Yesterday I talked about anxieties, expectations, dreams, realism and working towards what you want instead of what is served to you. On Twitter. Today, I’m reposting here, because who knows? Maybe you’ll find it useful:
“It’s not realistic to turn down work if you want to work in comics”
I guess it’s about how much you want to work in comics
The logic of “you can’t turn down jobs in your field because there are not that many so if you don’t take this you’re fucked” is SO broken
That kind of logic is a fear-driven and spineless approach – putting profit and anxieties above ethics and dreams
I get that we live in a society that is fear-based and fear-centered to a ridiculous extent right now - that doesn’t mean we have to succumb
And if you want to write something like “easy for you to say, you make enough $$$” – don’t
I turned down plenty of gigs when all I could afford was canned tuna and rice, I turned down plenty of gigs when I had nothing published.
This is not about self-congratulation.
This is about telling others that there are other ways of making art and doing business than being a cheap corporate whore.
Be an expensive corporate whore!
And don’t abandon your ethics!
And never forget they don’t own you. They’re just paying for your temporary time and energy investment.
(Shout-out to all of my favorite whores, myself included. There’s nothing negative about my perception of the word. It’s beautiful!)
Summary: I put having a code above everything else.
Money, fame, influence.
Sometimes I morph that code when I change. Everyone changes. That’s okay. The point is only I know if I’m still being real to myself.
And only you will know if you are being real to yourself when deciding whether to take the next job or not.
If you’re basing your taking of a job primarily on an anxiety? You’re afraid you won’t have money otherwise, will lose momentum, and so on?
I’ve never seen that lead anywhere good unless you reverse course. It will likely fuck you in ways you have never even conceived of.
If you’re tenacious enough, you will learn from it, move on, hopefully not make that mistake again.
But if the job is a dream? Even if it feels massively out of reach and you have no idea how to make rent in three months?
The leap of faith sometimes has to happen. It gives extra fuel to what is considered impossible.
And gradually, the impossible becomes revealed for what it is: just a word people throw at you because they are insecure as a wonky fuck.
So make your thing. Don’t let people scare you into thinking you’re worth less than what you want to be worth.
And don’t let anyone – including yourself – destroy your dreams. I bet they’re beautiful and I want to see them soar.
I see people invoke “realism” when what they really mean is “I’m afraid and/or lazy and believe this doesn’t work so I won’t try”
Well guess what you’ll never know if it would have worked for you if you’ll never try
Realism is knowing fantasy and reality intersect constantly. Realism is living with the awareness that every act changes the world.
P.S. This talk wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for me name-searching myself on twitter so guess what it’s good for something
(Be the institution you want to see in the world.)
What I like about this is it’s about priorities and what’s important to you. I made a promise to myself and a vow to my wife a few weeks ago when I got married, and it came in the form of three questions: are you being a great husband by doing this [insert whatever action here]? Are you being a good writer practicing this[–]? Are you being a good teacher by doing this______?
And if I answer any of those questions with a “No” I stop behaving that way. It’s vital to see the behavior and understand why what I’m doing is not good for my goals as they relate to those three questions, because that’s being a good person is about. Priorities and not compromising on those priorities. I believe in giving my best in all of those areas. You have to understand behavior that makes you good and that will pay off in the areas in which you prioritize. For me it’s being a great husband, a good writer, and a good teacher. Anything else that gets in the way of my being in the best version of me in those three areas is wasted energy.