Tuesday, June 24, 2008

tough choices

What does it mean to choose a life of art when success is impossibly out of reach? What kind of person does that? Selfish? Delusional? Or someone who just knows? How can you tell the difference?

I was reading about a woman who gave up a successful law practice to write her first novel. Twelve years later her debut novel was released to Critical Success. So how long do I give myself? Ten years? Five? How about now? Can I have it now?


M of downtown said...

You give yourself as long as your passion drives you to artistically express yourself, I imagine.

If you do things for money and critical success only, the reward is as only as good as the popularity of the product created.

If what you're doing makes you feel happy, then who cares what critics and customers think?

Good luck. I hope that you create the art, that fulfills your need for both expression and critical success, but mostly happiness

Joe Cornish said...

Maybe you have it now, but you don't know it. Do you have a beautiful husband and a wonderful dog? Are you setting out on a grand adventure?

Just let all your doubts go. That may be the only thing really holding you back.

celia said...

i realize this happens in hollywood all the time, but between the writers strike earlier this year and the possible sag strike, the project i've been developing for two years just took a nosedive. that's the flushing sound you hear.

and that was only two years out of my life, this chick took twelve years to publish her first novel! in twelve years, she must have thought to herself, "what have i done?" how did she persevere and know she was on to something worth 12 years of her life? she must've had doubts, but how did she know?

joe, i think you may have hit the nail on the head re letting doubts go. maybe every screenwriter does this when they start a new project - work up enough doubt and self-loathing, then open up final draft and start writing.

maybe i should avoid people and blogging until i'm past this stage.

Benjamin Pezzillo said...


An artist's struggle is self-defined in many respects.

If third party validation (e.g. fame and/or fortune) is part of your measure of success then you always risk disappointment by placing your expectations upon other people.

But to answer the question posed, an artist will do whatever he or she needs to do to be able to continue working on his or her craft -- even if it can be for only a fraction of their time.

It's not selfish or delusional. It's a passion to make a contribution.

Success? To me, it's looking back at something with pride and saying -- wow, I did that!

Give yourself credit for completing a script and don't beat yourself up too much for those things totally outside your control that may temporarily delay you from being able to share your work with others.


Rick Andreoli said...

You write because you're a writer, and there is NOTHING else that gives you that incredible rush. You want fame, you want success, you want to live off your work-- but the reason you write is because you MUST.

I know it's hard. I know some days it sucks. But the rush from a good day of writing is worth it all.

When I'm finished hanging from a trapeze in mid-July, we must have drinks!

SAS said...

I honestly believe that if you do what you love the money will follow! I left a very good paying job and have taken a year off. My time is coming up ... and I will have to earn some real cash again. The thought of returning to the old life makes me physically ill, seriously. I have found inspiration in other's stories of leaving something unloved behind and making a hit with their passion. Why not you? Why not me. I know it will happen!! I can totally relate to your thoughts.