I recently started the WIF Mentorship program and one of the first questions my mentors wanted me to answer was “what is the biggest obstacle you face in your career?” and boy did that question stir up all kinds of sludge. When I say I have been going through it, I mean I have been going through it. Every heartache and disappointment I have ever experienced on the journey towards my dreams shot straight up to the surface to help me answer that question, leaving my head spinning.
For over 20 years now my dream has been not just to be an amazing writer/performer sharing my unique brand of storytelling with the world, but to be a well paid writer/performer whose sole form of income comes from my art (meaning my art would no longer be a side job I get to do when I’ve finished with my day job, but instead would be my day job affording me the financial freedom to live however my little heart desires) and yet despite amassing a very large body of original content I am truly proud of (from scripts, to produced works, to blogs) and even a nice freelance gig writing trailers and promos for movies, I still feel oceans away from turning my creative offerings into a money making enterprise that could fully support me (in fact I am in the hole).
I have a million excuses and reasons for this and they all go something like this: no one ever reads or watches my stuff, query letters are useless, the business folks are scary and they don’t get me, I’m just no good at sales, or playing the game, I don’t have the right projects for them, I need a few more good scripts, I don’t have an agent, I don’t have a relative in the business, I don’t have enough time, I’m too eccentric, too Pollyanna, too unwilling to give the industry the drama they want, or one of my personal favorites, its just too hard for a female comedy writer in her 40’s whose insistent on being honored for her brains and internal beauty to get noticed by an industry that seems to celebrate all the things that I am not.
But as fate would have it, I went to Agape this morning and I’m sure it was no accident that the message coming from Rev. Beckwith was to “Excuse Ourselves from our Excuses,” to let go of them, to not allow them to get to work in our lives reinforcing a life we don’t want and it really hit me: the Rev is right. The biggest obstacle in my career has been my excuses. I’ve been settling for them, allowing them to keep me safe so that I didn’t have to put my art out there to be judged by my peers based on its merit. The payoff for never showing my work to anyone in my industry, has been that I could keep my excuses for why I didn’t succeed: that they just didn’t see it.
Well enough is enough. I’m not doing it anymore. Today I am pulling the excuses rug out from under me. I am going to put a little trailer together promoting myself and I’m gonna start sharing it with everyone from agents, to managers, to producers. Maybe they’ll pay attention, maybe they won’t, but never again will I be able to say it’s because I didn’t put it out there.
In the meantime, I have something to request of you. Next time you sit down to watch some TV or to read a good book I hope you will consider turning on your computer and clicking on Turtle TV instead. In the last year I have quietly uploaded a ton of original comedy for your enjoyment (with more coming very soon) and it could mean a career for me if you would watch it and share it with your friends. I’d love to hear from you on the channel or Facebook too . Tell me which shows were your favorite and why, share with me which ones you think I should do more of. The chance to share this experience and hear your feedback would mean the world to me. I’ve been isolated with my art for far too long.