Today's not a good day. I try to stay positive and keep moving forward, but lately there's too many days when I just stall and I can't get shit done. In the interest of transparency, I'm using today's slot on the blog to write out the negativity. I don't want to pretend to be someone I'm not, someone who's up all the time and always going forward. There's been a lot of stalling, a lot of getting stuck in the mud.
I don't know what I'm doing anymore. I've got a writing gig I don't want to write for. The worst part is I'm completely broke. I'm in debt and I know that if I just sat down and wrote for 5, 6 hours a day I could get out of it. But the kind of writing I'm supposed to be doing feels like pulling teeth. I didn't want to be a writer so I could teach 12 year olds how to keep their middle school boyfriends. I didn't see myself writing dozens of articles on how to clean various surfaces with different household products. It's like pulling teeth, but it's the closest paying job to what I want to be doing, and it pays more than any other job I could realistically get in this town. I know, because I looked. That's how I know it's getting bad, when I start looking at regular jobs. I hate everything about them: the regular work hours, the commute, getting disrespected by someone on the daily because of their title. Nevertheless, every couple of weeks or so, I get so sick of my writing gig I start looking at regular jobs. And I shouldn't be complaining. I have something that pays something decent. I get a flexible schedule and I can write, instead of doing any number of other thing I'd find mind-numbingly boring. So why am I complaining? Why can't I just sit down, hammer out these articles, get paid and actually start moving forward? Instead I just think of how much time I'd waste on these articles, and proceed to waste them on something else. I don't even use the time effectively, I just avoid the real work I need to do like the plague, and end up not doing any work that could advance any of my other endeavours. The amount of time I've wasted on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram is astronomical. I used to be the guy who never got on his phone, now I'm whipping it out constantly. I think I'm just trying to waste time, but I don't know why. It's like I don't want to lose, more than I want to win.
I've got an agent who's not getting me any work. It's not for lack of trying; he's sent me a list of all the roles I've been submitted for, without getting so much as an audition. That means it's me, I'm the reason I'm not getting any work. It'd be easy to just blame the agent and shirk off all responsability, but that's not how I'm built, not anymore. I know it's me. Do I not have the right look? I stressed over this when getting my headshots, since they're essentially going to be my look for the next couple of years as I try to get work in this field. I want to grow my hair out long one last time before the male pattern baldness sets in, but I'm still in the in-between stage, the awkward phase. And it was captured in all its glory for the headshot. I figured a long-ish beard would be more of a detriment than an asset, so I got trimmed to "designer stubble", something that I can grow easily enough if I ever had to be clean shaven for a role. It made sense at the time, but maybe the weird combination of long hair and short beard is hurting my chances more than anything. Of course, it could be something entirely different, I might just not be good enough. I've barely got any acting experience, whereas there are legions of young actors in my age range who've been wanting to do this for years. They've been training for it, taking all the right classes and doing all the right things. I started wanted to do this in January. Am I wrong for even thinking I have this in me? I knew it wasn't going to be easy, but I thought I'd get at least one job. One casting. Now I've got nothing but costly headshots that might not even get me anywhere.
I know this is a slump, and it's probably not going to last forever. I know I need to keep my head up and look at the horizon, keep my eyes on where I'm going to stop focusing on everything going wrong with the ship. It's hard to do that when it feels like you've been bailing water the entire time. You cast off and it's a celebration. Your ship's got a new, slick paintjob, bottles are popping and everyone's cheering as you start your great journey. Then you find yourself alone on the ocean. You're the only one who can fix that rigging when it snaps. You're alone bailing out water. You're keeping this ship sailing. If you give up, the people waiting at the other end will know. Worse, you'll know. When you pop that flare and give up, you'll feel an itch the rest of your life, like when you stumble at the end of the race. "What if I'd pushed myself just a little harder?", "What if I'd held on just a little longer?", "Just how much further did I need to go?"
I couldn't live with myself if I had those questions bouncing around my head for the rest of my life.
I don't know what I'm doing, but I know where I'm going.
And that's going to have to be good enough.