It would be easy to blame exhaustion from work for your lack of motivation in your creative pursuits.
Vegging out on the couch watching entire seasons of past-hit televisions shows doesn’t take any effort at all–so when the Netflix red loading screen is calling your name, you haven’t been one to turn it down. Working a 50+ hour work week chasing two very active children around Los Angeles is enough to make even the most stalwart human ready for a month-long nap
It would be easy to throw in the towel after being handed a big fat bag of rejection.
What is the artist’s life if not one rife with rejection. Sundance Screenwriter’s Lab [FINAL ROUND] turned out to be a “no” for this year. And a sketch team audition didn’t garner a call-back. News of both happened on the same day within mere hours of each other. That’s enough to make anyone want to bury their head in the sand.
It would be easy to shut down the computer, close the notebook, and let Writer’s Block have control of your creative process.
When that blank page is staring you in the face–when you make excuses not to work because your favorite pen is out of ink and it’ll be a while before you can get back to the store–when you tell yourself that everything you’ve ever written has been absolute junk so why bother? Most people wouldn’t bother–most people don’t bother.
It would be easy to constantly compare yourself to others–to find your shortcomings in other’s successes.
When you’ve surrounded yourself with other aspiring industry nerds–when you’re inundated with the flood of media glorifying those that have done the things that you want to do— one can’t help but lose perspective. That tiny little devil on your shoulder whispers tantalizingly in your ear: “If you give up now…I’ll buy you some cake to enjoy while you drink your cocktail of coconut rum and the tears of your unaccomplished goals”. Who could resist such an offer?
It would be easy to pick a more secure/safe/certain path.
You’re really good at working in retail. You’ve helped raise so many babies over the years, surely, if you just found a guy [not even Mr. Right, but Mr. That’ll-Do], you’d make some awesome little offspring to drive to soccer and ballet and whatever other activity you chose to live vicariously through them. Surely.
It would be easy to pack up your car and move back east.
Out of LA, back to where you won’t spend a majority of your wages on rent. Back to a place where you can live the rest of your days trudging to the movie theatre wondering what would have been–yelling at the actors on the silver screen “I COULD’VE DONE THAT BETTER”. Where a solid lead ball will drop into the pit of your stomach every time you think about how you surrendered because it was too “hard” and because you were too “tired”.
But you’ve never been the one to do that which was EASY.
Someone tells you “No” and “Can’t” and you immediately spring into action–it’s not simply that you must prove yourself to THEM–you must prove yourself to…well…yourself. You wrote a spec script and got an actively working sitcom writer (for your most favorite show on the entire planet, no less) to give you some valuable feedback. While he gave you a ton of notes to work on specifics, he also gave you some words of encouragement: “You clearly know what you’re doing in terms of joke writing…You really get the characters voices!…You know how a 3 act story is structured, etc.”. You aren’t shooting blanks, at least, so keep aiming at the target.
You came to Los Angeles with a goal–an astronomical goal–but you chose it for yourself. The only one that’ll be disappointed in your failure to achieve these completely fabricated life missions is YOU. If you want it, go get it. So get to work!
[And for God’s sake, go take a shower.]