It’s easy to get pre-occupied with everything you haven’t accomplished yet. As an artist, I have high aspirations of what I want to achieve in my career/life. One thing I encourage everyone to do, especially at times where they feel they’re in a personal slump, is to sit down and recount what you’ve accomplished over the past year. You can also do this for smaller time increments (3 months, 6 months, this week, etc). Taking a step back to remind yourself of what you’ve achieved can help turn your mood around.
Last week, I was in a slump. I was exhausted from 16-hour work days. Juggling two shows. Frustrated that I wasn’t being paid yet for the skills I’ve spent years and countless hours refining. However, when I took a moment to reflect on what I DID do, I came to this:
– Had a successful two-person improv debut with my best friend
– Proud of my audition for The Second City
– Closed a four-week run on The Annoyance Mainstage with friends
– Broke 19,000 words on my typed novel rewrite
– Walked to the Chicago lakefront on a nice day
– Wrote a scene for my sketch writing class that our actors remembered from auditions weeks ago and were glad to see considered for our final running order
– My family came to see my shows, continuing their support in this trying profession
When I took a moment to look back on that, I felt affirmed that while I’m not doing exactly what I want to do for paid work, I’m still doing it. I encourage anyone to try this when you feel down in the dumps; I also encourage you to find a community of others that can relate. There’s a great sense of relief in talking with someone who gets it.
With all of that being said, I’m loving my novel right now. I’m glad I changed my creative process and continue from the previous day’s work. I feel I’m making forward progress and am excited at the likelihood of having a completed draft by the end of this year. I’ve amassed 105 double-spaced pages and 19,000 words in just the two months I’ve been actively typing. Here’s to the rest of the journey.
Thank you all for your support and I wish you well in your endeavors!