Friday, June 17, 2011

What would you choose between sanity and failure?

I have come to a conclusion. I'm pretty good at writing books. I have been hearing from readers over the last couple of days for various reasons. And without prompting I have heard things from I "have enjoyable smooth writing style" to I'm a gifted storyteller. I don't know if this could be said about all writers, but I choose to believe that I am a better writer than a lot of people.

Ok, with that said I have also given a lot of thought as to what field I could make a lot of money in. When I left college I thought I would be successful as an actor. Back then I often heard how good looking I was and how good I was as an actor. However I switched to being a producer before I gathered any real momentum.

The producer switch was a good one. With producing I had a great creative outlet and I was told that I was really good at it because I wrote funny stuff and I could get my creative team to do their best work. But I stopped producing because I knew that that wasn't what I should be doing with my life. Instead I made a movie.

I got mixed reviews for my directorial debut. But there were those that really, really liked it. I however couldn't get financing for my next movie so that was dead in the water. I then entered corporate life in marketing. And once again I got extremely high praise for my work in marketing. But I was positive that that wasn't where I was supposed to direct my passion either.

That little bit there represents a number of years of my life. Each time I entered into the field thinking that I would earn a ton of money. And except for directing, I left the fields trying to find something that would better line up with my soul.

Now here I am as an author. Once again I am getting great praise for my ability to write. I have also been told a couple of times that my book concepts are on the brilliant side. And here I am once again considered leaving the field.

This time I must ask myself why I am considering leaving it. When I left the other fields, I left because I knew without a shadow of a doubt that there was something else that I should be doing and that I had the time to gain momentum with those other fields.

Now I ask myself if there is some other field out there that I feel that my abilities are better suited for. The answer is no. Writing books it the best expression of most of my strengths. And those other strengths could be utilized in the other fields that writing successful books allow, like directing the script for a book you wrote and being in front of the camera because of one of your books.

The other thing I have to ask myself is, at my age, do I have the time to enter a completely different field and become good at it. The sad answer is no. I am plum out of time. Sure I could start other careers. But I no longer have the time to learn something well enough to make a lot of money doing it.

So the question is, if I quit writing and I decided to keep on living, what do I do? What would most make me feel like I am fulfilling my mission here on earth? If I am honest with myself, I have to say that there is nothing else that's realistic. I think that I have to admit that if I don't make it as a writer in some form, I will never live up to my financial potential. So, it is either I write books or I give up on having a financially successful/fulfilling life.

I guess the truth is that we all age. And I think that I made the most out of my youth. In my youth I was an actor and producer and director and a entrepreneur and corporate marketing guy. I did a number of things then, but it is clear to me that I now need to make a choice. I need to choose one area and ride it for all of it's worth. And if I don't do that, I may as well cash in my chips and go home.

And if I had to choose one field, I think it should be something that other people think that I'm gifted at. No one ever called me a gifted actor or director. The only field where I have heard the words "gifted" and "genius" was in writing. And if I were to be honest with myself and say where I thought my skills would be the most applicable, it would be in creating stories. I am and have always been a storyteller.

So now with that once again settled in my mind the true question becomes "To be or not to be." I have to say that that really is the question. To be completely honest, I really do think that writing is causing me to slowly lose grip on my mind.

I don't know that in reality it is as dramatic as it sounds though. Because in order to write what I write, I have to let go of the tight grip I had on my emotions and mind. In order to get unique ideas I have to let my mind "swirl". And I think that a "swirling" mind is the definition of madness. The problem is that now that my mind is swirling so much, I can't always keep up the facade of "normal". I talk about my insanity so much more freely now that I'm sure that I'm starting to worry my friends. And you know what, I think that my friends should be worried because I literally am losing grip on my mind.

Now on the other hand, for me, coming up with new ideas has become as easy as shooting fish in a barrel. And creating characters with rich emotional lives has become incredibly easy for me.

I think I feel like how many great actors must feel. Great actor are such because they can so readily access their emotions. And the only way people can have ready access to emotions is if they allow their emotions to float on the surface of the subconscious. I think that that would be why you often hear people say that actors are crazy. Having such ready access to one's emotions is the job of an actor and it could make you seem really crazy. I currently feel pretty crazy. But the question is, should I stop?

I can't help but think, 'what is the use of having sanity if I couldn't also have success?' What good is sanity to me. Now if I begin to lose friends because of my lack of sanity, that would be different. But as long as my friends are willing to stick around, then sanity is just a hindrance. And if it means that my fate becomes that of the character Tian in 'The First Day After Life,' well, so be it. It wouldn't be a fate worse than failure.

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