Sunday 10 July 2011

The Infinite Abyss

Days are passing. But you say you wanna write, say you wanna act, say you wanna be a photographer.

The very best aren't born the best. They print that legend, but the truth is they suck at first. But they keep working at it and working at it.

When did you last put words on the page? When did you last pick up your guitar? When did you last get a group together and act?

Expertise is in your hands. Nuance is waiting. Experience is the prize.

Experience and knowledge just kind of show up one day as long as you keep turning up. People ask me for blogging advice. They see me as an expert. Why? Because I show up day after day and write.

Not everything I write is great. But when I nail it I nail it better than I did three years ago.

Bloggers are writers who don't wait around to get hired. The best actors, when not working, are creating their own stuff.

It's hard to do the work, hard to succeed. But experience and knowledge about failure and rejection help too. It's all part of it.

I know this girl who used to absolutely rip my work to pieces. And everyone else's too. She'd have all the reasons why our work was awful. She was a film director too but she'd never made anything. Said she was waiting because she wanted it to be perfect.

Ten years went by. I'm still waiting. It's only her that suffers.

Take your blocks and obstacles and impossibilities and turn them into something. You can be in prison yet still put on a one man show, even if only for yourself. You could be three out of work actors and put on a sketch show in a local school or in the street where you live. I know an actor who is doing one man plays in retirement homes. It's not the dream, but he's learning so much. He has an audience that, on the first sign of boredom, falls asleep (literally).
You learn more about yourself as an actor and person dealing with sleeping audiences than you do in two years of drama school.

You have a talent, a skill, right? I mean-- you have some kind of gift? Don't wait for Spielberg to call or Simon Cowell to spot you. Just get to work honing the unique brilliance of all that is you. It's not about shortcuts, it's not about getting rich quick. It's about creativity. When you focus on it, it breeds longevity. That's what a career is.

People who worry about the paycheck and bitch about how their genius is undiscovered -- these people tend to stop practicing, learning and discovering. Don't let it be you. Explore the infinite abyss!

Care to share?


  1. Just what I needed to hear today.

  2. You do make a lot of sense and put into words what the rest of us are thinking before we nudge those thoughts to one side for the sake of 'something else.'
    Keep it up, I very much enjoy these kind of tough love posts

  3. Thanks for this Kid - let's all go and be creative! : )
    One of my favourite writers, Neil Gaiman, said that he was really affected in a positive way by the 'punk' idea that you can do something simply by doing it. I think we're on the same subject here.
    Interesting fact on the topic of failure and learning: the world's top ice skaters fall over more times in their training sessions than their less skilled peers. This is because they regularly push themselves far beyond their current abilities, which means they fail often. By falling on their bums thousands of times and getting up again, they master new skills and excel. And obviously, you have to love something to be willing to get through the failure in this way.

  4. I know I would rather try to create and fail then not try at all. I'm so glad you take the time to write your posts, I find them very inspiring.

  5. You are so right. Just because it's not *the Dream* doesn't mean it's not worth doing. I mean, hello, you will not be able to fulfill your dream unless you have experience AND someone has seen you doing something.

    I used to write scripts with the Big Companies and the Big Money in mind. Did I get their attention? Nope. Not a chance. But with four produced short scripts with small budgets I've gained experience. Which gives me the option to write better, which in turn takes me a step closer to my dreams. I don't know if my dreams will ever be fulfilled, but I sure don't want to sit on my butt waiting for something to happen.

  6. Kid- You nailed it here. You're the best morning read ever. I come to you for information, entertainment and great succinct writing, but what I really drop by for is your generosity. You so inspire. :-)

  7. Really needed to read this. I came here because I googled Ryan adams in a moment of midnight boredom. Lucky me to have found a kindred spirit.