Blood, Sweat, Tears and... ART! A millennial view on creative life and budgeting for it.
Kids have dreams. I'm talking about the "I'm going to do "x-x" when I get older.." type of dreams. You can likely remember some pretty out-there ambitions you had set for yourself from the comfortable age of 'I-don't-have-to-work-for-my-food-or-housing'. Now, I'm pretty sure 90% of my fellow millennials not only dreamt of being millionaires but were confident that they'd be one by age 30.
Maybe your father told you like mine told me, that you could be anything in the world. Pondering that, maybe you asked, "Dad, were you ever a movie star?" Surely, if one could be whatever they wanted to be, a movie star would be near the top of the list. "No," he probably replied like mine did. "Because I found other things that I wanted to do." Maybe there was more pondering. "Dad, were you ever a musician?" Some people don't want to be movie stars but damned if they don't want to be rock stars. "No son. I found other things I wanted to do." Hmmmm. "Well Dad, were you ever an author? Like a published one?" "No son." Even though you were skeptical like me, you didn't doubt Dad's lesson, you just couldn't believe he'd found things he wanted to do that were better than being a movie/rock star and author. You, like me, wanted to be all 3.
So, I suppose your Dad wasn't that surprised when you picked up a guitar in college and started recording music. Or when you sent him your first manuscript for a book you had written, or when you left your first professional job to move to Los Angeles to work in movies.
And I doubt he was too surprised when you asked for that small $5,000 loan to finish post on a film a few years later. Likewise, he probably wasn't too caught off guard when you had to jump back into the 9-5 to survive and pay back the loan. He wasn't... but you and I were.
I guess we forgot one important part of the formula when we were young dreamers. Although, we got to grow up and BE a musician, a filmmaker, an author, We didn't get to BE successful at it. At least not in the universally accepted standard of the word or even a fractional facsimile thereof. We didn't make a living as creators. We paid to be... and heavily.
Likely, it's still frustrating to you after 5+ years back in that 9-5 lifestyle. Did we miss some hidden doorway to success? I mean, we've passed 30 and there ain't a million dollars in our bank account. The satisfaction of accomplishment is nearly drowned by the seemingly unnoticed-ness of it all. The effort, the dedication, the will and the financial cost. We know where it went but what was it all for?
... And yet the hunger is still there. The hope. The creative spirit.
So, after letting the exhausted creator sleep for a few years while we slowly put the pennies in the bank, put a ring on the love's finger and loosened the belt a few holes, WAKE IT UP. Start the whole damn process again, but this time the progress will be exponentially slower and more calculated. Work your job... give it your full attention, put aside a portion of the paycheck for "creative means". Go home, give home your full attention and THEN... when the rest of the world goes to sleep, work for yourself.
There's an ever growing budget and no time limit. I mean, we're already past 30! What's the rush? Maybe enjoy it this time around. Plus, the longer you spend in development, the more money you can set aside for the work.
Carefully choose partners to share the journey with and add ingredients to the recipe. If you want to BE a creator then you have to CREATE. No matter life's circumstances, allotted free time, available monies or connections. You just have to find a way. YOUR WAY. Mine looks like 70 hours a week, being a leader, a producer, a boss, a financier and a cheerleader.
*Zach's dad did tell him he could be anything in the world and he aims to be.*
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