Hannibal from the A Team may love it when a plan comes together, but he never told us what to do when that doesn’t happen. As I said before, there are powerful emotions at work when your new creative project fails to launch. What do you do with all that energy and passion? Let’s break the recovery process down into some simple action steps:
Success is Not a Linear Path
Hollywood is obsessed with this idea that success starts out with a simple idea and then through a single path – usually a montage – all the stars align and everyone falls in love with you. This is false. Success doesn’t work that way. Not even in Hollywood.
If you aren’t familiar with this reality, you may feel like the negative reactions you’re getting are personally directed toward you. You may be tempted to react angrily. After all, you have an idea and you want to share it with people. Why all the hate?
It’s important to decouple yourself from your idea. Ideas come and go. Projects come and go. I remember Robert Downey Jr. talking with someone after The Judge came out, and it wasn’t doing well. His only comment was, ‘well, it stings … but then you’re onto the next project.’ If Iron Man can accept his setbacks without a meltdown, what’s our excuse?
Don’t take it personally. Brush yourself off. Realize that your path is not linear. Start creating again.
Make sense? Let’s keep going: Continue reading
Maybe it’s me getting older and wiser, but I’m starting to understand more about where to spend my energy as an artist.
I admit: all of this is a black box to me. When I was a kid, I acted and I got paid. That’s as far as I took it. Understanding all the pieces and parts to a major creative enterprise like a feature film, that was beyond me. I don’t get the luxury of that ignorance today and neither does any other indie artist.
We’re forced by necessity to be intensely focused on all the moving parts of a successful, monetized project. Fair or unfair, that’s our reality. It’s hard to get it right. Easy to get it wrong. We’re all figuring stuff out for ourselves.
And here’s the other part: We’re all passionate. In exchanges with other artists, and creative people, I’ve become aware how passionate people are and how that passion manifests itself. Some (I’m looking at you, @Scalzi and @HamillHimself) are bright shining stars that beckon.
Others are warning lights, saying ‘Watch out … I’m trouble.’ We’ve all had exchanges like that. Sometimes we’re the offender. Sometimes the offendee. As easy as it would be to poke fun, I don’t want to do that. I can’t point fingers. I’ve been that guy. I can’t judge too much. It’s bad for recovery … When You Point a Finger at Someone, There Are Three More Pointing Back at You and all that.
When an exchange goes south, it becomes an interesting personal exercise for me. What can this exchange teach me about how I interact with other people as I find new readers? As I mentioned, I still have a lot to learn. Many others do, too, apparently. Let’s distill our thoughts into one simple idea: Don’t hate. Create. The rest of this blog post is about unpacking those three words.
Hi there. Just a reminder that you’re better than this. I’m sorry if you came here to experience a click-baity ‘You definitely love Scifi’ payoff screen and a ‘Share Your Score’ banner page. Quizzes aren’t my business. I’m here for the people who want more than clickbait, and if that is you then please keep reading.
No quiz will tell you if you’re cut out for sci-fi. You love science fiction? Good, you’re in. Being curious about science, and how we might use it to enrich our lives is the only barrier to entry in our beloved genre.
Don’t believe the hype. Ignore the gatekeepers. You don’t need to pass a quiz to be a part of science fiction. You just have to like it.
Dig in, tune in, turn on, and enjoy.