 2011 and in the future.

    Sincerely,

    Joe

  • http://www.phdead.net Megan

    I have to wonder if they pass out anxiety problems with creative degrees in college. I have degrees in art and music and it seems like all of my colleagues suffer from the same anxiety issues I do.

    I can’t tell you what a relief it is to see someone I admire, someone successful, say that they have struggled with the same issues I do. I am constantly abandoning promising projects because of anxiety, and it nearly killed me during my first round of graduate school. I’ve tried the technique you’ve described, examining my feelings as they come, but by and large it doesn’t cause them to go away or lessen. I actually started getting anxiety about the technique not working, thinking I was just bad at it or I just didn’t care enough and god, couldn’t I care enough to fix my own mental health? Instead, I’m trying to just power through projects, make sure I see them all the way through, and then I feel a little better once the project is complete. It doesn’t help the anxiety in the meantime, but I’m hoping that with enough completed projects I’ll begin to see that I CAN finish things and they DON’T utterly suck and maybe it’s worth doing more. You’ve inspired me to work harder at mindfulness, though – maybe knowing that it’s actually worked for someone will help me stick with it.

    Thank you so much for this post – it means a lot. Best of luck in 2011, and I’m really looking forward to more the wonderful work you do.

  • Sam

    Does anyone know if I can actually buy Red: Werewolf Hunter anywhere cause I missed it :( and wanna know if there is anywhere I can find it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Mako0 Don

    The Jimmy Fallon spot turned me onto what you were doing and I just caught myself up on The Guild via Netflix and my TiVo. Being a gamer and nerd the story really resonates with me. Awesome work. The writing is exceptional and has me LMAO with each episode. I had no idea the other body of work that you had been involved in but look forward to seeing Felicia Day in more creative projects. I wish that I exercised the creative parts of my brain more growing up. The story almost makes me want to get back into MMOs. I still have my Ultima Online account, but it is basically because I cannot give up my castle. LOL The last one I played was SWG but it tried to model itself after WOW and really got away from the original vision which seemed to have more depth. Think I will stop embarrassing myself there. =)

    Keep it up and I look forward to hearing your voice in Dragon Age II. Thank you Amazon Prime release day shipping. =) I have high hopes for Bioware’s entry into the MMO world. I think they could finally mature the genre.

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    I seldom comment, but after reading some of the remarks here %BLOGTITLE%. I do have a couple of questions for you if it’s okay. Could it be only me or do some of the remarks look like they are coming from brain dead people? :-P And, if you are writing at additional places, I would like to follow you. Would you list of every one of all your shared sites like your Facebook page, twitter feed, or linkedin profile?

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