07 October 2009

Two Words Make All The Difference

... and I'm not going to tell you what they are... for another seven or eight paragraphs.  Be patient, dear reader.

As a self-trained filmmaker, I've read too many books on filmmaking.  I've applied countless principles of my music composition training to the discipline of making films.  I've written or started to write several scripts, produced several short documentaries and promotional films, a feature length music documentary, a music video, and have two scripts in the pipeline, and another music video, this time using stop motion animation.

I've struggled with failure.  I've had more projects fall through in a short amount of time than I care to remember.  I've dealt with interference of all kinds - "vision" of others, demands of the day job (many times, the day job and the filmmaking intersected), as well as my responsibilities as a homeowner, significant other, and human vessel for the dog's ventures into the out-of-doors.

In all of the training, in all of those materials I've read, in all of the projects I've done, not once did the two most important words in the creative vocabulary come up.  And no, they're not "I care."  That's bullshit.  You should care all the time, not just when you're being creative.  You should form opinions, and not leave things up to others to decide.

When you're being creative, the only thing that should matter to you is the act of being creative.  You must be in the moment.  Everything else, all of your responsibilities, must be cast aside.  You need to say "I care" when you create... but only about what you're creating.

You can't look at each writing, crocheting, composing, editing session as one step closer to the big time.  You can't be afraid to fail.  It's by failing that we learn, it's when we get to pick ourselves back up again.  You are not going to change the world with your first draft, your second, your third, or your fiftieth.

Those two words?

"Fuck it."

Take all of the outside influences, all of the worries that aren't on that page in front of you, and say "fuck it."  Go for it.  Don't be afraid.  Just write it down.  If it sucks, have the faith that you will catch it.  Live in the moment, and appreciate the opportunity you've got.    If it doesn't work, know that you'll get better.  Each failure brings you one step closer to success.

I really wish someone had said that to me... I just started realizing it a few months ago - and it's not easy to implement.   I fail continuously at it, but I keep reminding myself of how much I love getting away from all that bullshit for a few hours a day and becoming the king of my 8.5 x 11 castle.

When you can actually look everything else around you in the eye and for three minutes or three hours a day have the courage to say "fuck it,"and put pen to paper, finger to piano key, or pasta in the water, you're that much closer to getting where you want to be.

Afterwards, go back into "the real world" and deal with it... but that time in front of the paper, computer screen, what have you?

That's yours. 

Fight your own head to keep it that way.


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