Do you have dream?
Something you can't ignore?
Something maybe you've tried to ignore (or had to ignore) but it keeps coming back, again and again?
A little voice whispering something you're supposed to be? Something you're supposed to do? Something you're supposed to create?
It can feel like everyone who we consider creatively successful just got there overnight. You look at your latest creation or social media post and feel like you'll never get there. No one likes your stuff. No one buys your stuff. No one hires you. No one emails you. No one visits your website.
So you think you must not be any good.
Or you must just be doing it all wrong.
But what if you're doing it exactly right?
What if every creative success requires years of feeling ignored? Years of only your mom liking your work?
I have interviewed hundreds of creative people, and in every story I have found what Ira Glass said about the gap between where you are today and where you want to be to be true: "It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions."
There is luck. There is privilege. There is a market. There are a billion things you cannot control.
But there are things you can do to increase your chances, to get better, and to have a real shot at that thing you just can't ignore. That thing you want so bad. That thing you just know you can do if only...
I've learned those things from my interviews with professional artists - people who have put in the work, closed the gap, and are living their dream. This blog was inspired by one such interview with Golden-Globe-winning producer Don Hahn (e.g. Beauty and the Beast, Lion King, Waking Sleeping Beauty) and his amazing book on creativity called Brain Storm (fun fact: Don also designed the Creative Teacup logo).
Nothing helped me endure the gap more than hearing the stories of others who've done the same. What I found were not overnight success stories. I also didn't find people who always believed in themselves or who did everything "right" or who always enjoyed the process.
The process is hard. There were times they thought about giving up. They cried a lot. Some of them even stopped for a while.
What they all had in common is that they kept going, even when they knew what they needed most to keep going was to rest for a little.
They also made replicable choices, and those are the moments in the interviews that always made my heart beat faster. The moments where they made a decision or thought about something a certain way that changed everything - things that don't require luck or privilege or even talent - things that can be learned.
Those are the things you will find in this blog: the moments in a person's story that you can replicate - not exactly, of course, your story is all your own. But, if you're like me, you'll find a part of yourself in every story, and walk away with one little idea that might help you keep going, if only for one more day. Sometimes that's all you need.
Most of all, I hope this blog helps you find your voice, and gives you the strength to use it.
Let me know what you think, and please join the #keepgoingclub if you haven't already to help get (and keep) your dream on the road. :)