My Three Stages.
I was thinking about this a few days ago at work. Thinking about how my attitude changes and i’m in one of three states.
1, The Pessimist – Nothing i do will ever work out the way i want/hope it will. My writing, my films, my life. I become what a friend calls ‘Institutionalised’, meaning that i might not be happy doing what i’m doing, usually a dead end job going nowhere – i long dark road with no twists no turns, just a arrow straight road to nowhere, cruising along at the national speed limit, taking no chances, slightly bored of the bland scenery, having to take stimulates to stop myself for falling asleep – but i do nothing to change that. Yes i know that i’m the only one who can make that change, but like i said, i’m Institutionalised. This is where i am most of the time, making excuses as to why i don’t move myself out of this endless, mind numbing bleak nothingness. Why don’t i turn the wheel and go off road, to the unknown.
2, Opportunist – I’m here sometimes, waiting for someone to help me out of state one. Waiting for someone to come along and say “Here’s a new job you’re going to love“, of course this never happens, but it’s something that is always on my mind. Am i just waiting for someone else to do the hard work, to than hand it over to me pre-packaged? Maybe. And maybe that’s why i’m usually institutionalised, because i’m just waiting for something better to come to me rather than going out and finding it for myself. So i sit, waiting for that lottery win, that new job offer, once it does i’ll seize it with both hands, an opportunity not to be missed.
3, Optimist – I’m not here very often. In fact the last time i was here was January 2010. I had made a short film called ‘Do Not Bend‘ (below) and uploaded it to a website called Shooting People (www.shootingpeople.org) I had mistakenly checked a box that put it up for consideration for something called the Branchage Film Surgery, I received an eMail saying that it had been chosen and would be screened in a small theatre in Covent Garden in London. My first thought was the usual, “HOLY SHIT DUDE” then i fell into the “Is it really good enough?” then the “Why the fuck not” phase. I figured that this sort of thing won’t happen to often for me (Stage 1 again) so while i have the opportunity i might as well just do it (Stage 2). I reedited the film and made a DVD. After that i fell into a state of “I can do anything” i tried to put a team together, to make more films, but it all fell apart, and nothing happened, trying to get these people in one place at the same time was harder than catching fleas with a baseball bat, and so i fell back to stage 1, totally demoralised. “Maybe i can’t actually do this”.
I know that if i had even a minuscule amount of success, or even just recognition it would spur me on to do more, to keep that ball rolling. The one thing that does keep me going, if not at a slower pace is that most people i know laugh at me. I once told my mother that i wanted to make short films, she told me “Don’t bother, it’ll never happen” i replied with a simple “FUCK YOU!”.
The main reason i’m still moving slowly forward, is to rub it in their faces. Just one success, whether it be a book a short or feature film, would be enough. I’d take that book that film and physically rub it in everyones face. “Oi you, remember me, the guy you laughed at ’cause i wanted to do something other than live your ordinary life, i wanted to be creative. You laughed at me. Well, here” I would then rub the creative outlet in their face and rubber stamp the phrase FUCK YOU! on their forehead.
Okay, maybe i wouldn’t actually do that, mostly because i’m just not like that, not really. I’d just be happy with myself. If i met them again, and they asked me what i’m up to, i’d just say, “Oh, i’m a writer” “Really, what do you write?” “Novels, films, the usual” “Would i have seen or read anything?” “I doubt it, but check out my website”. Then they can just discover it all themselves. Because i guess i don’t care whether these people are happy for me or jealous of me, or they themselves don’t care about me. They don’t believe in me, and because of that, their opinions of me don’t matter to me. I’ll listen to my peers. Not those why laugh and point and tell me i cant’ do, so to not bother even trying.