On Confusion and Distress…Sort Of

I have a few friends who are relatively successful in their chosen fields. Others are at least attempting to progress or make moves to try to do what they want with their lives. I see many more random strangers attempt to do the same through the lens of social media into their lives. I witness this and wonder how the fuck they manage to make any progress in their lives.

No, seriously, I have no clue how they do it. I genuinely want to peek into their brains and figure out where this motivation and drive and purpose comes from. If I could also figure out a way to somehow bottle whatever I find into a dispensable form for later use, it would not be objectionable.

What motivates people? And before the standard answers of self, money, sex, dreams, and other bullshit come through, it is not that simple. After all, if the promise of a better result or conclusion was all it took, there would be a metric shit ton of more people accomplishing a lot more in their lives. So how do people get off their ass and make shit happen?

Personally, I am baffled by the sheer scope of experience, work, time, etc. that stands between myself and where/who I want to be. Hell, the gap between me now and even just the next step seems daunting.

I am beginning to wonder if perhaps I am meant to be one of those individuals who simply had big dreams but accomplished none of them. Frankly, it happens. There are thousands upon thousands of people who had a similar fate. It seems arrogant to think yourself above this level. Is that what is missing? Is a sense of arrogance that I am deserving of what I desire needed to finally succeed? No, seriously I am asking because I am kind of spiraling right now and unsure of what to do.

The most basic advice I keep seeing and hearing is to just keep working at it, but there has to be more to it than just hard work, right? When is it enough and time to call it in?

I need to do something and soon; I just have no clue what. Any ideas? I kind of need some help.

On Self Starting

I was listening to an episode of the Nerdist Podcast with Kevin Smith today. Among the various tidbits and humor, Kevin talked about how his newest movie, Tusk, and how it basically began as a random idea from a conversation with friends. He knew that he had an interesting idea and that no one was going to fund this passion project because it was such a crazy idea and he did not have the best track record at the box office recently.

Who wouldn't give this guy money for stuff?

Who wouldn’t give this guy money for stuff?

Of course, instead of this deterring Smith, he found other ways to fund this movie and did his damn best to get it made. Essentially, this has been the trajectory of Kevin Smith’s career. He made his own start before there were avenues like YouTube and really the Internet for distribution. The technology back then was also nowhere near the available toys and tools of now. So, Smith, basically had to make legitimately good movies for extremely cheap to have any chance at a career.

All this lead to Clerks. So he done good.

Throughout the podcast, and nearly every interview he has done in the last few years, Smith iterates that if you want to do or be something, then you should just go and do it. With all the resources we have access to for distribution, marketing, and creation, there is no excuse for why if you want to make a movie, write a book, draw a comic, or just create anything, you can’t.

Now, the eternal argument against this advice from creators is “of course you can say that, you’re ______.” However, the truth is that Kevin Smith wasn’t born “Kevin Smith”, Neil Gaiman wasn’t born “Neil Gaiman”, nor was Patton Oswalt born “Patton Oswalt.” Every creative individual began as just some schlub wanting to make something in the vain hope that maybe someone would enjoy it and hopefully make enough off of it to eat at some point.

It is actually kind of comforting knowing that all the people whom I follow and find entertaining were just like me toiling away at their craft, trying to improve, and just having fun in the process. There is no guarantee of success the longer you do something. The only thing guarantee that Smith gives is that if you are having fun doing something you love then the journey, wherever it may lead, will have been worth it.

You can only start and keep going.

You can only start and keep going.

I suppose that is all any of us can hope for, and I will try my best to enjoy all the moments on this weird, creative trip I am taking.