February's Theme: "Beginnings"
So this is it… the beginning.
For me, it’s the beginning of a brand new production company that’s about to start pre-production on a brand new film and launching a brand new website with the goal of helping others begin their own artistic journeys.
And the thing about beginning anything is IT’S TERRIFYING. And no one really tells you that. You assume that after you create something enough times, that the fear goes away. But unfortunately it does not. I’m scared to death every single time. Anything that’s worth beginning is big and giant and ambitious and I often begin to doubt and ask “am I worthy of big and giant and ambitious?” And the answer is a big and giant and ambitious “YES!,” not because I’ve accomplished enough to earn this, but because I am a human being with a unique point of view on the world and a desire to create that is deep-seated within me. And I’m not the only one.
I believe that you have a voice. You have a unique point of view. You have a deep-seated creative desire within you. You have a story to tell. You are worthy of big and giant and ambitious things. And the reason I’ve created this website is to inspire you to begin, provide you with motivation and advice to keep going, and give you a platform for your art when you’re done.
So, what is your “what” and what is your “why?”
The key to any beginning is clarity. You need to know where you’re going in order to get there. But the “what” is easy, right? You probably have a good idea already of what excites you and is buried inside of you dying to come out. Maybe when you were little you loved drawing, but gave up on it over the years as you felt you could never live up to the idea in your head. Maybe you’ve always loved to act but felt dejected after not getting a part in the first play you tried out for. Maybe you’ve got a drawer full of poems but you’re too afraid to put them out there. There is a creative urge deep inside of you. Take a moment and listen for it.
What is the thing that lights you up whenever you do it, the thing that you think about when you’re away from it, the thing that lifts you out of your slump. THAT is your what.
The “why” is equally important. Because here’s the thing about letting your art out—you will face resistance. It will come in the form of rejection, artistic blocks, being too busy, the world will throw anything and everything at you to discourage you, but your WHY is what’s going to keep you going.
For me, my “why” came at a dark moment in my life. I had a short-lived over-before-it-really-began screenwriting career, I was a divorced single dad, and my best friend had passed away. I was struggling financially, I was struggling creatively, my entire life felt like a struggle. And then I had lunch with a friend named John who happens to be the father of the aforementioned best friend. John told me he became a pastor after the loss of his son so he could help others who have gone through similar situations. He took something so incredibly painful and used his passion and skills to connect with other humans. And over the course of this lunch he helped define my what and my why. He said “the reason you are on this earth is to take your passion (my “what”, in this case writing) and use your experiences (my “why”, my pain and struggle) to connect with others.” And after that lunch everything changed. And that “why” has kept me going through each new beginning ever since.
It’s not enough to know what you want to do creatively, you need a why to keep you going through the dark times. Your “why” is your purpose, your meaning, the thing that gives you your unique voice. No one else shares your "why” because no one has lived your life. If you’re brave enough to share that voice with the world honestly, you will connect with other humans, you will live up to your purpose, you will create unforgettable art and change the world.
Over the next few weeks, we’ll be posting about other creative beginnings, whether that be talking about our first filmmaking experiences, the first time we saw ourselves on-screen, or our very first movie memories.
As you follow along with our beginnings, we’d love to follow along with yours. Share your dreams and passions and journey below!