If you’ve read this blog for awhile, you already know that I am not the smartest person in my family. While that’s not great admission, it pains me to confess that I also am not the wisest person in my family. Especially when it comes to self-worth issues. I don’t love me very much. Whereas my amazing daughter cannot imagine that anyone on this earth is more worthy of all the Universe’s blessings than she. And I mean that in the best sense. She doesn’t need anyone other than herself to measure her worth.
Which brings me back to my erratic blog posts. Among the myriad reasons for fewer posts is that I’m doing more pitches. As a result, I’ve managed to land a couple of long-term (i.e. possibly recurring) gigs, both online (Complex.com) and in print (All About Beer Magazine).
But a lot about getting gigs is pitching. And making pitches is akin to standing naked before a firing squad. And hoping that they’ll decide not to shoot.
Although, actually, it’s a lot harder than that. Because it takes all of seven seconds to disrobe, but you can spend the better part of a day putting together a solid pitch.
Last week I put out two pitches and both were shot down (for different reasons, but still). I was completely wrecked over it. They were thoughtful, well researched, carefully proofed before I hit the “send” button. I didn’t even get so much as a “no, but” response (I joke to John Holl, the editor at All About Beer Magazine, that I love his “no, but” e-mails to my pitches, and that I’m hoping one day to receive a “yes, and” reply). I just felt like I’d wasted a day of my life, and I had nothing to show for it.
My brilliant daughter—the one who faces rejection for a living—said to me, “Did you like writing the proposals?” And, of course, I did. “And you were proud of the pitch?” Sure. I put a lot of effort into it. I was absolutely proud of my pitch; it was flawless.
“So, you’re doing what you love. Why worry about the result?”
Well, there’s money involved. But money is relative. Anyone who has done okay with less (or gone into debt with more) can speak to that.
My daughter noted that if she judged every director’s session (and she’s worked with Oscar-winners) by whether or not she’d landed the gig, she wouldn’t have gained a damn thing along the way. It’s not about the product, it’s about the process. Love what you do. Every minute of it.
Because there are way too many people working at what they hate, and they’re barely getting by anyhow. I’m barely getting by… but I love my work. Truly. I love writing. And I’m damn good at it. Okay, maybe I’ll never win a National Book Award (or even a James Beard, which I’m more likely to receive given my beer writing). But I am SUCCEEDING at something that I was both trained to do (Journalism degree) and meant to do (I wrote my first short story—illustrated, no less—at the age of six).
And since I directed my first play in fourth grade, maybe I should worry less and write a damn screenplay. I can get my kid to forward it to [insert A-list director here].