Someone Told Me to Give Up

Trying to get work in a creative field may well be the hardest career choice there is. Not the most traumatic by any stretch of the imagination. That title would go to soldiers and doctors. Not the most important, which would be scientists and politicians. But creative work, books, movies, video games, it may be the hardest career ever to pursue.

It’s something you need a lot of encouragement to get through, encouragement you don’t always get.

This has been an interesting week for me, thankfully in an interesting way as opposed to a cruddy way. My hunt for the next story related position has yielded a few promising leads, plenty of dead ends, and a sea of frustrations.

I decided to take the advice of a friend of mine who works at one of the major film studios, Paramount to be exact. He told me how he got his job, that he hit up connections who worked there on a job networking site and eventually that lead to a position. Since I was part of the same site, I did the same.

It was a day of sore thumbs. I must have sent out some 500 messages over the course of a few hours, all from major film studios. As of now, 30 have responded, and I’ve had one phone call. But that’s not the one we’re here to talk about. One messenger lamented on how things had been difficult for them, and left me with these parting words.

“I’m working very long hours and don’t have time to chat and my advice is go to law school. I’m sure that’s not what you want to hear but those are my thoughts.”

 

Ouch.

This was going to happen sooner or later. It does to every aspiring artist. It either comes from someone who has made it and doesn’t think anyone else has a shot, or from someone who tried and never got their break.

As you all know, I’ve been suffering from a pretty nasty depression, and have been trying to keep it from getting as intense as before. Because of that, I dreaded this message. I honestly thought when it came, it would leave me in tears.

None were shed.

“Did they really just say that?” was more the reaction I got. It was more of a quiet shock than devastating blow.

Funny thing, getting this message was a lot like getting a shot. We all remember those times as kids when we get vaccinated or have our blood drawn. We always worry abut getting the shot because of how much it will hurt, but then it comes and its absolutely nothing. Just a little pin prick. This was like that.

Just a pin prick.

Honestly, it was even a little funny in retrospect. Me going to law school isn’t a very good idea. I’d probably be as good at that as Groucho Marx was running Freedonia.

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