No matter how much we accomplish, it’s easier to find fault, to consider what more we could have done, and to reflect only on the negative.
Creatives, athletes…we’re never satisfied.
The Sis and I enjoy Formula One, and one of her favorite drivers, even when he won, would always say, “We could have done better.”
We’re hard on ourselves. We nitpick. We doubt.
When I had that conversation about a month ago now with the one screenwriting coach, I said, multiple times, that I had wasted time. A lot of it. She tried to placate that negativity by saying I had been living my life.
Then last week, I went to coffee with a friend and told him how much I had written. His eyes literally went wide. It wasn’t like I had just been puffing myself up by saying I was a writer, I had the material, whether ready or not to be seen (see, hard on myself) to back it up. That impressed look, made me feel a little bit better.
I’m still no where near satisfied, but you know, it’s a process.
No matter where we are on our journey, it’s obviously easier to look back and measure our success, or lack there of, by that distance then to look forward and try to see the finish line because that is more elusive. We don’t know how many more steps we have to take before we can consider ourselves a “success”.
Besides, when is our kind ever satisfied?
It’s also easy to compare ourselves to others who are further along, and possibly younger ((gasp)). Or be annoyed that they found their way sooner.
When I was in film school, I learned how so many directors had used their families’ video camera to make shorts when they were like 10 years old.
Good for them.
Vera Wang didn’t become a designer until she was 40.
Way more relatable.
It’s hard work to silence the inner negativity demon. We work alone most of the time and without recognition or validation for years, sometimes. Don’t look back. Don’t be put off by the make believe distance you’ve manifested in your head. No matter if you’ve taken one step or a thousand, celebrate where you are now.
You’re so much further than you think.
You’re so much further than those who talk about it and yet have never taken the first step or those who quit along the way.
I finished a new screenplay in the month I’ve had off from work. Hence my silence here. I’m celebrating this achievement – a story that didn’t exist a month ago. What a deep feeling of satisfaction. When I wrote Fade Out, my heart flipped, and there was a moment of pride, and like I had given myself a high-five.
When I woke up the next day, there was that quiet nagging voice telling me to get back to work.
Do you have an accomplishment you’d like to share and celebrate? Let’s cheer one another on!