When you decide to finally give in to your inner voice saying that your true vocation is *insert any creative profession*, you initially feel relieved, like if you had finally spoken the truth after a long time of lies. You feel great, charged both by courage and fear, and you start working on your own creative job that, at this point of the story, is quite far from being payed with any kind of retribution.
You think that, as this is YOUR dream, YOUR profession, the one you had so much time and so much trouble to find, of course everything is going to be a piece of cake.
Hell if you are wrong.
You used to think that your parents discouraged you so much because of the competition and the difficulties buried in your profession’s fundaments, but is not the only reason.
They probably knew, as your are learning now, that in creative professions, you are less likely to find yourself inside an already set path. Unlike other professions, where you can image yourself being hired and start a nine-to-five career, in creativity you can’t follow the others, otherwise it would be harder to succeed. You have to figure out and make your own path, and work on it everyday. And, most of the times, you’d be alone with your creativity.
As your brain struggles to find ideas, languages, expressions, as you stare at the blank page and try to follow a schedule even if know one would care if you don’t, that’s when you start what I call “The Serial Procrastination“.
Suddenly everything seems to be more important than your work. Facebook, cat videos, emails (for me chores) seem unable to wait. And that is how you don’t get your shit done.
I asked myself many times why, when I had to prepare for an university exam, I used to have a ten elephant-pack concentration but, if I have to think of a plot, I am distracted as a three weeks old kitten.
I found my answer after speaking with my coach, Sonja. I went back to the day I said my parents I wanted to live with stories. I felt good, yes, but also a little ashamed and guilty, because in my family stories were never considered a job, they were nothing more than a hobby. So, back then, part of me felt like I had chosen a profession that deserved less respect than some others and, unfortunately, this affects me even today.
But if you want to succeed, to make a living out of your passion you have to give it (and, consequently, to give you) the right credit. You have to commit and struggle, as you would do if you were employed in a society.
There are many different ways you can try to find your own way to commit. There are routines, exercises, moments for feedbacks and motivational recaps. Personally I recommend you to read this amazing book “101 Ways of Successful Screenwriters” , even if screenwriting is not what you want to do. It really helps you to find a way to dedicate to a creative profession, despite all the mental arguments you might have with yourself.
And then, as Shia LaBoeuf would say… “Just do it“.
Photo by Giulia Linus