Whether you’re the aspiring designer, the aspiring photographer, the aspiring singer/songwriter, the aspiring director, the aspiring author. Whatever the case may be, this is for you.
Ever felt like this?
I feel like nobody cares.
This isn’t getting the exposure it deserves.
Maybe I should just quit.
Or asked yourself any of the following questions?
Why am I doing this anyway?
What if it all fails?
Why are my stats /views so low?
What if I’m doing the wrong thing?
A lot of us, including myself can answer a definite yes to some or all of the above. As a “beginner” when it comes to the pursuit of certain creative goals, like screenwriting, I thought it would be cool to write a post addressed to people like me.
It will basically be a (hopefully) brief list of thoughts/ advice to encourage all of us in our pursuits; things I think about, things I have to remind myself of or things I’m trying to implement into my life.
1) Consistency is key.
Most of the time when you start out on something, it’s going to take time for “it” to reach the level you want it to be at.
But what matters is consistency and the fact that you enjoy what you do.
Yes, I roll my eyes at this sometimes too or internally scream “but why does it have to be like this?” but just think about the last thing you achieved and what it took to get there. And then with the things you wanted to achieve but didn’t, were you consistent?
Random example, but I’ve been trying to get up earlier and I can definitely say that a lack of consistency in the time I wake up each day has been a major drawback (#prayformepls).
Back to my point. In most cases views, subscribers (whatever the case may be) won’t come overnight.
So, whenever you’re feeling discouraged, remember the fact that what you do doesn’t boil down to views alone (which goes back to my point about enjoying what you do). This isn’t discounting the fact that yes, a lot of us want to reach large amounts of people with our work or want more readers, more subscribers etc. But these things don’t just happen at the click of a finger.
Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.
I’m sure this whole being consistent thing doesn’t = no failures along the way.
It just means we keep trying.
2) Embrace uncertainty.
A lot of us question whether what we’re doing is even the right thing. We don’t know how things are going to turn out or where we’re going to end up.
Even so, let’s try and find a way to avoid being crippled by this fear of uncertainty.
We’ll all have different ways of doing this.
The main thing to ask yourself is:
Would you rather not do anything because you’re scared of uncertainty or at least start taking steps in some kind of direction? (even if they’re baby steps)
I feel like researching careers I’m interested in has helped me become slightly less idealistic (yes, only slightly).
What are the realities of the line of work you’re trying to pursue? For example, this article on becoming a director provides a “sharp reality check” on the steps required to do so.
I’m also reminded of a literature festival called “Africa Writes” which I attended last year with a friend. There was an author panel/ Q&A type thing where one of the authors mentioned that being an author is not her main/only source of income.
I also found this:
To any aspiring authors out there, don’t be discouraged! Read the whole thing here to see the quote in context.
These are just examples of things that make me (slightly) less idealistic. Things like this make me think things like “Oh maybe I will need a 9-5 to be able to eat” or “maybe I should start looking into how I’m going to make X lucrative”. The list of the thoughts that keep me up at night continues.
This is all just a reminder for us to:
keep our expectations in check.
I like to call this “positivity with a dose of realism”.
Yeah we can daydream about making moneyyyyyyyy off our first official creative project or becoming a worldwide sensation (who knows? we might even pull it off).
Let’s just make sure any grandiose expectations we have aren’t the only thing fuelling us.
After all, the J.K Rowling’s of the world had to work hard to be where they are now, right?
4) Always remember why you do what you do.
A creative creates art. Not to make a buck, but to make a difference. She writes to write, not to be noticed or to sell books. She sings to sing, for the pure joy of making music. And she paints to paint.
There’s something you do that regardless of whether or not you made money off it, whether or not you gained international success off it, whether or not you won awards for it, you would keep doing.
What is that for you?
You may become “known” for your work. You may not.
Regardless of the outcome, hopefully your love for your craft will be a source of encouragement whenever you feel invisible, anxious or confused.