Storyteller

So, I mentioned that I was going to be do a post on the project I’ve been working on. This is a teaser post to that post. Stay with me. This is going to describe the heart of my project, whose name is Storyteller. Storyteller is a culmination of my life’s passions. Telling stories through visual medium and software development.

As a kid, I would run through all different types of imaginative stories, as all kids do. I would live these stories out in my head and sometimes even commit them to paper on the closest computer: whether it was my family’s first computer (Windows 98 Compaq) or the laptop I begged for when going to high school. I always enjoyed creating and telling stories. But I enjoyed experiencing them as well. Often, I would snatch up the nearest book and not put it down until I was finished. I would read late into the night, often frustrating my parents who just insisted it was bed time. If I wasn’t doing that, I would play video games. I always insisted that the video games I had told a story, and it had to be intricate; a simple story just would not do. Much of this time I had as a kid was spent in my imagination, the worlds of the authors books I read, and the games I played.

As I got older, I thought it would be a great idea to try and design those video games that I loved so much, all the while neglecting what made me love them in the first place, the story. So I decided to learn how to make computer games, and my life and education spiraled out from there, leading me to the career field that I love and enjoy: Software Development.

However, that is not enough. It is not enough to simply make software. I thought it would be good enough to make good, well designed software. I realized that isn’t it either. I want to make great software that empowers people to create, thrive, and feel. I need to create this kind of software. It is the aching in my bones that drives what I do. God has given me gifts and abilities for the church, but God has given me this talent, this ability, and this perspective to drive change in the world. I have tried to run from it before, I have tried to find other avenues to express this ability I’ve been given, but nothing has ever worked. My passion always comes back to this: telling and experiencing a well crafted story. And around March of 2014, I decided to dive into that passion and I began developing Storyteller.

The heart of Storyteller is to create a iOS app that will allow users to express themselves in this new medium of touch in a way that allows interactivity, exploration, and imagination.  I am a Storyteller, and so are you. We are all Storytellers.


 

That being said, I found a wonderful video tonight that captures an idea of what I am doing. During Google I/O, Google’s developer conference, the ATAPS (Advanced Technology and Projects) group demoed something they’ve been working on called Spotlight Stories. This starts around the 36 minute mark, but it is an exploration like none other on  the art of stoytelling and the combination with the technology of today. (The drawing by Glen Keane was quite amazing as well. 46 minute mark). This is what I want to do.  ATAPS is amazing and pushing boundaries in everything they are doing. That is my desire. Pushing the boundaries of what we think we can do with the technology we have. There is so much more to explore.

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The Race Towards Burnout

Burnout.

We are all capable of it. That moment when everything stops. That moment when that big assignment that you enjoyed so much just stops mattering. The moment when you feel like you can’t go on any longer the way you are going and something has to change.

There are different ways it appears. It may come as a sudden sickness; it may come as a feeling of depression and nausea; it may come in other ways, some of which I personally haven’t experienced, and you may not even be able to verbalize. But as you’re reading this, you understand exactly what I’m saying. You know the feeling of burnout.

Over the past two days, I’ve experience a lethargy unlike almost anything I’ve ever experienced. I say almost because I have been this lethargic once. But then I was presenting with a multitude of other symptoms, and that’s a story for another time. My current lethargy has left me unable to do much of anything, even if I am motivated to do so. I’ve come to realize that this could simply be the feeling of burnout, manifested in a new way in my life. The last time I felt burned out, I almost had a mental breakdown. That was bad, but through God and my wife, I was able to come out of that situation in tact. This one shall have the same result.

I’ve been watching the series “Mad Men” as of late. While I can’t agree with much of what goes on in the story, I find it very interesting and even inspiring and convicting as of late. For example:

“We’re flawed because we want so much more. We’re ruined because we get these things and wish for what we had.” ~ Don Draper, Mad Men

Quotes like these are swiftly adept at explaining the reasons for burnout. We want so much more than we have. So we work and then work some more. And then, we are ruined; because after we achieve our goal, it is either unsatisfactory, or we have spent all our energy achieving it and have none left to enjoy it.

That’s the question life asks, isn’t it — “What do you want and how far will you go to get it?”

We all need to remember that life is a journey, and we need to enjoy it, not rush through. Burnout stops us from enjoying the journey because you can only go so fast for so long until it begins to take a toll on your mind, body, and spirit. Either prepare to take time and relax during the journey, or you will experience burnout by the end of the it.

We all have dreams and many of us have responsibilities that we would rather ignore to be able to focus on our dreams, but it’s a balancing act. You have to keep your dreams focused and take care of yourself, while balancing daily responsibilities.  Let’s do the best work we can, while taking care of our body, mind, and spirit, by letting ourselves relax before we get to the point of burnout. This can be done, and we can do it.

Will you race towards your dream, or will you race towards burnout?