the circular runner

writing through the fear..or is it riding?

In humor, life, observations, parenting, Uncategorized on July 9, 2012 at 6:31 am

Lately, I’ve been getting panic attacks on the freeways.  I’ve never been in an accident; knock on wood, I’ve never even been close to being in one.  But along the way, I have developed this lack of ease on highways.  This experience has made me wonder if this is the beginning of fear taking over.  I say this though as this weird fearful cloud is enveloping me so is a realization that I don’t get to avoid things just ’cause I’m afraid of them.

Is that a duh-statement, or what?

It’s not like I didn’t have fears before.  I certainly did.  I remember this one time as a kid.  I was supposed to compete in a track meet, but I woke up the day of so scared that I was going to fail, that I told my mom I was sick, which wasn’t a lie, not exactly.  I quit playing basketball in high school when I was a sophomore out of fear that I’d bring my team down.  To put it simply: I’m scared. I’ve always been scared.  And if you ask me what I’m scared of, I guess I’d have to say it was failure–of letting people know I suck at something.

Which brings me to writing and to making a career of it somehow.  Last week,  I met with a film producer here in San Fran.  He’s young, successful, very cool dude.  I asked for the meet-up because I wanted to get his advice on next steps–what can I do to get to a next level in storytelling–whatever the medium.  If you’ve been reading the blog, you know I’ve been reading books about branding and trying to implement a strategy to makes me some dough, but truth is the plans these books set out are not very useful. The authors make it seem like if you follow a set recipe for success then soon, you’ll be feasting on a nice, warm Success Pie.  But recipes for success are nothing like recipes for pie.  There is no set order of steps, and more times than not, you have to break the rules in order to break through.

I know this, and still, I came home from that meeting feeling a little bit sick in the stomach because this producer told me to break one of the rules I’ve set for myself. Basically, he told me that the way to making money for creatives in this city is for them to get jobs making commercials/ads/mini-webisodes for the tech companies up here.  He gave me amazing tips to that end, and I’m thankful, but I felt a little sick, as well.  Why?  I could say that it’s because I’m an artist, because I don’t want to work for The Man….YAWN…because The Man is evil and will eat my soul like a well-baked Success Pie, etc.  But truth is I’m scared.  Writing has always been a solo sport for me, and the idea of creating narrative within a company structure when money is on the line, scares the bejeezus out of me.  Or, to put it more accurately, I’m scraed to put myself out for that kind of work because what if I find out I suck?

I kind of want a blanket or my son’s binky right now.  But I don’t get to have either.  I need to get writing, not only the fiction or the scripts I want to make, but also the emails, letters, texts and tweets that will get people to hire me to write them some kind of story.  Fear be damned. I’m hungry and I needs me a slice of that Success Pie.

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  1. I feel your pain, really!!! I’ve always felt when advised (pushed) in that direction by well-meaning non artist types, that WHAT IF I can’t be creative on demand?!?!? Holy Crap. That is enough to convince everybody to “get a real job!!”

    HOWEVER, that being said, I know it can be done, cazuse my little brother did it!!! (Wish it had been me), but – now that I’m older, I can create WHAT I want WHEN I want!!!
    Still broke, but NEVER giving up!!!
    AND, I’ve never been more an artist than I am today!!!
    SIS BOOM BAH!!!

    🙂

  2. I think pushing themselves to do things that scare them is one of the things good artists are good at. In fact, there is probably a mathematical equation to figure out the ratio between the amount of fear and the quality of the artistic product. (I don’t know if that means you should take that guy’s advice or not– only that your fear is one good reason to do it.)

    • I don’t know if artists really push themselves–I mean they do at a metaphorical level or maybe at an artistic level. But I’m not sure if they (we) are as brave as they (we) would like to see them (our) selves. Jesus, this dual construction shit is tiring.

      Hope you’re doing well and thanks for reading.

      -g
      btw, I think I found an illustrator for the Crows fable. Keep your fingers crossed.

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