Constant driving toward accomplishing a goal without planned times to reflect and celebrate is not a good strategy for long-term success. It’s a strategy for burnout, frustration, and killing your passion.Continue Reading...
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Guest post by Ron Dawson on how to wrestle and conquer fear, resistance and questioning
your creative calling. It’ll motivate and inspire you to get moving on this week’s challenge!
I’ve been told that one of my greatest gifts is dreaming up engaging film ideas. My unique take on life drums up some very interesting subjects and topics. What I suck at is actually executing on all those great ideas. If I had a nickel for every cool film idea I’ve had, I’d have enough money to shoot a feature film.
This whole issue of dreaming up great ideas but never shooting any of them led to a very interesting, and perhaps life-changing conversation with my wife. We were on a long drive back home from our winter vacation to Branson, MO. Tasra and I had just finished reading Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art. This book is an absolute must-read for anyone who fancies himself or herself a creative professional. But be forewarned, it will mess you up. I’m speaking from experience.
You see, on this road trip Tasra and I were talking about the book and the topic of my call as a filmmaker. One of the things Pressfield writes about in the book is creating art for the love of it vs. doing it just for the accolades. He asks:
If you were the last person on earth,
would you still feel compelled to create your art?
I couldn’t answer the question. That led me to ponder the fact that aside from the jobs I’m hired to do, or pro bono gigs I do for worthy causes, I haven’t made any personal films. Films I shoot just for ME. Not that I’m the only one who will watch them, but films that come from an idea or passion I have, where no one else is a “client.”
Furthermore, in-between “official” gigs, I don’t do a lot of shooting to practice my craft. I don’t use that down production time to work on the plethora of film ideas I have. I started to wonder:
Am I really a filmmaker? Is this my true calling?
Why don’t I pursue it with more abandon?
My beautiful wife said then says to me, “Well, I think that’s something you should look at.”
I was floored. I had hoped she would say, “Of course you’re a filmmaker sweetheart. You’re a wonderful filmmaker. Don’t let this book get to you.” But nooooooo! She had to go and actually challenge me. Get me to really think about that question. I was hoping that since she loved me, she’d say something to make me feel better. That is not always love. However, because she loved me, she did the hard thing and made me wrestle with an issue that needed to be wrestled with. What made matters worse was that at the height of this provocative conversation and my mini-panic attack, I looked up and saw a sign that read “Damascus – 2 mi.” Oh great! I literally was on the road to Damascus. “Please God, tell me this was just a coincidence.”
After a 3-hour conversation (30 minutes of which was me sitting in silence pondering, near tears at one point), then some wresting, struggling, and discussing this topic with Tasra, I was led to the conclusion that I AM indeed a filmmaker. One who has given in to the Resistance. The Resistance is the personification Pressfield makes about those excuses in life we create that keep us from what we’re meant to do. For me, it was waiting. Waiting for the right equipment. Waiting for the right crew. Waiting for all the stars to align. Waiting, waiting, waiting. All this waiting was keeping me from just shooting!
Tasra also reminded me that the other thing Pressfield said was:
If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), ‘Am I really a writer? Am I really an artist?’ Chances are you are. The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.
With Tasra’s encouragement, I finally got the gumption to start on a film idea I’ve been talking about since last summer. A documentary about race relations in America as seen through the eyes of biracial people. Instead of a feature length doc, I’m going to produce it as a short film documentary series. You can see the teaser and read about it at MixedinAmerica.tv.
What creative calling do YOU have that Resistance is keeping you from going after. I encourage you to get up off your butt and do it. Now!
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