There's no getting around it. You have to love what you do. Especially if you want to be any good at it - and be successful.
I would actually go further - or further back, if you like.
In order to be successful, you only need to love what you do. You don't necessarily have to be any good at it - at least when you start.
Over the years I've seen this play out frequently - especially in writing.
Technical proficiency and literary mastery pale into nothing when compared to sheer enthusiasm and drive.
I've seen terrible writers go on to become hugely successful.
I've seen fabulous writers disappear or self destruct or simply stop.
The difference is the energy you give to your most loved occupation.
If you love and adore writing and can't live without doing it, you have all the qualifications you need to become successful at it.
Conversely, if you're very good at writing technically, despair at other people's attempts or look down on your peers, you'll more than likely lose the love you need to propel you forwards.
I see it all the time.
Don't ever lose sight of the fact that love for your job is more important than anything. Love is what makes you good.
I was reading a blog this week. This guy was encouraging artists to JUST DO IT - and GET IT DONE. A worthy message you'd have thought.
I was stunned when I read some of the comments below the blog - over 70 of them - from people complaining the blogger was encouraging bad art, crap writing and shoddy movies.
To me, he was doing nothing of the sort.
The blogger was merely highlighting that in his career he'd seen two types of people:
Type One: they talk earnestly about artistic projects, intellectualize over the duty and responsibility of the artist, the need to be pure, well versed, and say something meaningful, all that kind of b*ll*cks...
Type Two: the ones that just go out and do it - and finish their books, manuscripts, screenplays, movies, whatever.
Fact is, if you don't finish anything, you'll never be in the running.
You may be an intellectual superior but who's ever going to know?
And just talking about writing - and criticizing other people's - while never getting around to producing anything you can show anyone, is just wasting everybody's time - mostly you're own!
There was a thread in the blog's comments that talked about the artist's duty to improve the state of art. That there was so much crap out there...
The blogger (who'd done a great job of answering his critics) pointed out that was true but at least the crap was out there, up for discussion. Those writers / directors etc were at least working...
The blogger's detractors countered that it was painful to have to witness bad writing, bad directing, bad books and movies...
To me, this was the real issue.
Because successful, working writers and movie makers don't feel this way about crap. Only critics and wannabes place these kind of value judgments on other people's work.
Real writers, artists and film-makers will enjoy other people's efforts, no matter how bad - because they realize that it's the finishing of the project, and the LOVE that propelled the completion of it that is more important than the final result.
An armchair critic may despair at the piece of mediocrity he's forced to endure but anyone who's actually completed a book or a film will be far more positive about someone who at least tried.
Don't get caught up in the 'dinner-party' mentality where some people seem to think it's okay to diminish this writer's work or that director's movie. Being a harsh critic says more about you than it does about the artist you are criticizing.
As Native American Indians say: Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes.
It's not clever to criticize.
Love means always seeing the good.
In your own work and in others'.
Celebrate those who have completed something they are willing to show the world.
Most of all, celebrate what you have done.
And love what you do with all your heart.
rob at home
The Easy Way to Write
“If my doctor told me I had only six minutes to live, I wouldn't brood. I'd type a little faster.”