I have been struggling with this blog post for two weeks, writing bits and pieces of three different articles, leaving all of them half-finished in the unbelievable blizzard of crazy activity that is my life at the moment. However, when I finally got the opportunity to sit down and concentrate... nothing. Minutes flow by. Still nothing. I squeeze my brain like a tube of toothpaste, and when nothing comes out, I decide to flip through some unread business-related email.
In my voiceover email pile are some tips from the great Bob Bergen, one of which is, “Never audition to please. The only one to please at an audition is you. You have to take the pressure out of being liked and just love the journey.” Although I myself have given similar advice both to myself and others about stage acting auditions, it is still something I need to remember in other circumstances, like VO auditions AND... like writing.
Suddenly it occurs to me that I cannot seem to finish these articles because I am trying to please a formula or a hot tagged item, rather than writing what resonates for my readers -- artists, educators, and community organizers like myself.
Yes, we all have guidelines we need to follow and yes, we all must create work with and towards a specific purpose in a process that includes multiple stakeholders and visions. BUT we will be most efficient, compelling, and happy when we do so by going with our own flow or 'starting from where we are, rather than where we wish we were' as a wise friend used to say. Personally, I often get caught up in trying to fit into 'what I am supposed to do' without remembering that I myself am one of the stakeholders, and I sometimes forget that happiness in fulfilling a requirement is a good thing to strive for.
My tip for this week is this: Take a look at what you have to do (your 'should' list), and see if you can put yourself/your current actual state of mind or emotion, your immediate delights, passions, or perspectives back into the equation. The most important stakeholder whose needs must be met is the person actually carrying out the task... and that person is you. It's not selfish to make sure your needs are part of the equation -- it's what makes the work sustainable.
Keep on Rockin', you awesome movers and shakers...
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