I just came back from a phenomenal conference, BinderCon, for women and non gender-conforming individuals in the media arts who are looking to advance their careers. There were a lot of us writers there, as well as people in film, television, broadcasting, podcasting, videocasting, and some technologies I’m pretty sure I don’t even understand yet.
Women are changing the world. No, REALLY.
Whether I was sitting in on a presentation or sitting on my own panel about Mothers who write and have a kickass career–a few things became clear to me over and over again:
All of us want to be successful, but many of us forget that success happens in increments. An article here, an internship there, that friend of yours who gets you a freelance job. In the offing, these few things may seem like little, or unrelated, but as the months and years pass you realize you’ve built a scaffolding beneath you.
In order for those increments to add up to a vocation, a career, an art, your “work” (loosely defined as anything that you invest yourself in, be it for art or career) must matter to you. If you like it, that’s good. If you love it, that’s even better. If you are inspired by your own work, passionate about it, full of certainty about it, even better. If you know it’s necessary, will change the world, you’re winning. Because love for your work plus belief in it are huge ingredients to success.
I heard countless women say that they had walked away from projects where they’d been asked to change their vision or their voice. They turned down money and what appeared to be opportunities and returned to their visions because it was the only way they could work with integrity and joy. They’d made mistakes and tried again. They’d flubbed one opportunity but scored the next one.
If you have neither like nor love, nor sense of purpose about what you’re doing this is a good place to stop and regroup. Because work or art made from a place of displeasure, dislike or despair will not make you or anyone else happy.
If you do have one of the above feelings or more, then you already have what it takes to succeed. Because you are so much more likely to persist.
Persistence was the most important theme of the weekend. There will be rejection and people who don’t like your work. There will be competition and tight budgets. There will be life getting in the way and family making demands. Without persistence, you’re stuck.
Increments + passion and belief + persistence = success
Want to take your writing to the next level? Register before April 15th for the Writer Path Plot & Scene Retreat with me, Martha Alderson, and yoga breaks with Amy McElroy. May 1-3, 2015.