Where are you in your creative career?
It would be so easy some days to stop and settle with what we have, instead of being ambitious and daring enough to say we want more. As creative people, we work in one of the most competitive and cut-throat industries there are, and I don’t think anyone would blame us for deciding to stop while we’re ahead. Even if we are nowhere near where we want to be.
It’s a question that’s run through my mind more than a handful of times. I’ve been in the industry in some capacity for twelve years, and have had more rejection than I can shake a stick at. I’ve had false starts, pitches that have tanked, and potentially life-changing career opportunities fizzle into dust, usually through no fault of my own, but on occasion due to making the wrong decisions.
Control is nearly always out of the equation in this industry. But if you’re anything like me, you can’t give up. And if you’re not like me, I want you to read this carefully with the hope that your outlook will change. Because I know.
I know what it’s like to have a passion that is all-consuming, that you work on every waking hour of the day.
I know what it’s like to get that phone call, that you didn’t quite make it, but better luck next time.
I know what it’s like to see people with a fraction of your talent get the best opportunities, for one reason or another, even though you could do a better job.
I know what it’s like to feel ignored, and be told that your best work isn’t good enough.
I know what it’s like to be sat in one spot, completely paralysed by the options around you, scared to choose one in case it leads you down the wrong track.
I know what it’s like to feel completely burnt out, and have nothing left to give.
I know what it’s like to feel like you’re racing against the clock to prove yourself, before it’s too late.
But, I also know other things.
I know that I have an unstoppable work ethic that will get me where I want to be at the right time.
I know that I have a thicker skin than a huge amount of my contemporaries, which has been built up through these failures.
I know that I’m not out of the game yet, and however many failures want to come and fuck me up, I’ll be jumping right back onto my feet, ready to go harder.
And I know that you have these qualities too.
But this post isn’t about me. It’s about you… It’s about the dozens of friends I have seen quit their dreams with teary eyes, trying to convince me (read: themselves) that this is better in the long run.
You’ve been given a magical gift with your skills. I don’t care if you’re a painter, a filmmaker or a world-champion dog groomer, you have a gift that you have been put here to use, so it’s time to suck it up and go harder than you’ve ever gone before. And if this sounds a bit harsh, know that I’m writing this not only for you but for me too, because it’s something that I need to hear at times.
Call the record labels. Go and make some incredible shit, using whatever you have.
Go full steam ahead, and take out anyone who gets in the way on your journey.
Be selfish with your time, because what you’re creating is worth it.
Keep going and don’t you dare give up. I’ll be watching.