Terrific blog post from actress, writer, and producer Felicia Day. Here’s her lede:
I think most of us get to this time of year and we look ahead to the next, setting goals and kindling that feeling of excitement of going into the New Year with a fresh start. I know I’m the guiltiest of all for setting unrealistic expectations for resolutions (Last year on my list were: Learn Chinese, and Trapeze Lessons. Huh?) but this year I decided to, before making a list, look back on 2010 and figure out what things I actually LEARNED as a human being. Writing these things down really helped me put things in perspective, and made me more excited to set realistic goals for the next year. I wanted to share these because maybe they could help someone else too, or at least inspire your own list!
All “five things” are great, especially good advice for the start of the New Year. I’ll just excerpt one specific to writing:
If you want the prize, you have to build the ladder rung by rung. There are no shortcuts.The process of writing has never been fast and fluid with me, but I recognized the fact this year that I had unrealistic expectations with my first drafts; that I expected them to come out fully formed and perfect, and that the need to rewrite made me feel like I was a failure. Then I read some biographies and some great writing books, talked to some writers I admire, and realized that good writers lay down a foundation and then refine and refine. The first draft is a first step, nothing more!
I’ve realized that this point applies to other things in life as well. A lot of us see people we admire, and we might envy them and feel like we deserve to be where THEY are, think things like, “Why do THEY have that role and not me?!” (I know I felt that early in my acting career a lot.) But the reality is, that those people built their careers rung by rung, role by role, draft by draft. Yes, sometimes it’s luck, but mostly it is HARD WORK that shouldn’t be resented: That work is what makes success all the sweeter, so learning to enjoy that BETWEEN work is the key to success, I truly believe it.
Felicia is talking about prep-writing and the insight she had about it underscores why I promote it as a one of the most critical aspects of a successful creative process.
Felicia goes on to talk about the web series she created called The Guild, now in its 4th season. Here is the first episode of season 3:
I promoted the series here in January 2009, so I’m happy to have contributed even in a tiny way to her success with “The Guild.”
To read the rest of Felicia’s inspirational blog post, go here. And while you’re at it, check out “The Guild.”