I read this blog entry over the weekend (http://dianekawasaki.blogspot.com/2013/09/shit-happens-why-i-left-la.html), and it has repeatedly popped up in my brain since. Los Angeles is a difficult place. This business is impossibly strange– how things actually get accomplished remains a mystery. And every decision seems like a risk. So, it’s no wonder that this part, in particular, resonated with me:
“I didn’t quit on life. I decided to cut out a part of my life that was no longer working. There is a significant difference between giving up on something that has life and something that no longer has the capacity to grow (DEAD).”
It’s no secret that I’m going through a period of reassessment right now. And while I’m not at the point where Diane got to, I completely relate to needing to decide if some aspect of a goal still has the capacity to grow.
While writing the next great American novel or selling a screenplay would undoubtedly bolster my confidence, passion has to exist in order for me to really feel like growth is a possibility. And that’s difficult for me because there never has been one driving desire in my life. Do I enjoy writing? Yes. Is it an all-consuming passion? No.
There are a lot of things that I would be fine doing provided the bills got paid. I’ve written for most of my life—Hell, I was writing Remington Steele spec scripts when I was 16 (for those of you playing the home game, that was a very long time ago). Even if I stop pursuing it as a career, I’ll still write. Would I like to get paid for that? Obviously. Will my life end if I don’t? No.
I’m finding that rather than being absolutely certain that this is my path that I’m going through periodic (and more frequent) phases of reassessment. Does this still make sense for me? Am I getting better as a writer? Am I still discovering aspects to the work that interest me? How am I going to pay the bills?
It’s easy enough to tell someone not to give up on a dream when you aren’t facing their consequences of continuing to pursue it. I give kudos to Diane for recognizing what wasn’t working in her life and making a decision to change it.