The creative arts are highly collaborative, so everything you do for your job involves throwing out ideas for your colleagues and bosses to pick apart.

Getting hired proves you’ve got some chops. Having tons of ideas rejected or doing countless revisions means you are doing your job and helping the process move closer to creating something that will sell. I’ve been in the biz for over twenty years and you just have to learn to let go of your ego and not get too attached to your creative babies. The only goal is to keep grinding until you uncover a real gem.

But the movie business is really similar to your previous jobs. You’re still writing stuff to help someone sell something to someone else. The only difference is that the movie business doesn’t have the same metrics.

So much garbage gets produced for reasons that have nothing to do with the quality of the script. I’m not saying you’re not an artist; we simply don’t have a frame of reference like fifty years from now to figure out whether you transcended your job and created true art.

After you start selling scripts, you’ll probably have the same identity crisis, only then it will turn into “I’m not an artist. I’m just a sell-out.”

Here’s a little perspective on that subject:

Just be grateful for the opportunities you have and do your best without listening too much to those inner voices. Every creative person hears them.

Imagine if someone in Pershing Square stood on a soap box and mumbled the same things you tell yourself, you would walk past and ignore them, thinking “what a weirdo.”

Written by

Ad agency creative director, writer & designer at https://guttmanshapiro.com. Former pro tennis player and peak performance coach for professional athletes.

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