One of the positive aspects that Mike and I look forward to the most when being single again is to able to devote more time & energy to our personal creative projects.  I remember when I met Mike in 2006, one of the first things I confessed to him was that sometimes I lose focus on my creative drive when entering a relationship.  We’ve both pushed some of our ambition to the wayside while putting that energy into making “us” work.  Maybe that isn’t the way it has to be, but for our case, it was. 

While on the way out-of-town yesterday to a baby shower with some of my coworkers, one of them asked a very interesting question – What would you do/be in life if you had to do it all over again?  We all went around and gave our answers… but my immediate thought was that my life isn’t over, and I can still be whatever I want to be.  My answer in the car was to be a professional athlete, but that’s not the only one.  I want to write a book, I want to make a feature film, I want to compete in Ironmans around the world, I want to learn Italian, I want to experience everything I possibly can before the day I leave this earth. I want to live in a bigger city.  I want to have a taste of the good life.  I want to help the less fortunate.  My interests are very broad and overwhelming to most, but for me they are exciting and the reasons for living. 

While trying to sleep in this morning, which wasn’t happening, I felt this tremendous urge to write about my future creative projects today as my blog entry.  So, I got my tired a** out of bed to do just that (despite the fact that I babysat my niece until the wee hours of the morning last night). 

I’m just going to name a list off that I’d like to do in the near future, then talk about each one individually.

1.  My book – The Jen West Quest
2.  Writing a feature film
3.  Sponsorship for my Ironman races (I’ll explain why this is “creative” later)
4.  Ghost Ghirls

#1. – My book – The Jen West Quest.  This is first and foremost on my list of things to do.   While I am not an expert in the process, my goal is to have something strong on paper to be able to sell by early/mid summer.  I don’t expect to be finished, but I hope to have something that I can present to people in the industry by then. 

#2. – Writing a feature film.  You know I used to be so passionate about filmmaking, but it’s something that has faded with time.  No matter what happens with this interest, I have three strong story ideas waiting for me if I ever want to pursue one of them.  The first one is about Louise Wooster, a prostitute/madam Birmingham native who was the self-proclaimed lover of John Wilkes Booth when he shot Lincoln.  Her story is amazingly dramatic & sad, and it deserves to be told.  My second concept is to tell the story of Nellie Bly, a female journalist in the mid/late 1800’s who faked insanity in order to study a mental institution from within.  I’m surprised no one has done anything with her story yet because it’s so courageous & inspiring.  The third idea is to do a modern-day Helen Keller story about a deaf & blind child who learns how to communicate.  While doing so, the beauty of a world with no sight & sound is expressed in a whole new way.  Honestly, this would be the easiest film to make since it isn’t a period piece and funding could be secured to help raise awareness for this type of condition.  But no matter what happens, making a film is a full-time commitment and one that I would take very seriously if I ever decided to jump in.

#3. – Sponsorship for my Ironman races.  I’ve already decided that if I am lucky enough to get a slot through the Ironman Kona lottery, then I am going to pursue sponsorships.  I listed this as a creative project because I would have to market myself in an attractive way and think outside of the box since I’m not a professional athlete.  I would become a product in a sense, which is a whole new way to look at myself in the Ironman world.  It would be every exciting and fun to take this on!

#4. – Last but not least, Ghost GhirlsIt’s important to remember that this isn’t meant to be a career or major time suck in any way… it’s primarily just a hobby and something I’d like to do.  We are pushing back our webisodes until this summer when we all have a little more time to dedicate to it.  It’s turned out to be a little more complicated and time-consuming than we originally planned, but it will be worth it in the end.  First and foremost, it needs to be FUN!!  🙂

So that’s that for my creative project standings.  I am really looking forward to what the future has in store, and my dreams are bigger than ever!