Oh, hey. A second post today, and it’s not even Christmas. Conversely, I think this is a topic I’ve touched on in the past. It just won’t stop nagging me, so I wanted to give it some time anyway. It ties in with the earlier post, which you should definitely check out if you’ve not seen it. Possibly one of my best ones yet.
Before I dreamed of becoming a published writer, but after wanting to become a mad scientist and take over the world (yes, that was a thing that actually happened), I wanted to be an actor. That’s a bit of an understatement. I dreamed of being the next go-to actor for all of the best, most terrifying villains. Surprise. I wanted to play the role of the evil guy for a living, which was a step down from actually taking over the world and being a proper evil genius.
However, I had no idea where to start. How would I become the next big villain in the next big movie? Who would I have to contact to make this happen? I knew there would have to be a lot of blood, sweat, and tears shed, but I felt like had the necessary potential to make this dream a reality.
I don’t remember how we found out about it, or even what the event was called, but it was some large-scale, you-too-can-be-famous auditioning fiasco. My mother, in her infinite kindness and support of our childhood dreams, drove my sister and me to this audition-thing. We sat for what felt like forever, listening to some presentation about acting and how to be the ideal person to get all the jobs. After that business was over, all of the hopeful actors and actresses lined up to see if they were meant for that very dream future. I made it to the front of the line, was looked up and down, and told I wasn’t what they were looking for. My mom was devastated I hadn’t gotten picked though Chrisy was, but I was perfectly content with playing my old Nintendo DS in the hotel lobby while everything finished up. It didn’t really seem like a big loss to me. I figured if it was something I was meant to do, I’d continue with it after this defeat. I had a game to focus on.
The whole thing turned out to be a big nasty money-pit, which is unfortunate, but it thankfully did not affect my sister’s desire to become an actress. I’d say that’s good because she’s tremendously talented, but my status as her brother also makes it essential I say she’s also has dog-breath and regularly licks windows. I, however, moved on from acting not too long after this point. That’s not to say I wouldn’t leap at the chance to voice act in something. I’d totally be all for that.
In the vacuum of not acting, I found more time for reading. That reading eventually lead to me finding the beginnings of my writing voice in the works of Terry Pratchett and Douglas Adams, and suddenly we’re back to this morning’s post.
Looking back, however, makes me wish I could handle my stories being rejected the same way I handled not being the kind of person that acting agency-thing was looking for. There was no personal “I’m not good enough” or “They hated everything about me”. It was something that didn’t pan out, and could be addressed for future attempts. When my writing is rejected, I still can’t help but take it as some personal attack on some level. My writing is very dear to me. I’ve heard it argued (a fair bit, actually) that an artist should view their creations as their work and not their life-blood, but I’m not inclined to agree with that. Creativity, to me, is taking a part of a person’s soul and leaving it out in the open. It’s vulnerable, it’s personal, and it is in danger of being battered in the same way it has a chance at receiving tremendous praise. There’s a happy medium somewhere, in which I could handle not being accepted while still moving forward without feeling like someone just bought me ice cream for the sole purpose of throwing it on the ground.
Failure and rejection are the best learning experiences. They’re just disguised as the teachers in life that everyone talks shit about though, but secretly appreciates because of the good they cause in the long run for people who make the continued efforts.
I mean, shit. Kael’thas suffered a major failure in Tempest Keep, but he totally chalked it up as a mere setback. And now that I’ve thoroughly nerded this post up, I’m going to wish everyone a good, pleasant, and success-filled night.
Writing in a corporate environment as I do, it’s easier to develop detachment from one’s work. Sometimes you work for hours on something and it gets scrapped. Sometimes they change the whole thing so you can’t recognize it. Sometimes it goes out into the ether and you never find out what happened. There’s no attention, recognition, or praise, and rarely does anyone even give you feedback on it. I’ve grown a workmanlike approach to my personal writing because of it. It might be good. It might suck. Most people will be indifferent to it, and you gotta live with that.
I took a couple of drama classes in high school and one acting lesson outside, quickly discovering I have absolutely no ability at it whatsoever. They can’t all be winners.
Fair points all around. I don’t think I can ever develop total detachment, however, because it’s the feeling that I’ve not created something that more people enjoy that drives me to create more. My reasoning is probably flawed and not particularly good, overall, for a creative person, as I’m sure it’s bound to lead to more headaches and misery than it should, but it’s just part of my creative philosophies. Unless that all just reads like nonsense, in which case pay it no mind.
I never really delved too far into acting, which is probably for the best since my writing makes up for my terribly awkward in-person behaviors. Probably.
Everybody works differently, of course. Creative people are weird.
“Creative people are weird” is probably on of the actual laws of the universe.