“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
– Thomas Edison –
When we embark on the long and winding road of creativity, it’s only a matter of time until we create some duds. Call them what you will; flops, sinkers, stinkers, abominations, failures. It doesn’t matter what your medium is, you will make them. I will make them. Everyone, at some point will spawn a great and terrible disaster, even the so-called “masters” and ones who have “arrived” will make them.
But guess what, it doesn’t matter. Not one bit. I hope that you make some duds and keep on making them. Make them till you create something wonderful and grand. Till you connect with your audience. Follow your own heart and style to wherever it leads you…
Look at the careers of the world’s most famous and high-paid actors like Nicolas Cage, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, Johnny Depp, Ben Affleck or Winona Ryder. Analyze their film and project lists. You’ll see that not everything they made turned to gold. They reached profound lows and had to deal with (still have to deal with) tons of scrutiny and hate-filled commentary from countless (hostile and bitter) critics.
When you put your material out there to the world so that it’s visible to the masses, it won’t appeal to everybody. That’s for sure. Thus the process of creativity unfolds.
Browse through the online reviews of your favorite books or films and you’ll see that many people despise the very thing that you love. Artwork that has moved, inspired and possibly changed your life in a positive way is actually regarded as complete horse shit by others. This is a fact.
As artists and producers, we must embrace and come to terms with this reality.
I have gotten fantastic and terrible feedback for my Hobo Joe story. Some love it and others don’t understand it or tell me I’m wasting my time and energy on a pointless project. Thankfully, I stopped caring. I’m going to continue on with the saga because I enjoy the little world I created and it’s not even finished yet. Finishing each project is essential, as explained in this enlightening post.
Besides my Hobo Joe project, I’m also going to write several other books and stories in various genres with completely different characters and lessons taught. This is the beauty of art, imagination, and creativity. It can be anything and go in any direction you decide. Embrace your freedom of expression friends!
As another example, remember the infamous filmmaker Tommy Wiseau who created the supposed “worst movie” of all time called The Room? A film with an inconsistent plot, awkward dialogue, poor acting, long drawn out and cheesy sex scenes, et cetera. Well, that film is still viewed by sold-out theaters around the world, more than fifteen years after it was produced. Receiving a huge cult following with innumerable loyal and dedicated fans. In fact, it has had more commercial success and recognition than many Oscar-winning films. All because Tommy was bold enough to embrace his vision and see it through to the end against all odds, as an immigrant with zero professional filmmaking experience.
I’m a huge fan of weird and experimental forms of expression. This is the pure juice and hot spice of life. I want to indulge in all these fun, tasty treats. Every day, if I can!
But please, don’t get me wrong, I’m not promoting or encouraging you to create low-quality artwork. Basically, I’m saying that we need to produce – produce – produce. Learn and master our crafts. Put our heart and soul out there. Build up a collection of varied work. Bleed a piece of our life into every one of our projects. No matter how strange or bizarre. Displaying passion and dedication each time. Sooner or later, we will get noticed. And somehow our projects will click in someone’s soul. When this occurs, we will have accomplished what we set out to do.