Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Rainy and cold
I think one of the reasons we admire the Olympic athletes so much is because they don’t make excuses. They follow their passion without compromise. They don’t use families or day jobs as an excuse not to follow their dreams, and most people simply don’t have the guts to be that committed to something that’s not guaranteed to pan out. If they have family emergencies, they take time off and deal (or, as in the case of the figure skater whose mother died of a heart attack upon landing in Vancouver, work through it), and then make the decisions whether or not to come back. If they don’t feel like training, if they’re tired, they still do it, because they know anything less means failure.
Whether it’s sports or writing or acting or painting or music or whatever, if you expect to have a successful career doing something like this, and not punching someone else’s time clock for the rest of your life, you have to stop making excuses and go do it. I”m not a fan of many Nike policies, but their slogan “Just do it” is apt.
Either you do it or you don’t. There’s really no middle ground. And it takes courage to follow your dream and transform it from dream to reality. If there’s something you really want to do, you have to ask yourself, “Do I have the courage?” And if you don’t, it means you don’t want it enough.
Which is fine. Keep it as a hobby or search and find that about which you are truly passionate. But don’t whine, and don’t make excuses, because the rest of us have stuff to do. We ARE making our dreams reality, even when it’s hard and ugly and heartbreaking and means giving up things or people, because those moments when we DO it are worth everything.
And, especially if you’re a woman, you still have to vacuum, do the laundry, and the dishes. Actually, I’m a huge believer in “chop wood, carry water” because when you start having people around you take care of the daily details, you’re on your way to buying into your own press and headed for a fall. I’ve watched it happen, first hand, to dozens of actors. One foot on earth, one foot in the stars, follow your passion, and don’t let anyone else define you.
Yesterday was busy but good, with errands and practicalities. I’m mostly packed for the trip to Philly on Thursday, which looks like it will happen in vile weather. I did some writing, but not enough, and started work on some of the magazine pitches I plan to get out over the next few days. I want to make sure I have all my clips ready — some of these places don’t want email pitches, but hard copies, so those will have to wait until I get back, but at least I can prepare everything. I want to take a break from ANGEL HUNT until I return — if I get caught up in it again this week, nothing else will get done.
I spent a good portion of the afternoon tweaking the workshops. I posted the Welcome message for both workshops, and this morning, I post the first exercise for the “One Story, Many Voices” workshop, so people have a chance to think about it for a few days. This is the base story, the foundation story for the week, so I want to give the students more time to think about it. I made notes for my live chat on Sunday, and rearranged some of the points I want to hit.
I also watched the US Women’s Hockey team beat Sweden 9-1 — awesome game, and it puts them in the Gold Medal game on Thursday. And I watched last night, everything that was on. I don’t get curling — I’d like to get it, but it baffles me.
Although I’m not writing articles about the Games themselves — the coverage is so poor and fractured that I couldn’t get the right information in by deadline — I’m making notes for future articles. One of these days, I’ll get to cover the Winter Olympics on site!
More errands today, a trip to storage, and some correspondence. 1and1 has gotten so bad and so uncooperative that I can’t do anything connected to the websites. It’s out of control. I’ve got to figure out a way to pull the webmail files onto my hard drive — NONE of the ways or FTP servers so far suggested have worked. I have GOT to switch hosts — i’ve lost way too much income because I have a fraudulent web host, and believe me, I am filing the appropriate paperwork with the appropriate authorities.
Back to work — tomorrow is my last day working from home, and a lot has to get done between now and then.