Just Do It: Part 1
It’s been a rough winter here in Chicago. Sure, no cars have been left stranded on Lakeshore Drive, and no, the Polar Vortex hasn’t reared its ugly face, but the 19 inches of snow over the span of a day was anything but fun. There’s always one week each winter where I wish I had 4 wheel drive, and this winter was no exception. There is little more frustrating than rocking your car back and forth, which happens to be sitting on a bed of ice and buried under a foot of snow, trying to get out of a parallel parking spot. If I’ve ever come close to insanity, it’s been in moments like these.
I often feel the same way with my career. Yes, I feel insane, but also I just feel stuck. I get to a point – or many points – where I feel my wheels are turning a mile a minute, but I’m not getting any traction. These are often the moments where I spend more time on Facebook, sulking about the success of others, as if A) Facebook paints a perfectly accurate picture and B) There isn’t enough happiness and success to go around (both of which are complete bullshit, and we all know that.)
I’ve been reading a lot lately, and I’ve made two discoveries. First, I’m not alone! I mean, if other creative artists like Bonnie Gillespie, Anthony Meindl, and Steven Pressfield all write about feeling stuck and ways of dealing with that frustration, then surely it’s a common issue for all artists, right? Second, and more importantly, I’ve discovered the best way to get unstuck is to DO SOMETHING! When you’re car is stuck under a foot of snow, you can bitch about it (which I’ve done too many times), or you can buy a shovel, call AAA, take the bus, call in sick, etc. Fortunately, getting your career unstuck can be much more fun and rewarding. In his book At Left Brain Turn Right, Anthony Meindl challenges readers to “become aware of the silent voice within compelling you forward.” If you want to take an improv class, what are you waiting for?! Or a take dance class, or join a book club, etc. If you need more of a career push, send postcards to casting directors, create a website, get new headshots, write a short film, a play, a blog. Etc. Just do it! No matter what you add to your plate, if its right for you, it will both feed your creative soul and make you a more well-rounded artist.
Albert Einstein describes insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” The next time you feel stuck, ask yourself what you want, make no excuses, and go for it. Who knows what will happen?