For those of you who just read that and thought "Hell yea, get that money! HUSTLE FO' LIFE! GRIND OR DIE!"
Fuck off my blog. Leave now.
I'm sorry (deep breath). I do in fact hope you stay and read because it is you (you 12-hour-day, self-employed, workaholic you) who is precisely the individual that stands to benefit most from this post...
"Let the battle begin." I think to myself as I adjust my ass on the cushion.
"Breathe in for a count of 1, 2, 3...and exhale, 1, 2, 3..." The disembodied voice soothes at us. "Notice the muscles in your face. Notice your brow, your eyes, your jaw...and allow all tension to melt away...1, 2, 3..."
"Melt" I think. "Cheese" I think. "Chuck E. Cheese" I think. "Man, what a terrible job that would be, to have to sit in a sweaty rat suit all day while kids run around punching and kicking you in your sensitive rat-parts...".
#1 - "I'm not doing enough, not dreaming big enough. I'm lazy and will never really achieve the thing in life that will truly fulfill."
#2 - "I'm too ambitious, I dream too big. I'm afraid that my eyes are always so focused on the future milestones I'm missing out on the joys of the present...and upon my death bed I'll realize in horror the life I could've lived.
I am unfortunately afflicted with both.
Mayhaps not so unfortunate...but before I spoil the ending, allow me to begin at the beginning.
"She'll sob for hours staring at the wall. Nothing I say helps."
I happened to overhear this as I sat outside of El Cortez in Brooklyn last week preparing for a night of Karaoke with an old friend. There were two guys, perhaps late 20's early 30's, having a conversation. They were just drunk enough to be perfectly articulate yet entirely oblivious to my being within earshot.
Creative marketing and advertising is sometimes a catch 22. We artists scream for freedom, for pure and unconstrained parameters of creation, yet, we are notoriously lazy, disorganized, and distractible. We clamor that rigid guidelines and fixed turnaround times poison our creative processes...but somewhere deep inside we worry that if truly left to our own devices we’d never get anything done.
These ideas are false. My experience does not show that planning kills spontaneity. It does not indicate a correlation between a firm deadline and a sacrifice of creativity.
An ounce of pre-production is worth a pound of post.
It is no new truth that we are all easily caged by our belief systems. Our subconscious feeds us directives on a moment-to-moment basis and even the best of us find ourselves on the other end of a crisis with clear hindsight wondering "...what the fuck was I thinking?"
I wanted to begin this article with a hook like, "Freelancers are like sharks, if we stop moving we die". I also wanted to reap some backlink relevance by citing The Discovery Channel's post on this topic...but in reading the article I was shocked to find this frequently used expression a well publicized myth rather than an old truth.
Bummer right? What a stellar intro that would've been...
I'm Romeo & Juliet. I'm David & Goliath. I'm Harold & Maude. I'm also John Cusack and all 9 other characters from the film Identity.
I've always found it fascinating how almost every character driven story seeks to only develop a single character to the point of relatability. There can be fantastic depth of character given to supporting players, but you don't see yourself in them do you? You see yourself in the hero.
Rude Awakening noun Def: "A sudden and often unwelcome realization."
I can think of no better way to blanket my day-to-day experience: I am constantly riddled with rude awakenings.
I am the kind of person that frequently gets lost in work. Hours fly happily by without notice. I am also the kind of person that positively loathes distraction, but can't seems to be completely and consistently rid of it.
Once upon a time there was a boy. He had an intelligent and versatile mother, and a boisterous and eccentric father. As he grew, he was exposed to alternative education, charter education, and public education. He dropped out of university, taught himself skills, took some community college classes, and engaged in apprenticeships. He learned and learned and learned, and to this day still tries to learn.
If you are like me, you cringe when someone uses the term "life-hack". And to make things worse, the folks who beat it to death are typically those douchey, over-amped, keynote-speaker types who claim that theirbundle of hacks "will hands down revolutionize the entirety of your existence as you now live it!".
I've come to learn a chunk about people like these. I've also come to learn a thing or two about perspective, specifically the kind of inspired and optimistic perspective that begets action. These motivational-speed-freaks are obviously doing something right, because they're as rich as a buttered tit, but are their hacks really the keys to their kingdom? Have they really stumbled upon a truth or framework for success that was previously completely unknown?
I was having a conversation with a dear friend recently about the age-old “being a sell-out” concept. During the course of this chit chat I “think” I may have stumbled onto something. This thing is not only a new personal philosophy, but also a point of worthwhile consideration for ANY and ALL creatives: how does one make art, not “sell-out”, and remain well-fed physically and emotionally?
Indulge me as I answer this question in as round-about a way as possible. First, allow me to illustrate an evolution that I see all the time with creatives:
We are now at the first turning point. Our hero had set out bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in search of the promised land, and come face to face with a most fearsome adversary: his self. I stood, feet planted and looming, blocking my own path.
I’ve been working from home for quite some time now, and as much as I love it, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Suffice it to say, I had absolutely NO idea the implications for the rest of my life to have my office in the same room I relax in.