There’s a lot of impatience in the air. It’s coming from everyone. Me included. A lot of questions being asked like why hasn’t this happened yet or where’s my “win” at? Why are my numbers so low? Why aren’t my shows packed? Why isn’t my product selling?
I get it. Those are normal questions and concerns. I asked myself similar questions but then I thought about this article I read on comedian Steve Martin and I then came up with a question to ask myself that would help me look at things practically.
The question I asked myself was “Are you willing to go through 10 years of pain to become the writer you wanna be?”
10 years of work, failures, no’s, doubts, defeat. It’s a heavy price but it’s the price of admission. The past 2 months is some of the most trash writing I’ve ever done. It’s great to everyone else but I know the truth and what’s real. I’ve been coasting on my talent alone and not hard work. I’m not reading everyday like I used to. I’m not focusing on note taking like I used to. I’m not taking time out of everyday to learn something new. While I was fucking around that’s when I was the most impatient. You always seem to show impatience when you feel you’ve done enough. But you haven’t done enough and you damn sure haven’t done 10 years worth of it.
I don’t know shit bout Steve Martin. Never watched a Steve Martin movie in my life. Never seen a Steve Martin standup special in my life but I came across his story when researching about perfecting your creative craft. I read that he is one of the most successful standup comedians of all time and I had no fucking clue. I’m talking record breaking numbers. Steve Martin had 10 years of being trash at comedy and learning about comedy. Getting boo’d. Performing in front of little to no people in crowds. Figuring out his style. Understanding what he was trying to accomplish. That’s when I asked myself if I was willing to work for 10 years at this.
Our issue is that we feel ourselves too much. I never had a moment in my life that I had this much attention. I’m a “in the shadows” kinda nigga. I grew up shy. I’m still shy unless I’m upset or want something. I’m not really a people person unless I’m on drugs. I don’t like attention all that much but over the past 2 years I’ve received so much of it and that shit is like a drug because the more attention you get and the more people telling you that you the shit and you’re great the easier it is to fallback and feel like you’re owed something. That you’ve done enough work. Then when you realize that you’re not really poppin like you think you are that’s when those questions come.
A few shares, retweets, and likes and you think you David Ruffin. You don’t work as hard as you should. You always looking for the home run. It’s like chasing that first high. You get all that attention and you base your creativity on that. You want that same attention for everything you do ever since you first received it. So instead of focusing on making the best thing that represents your thoughts, feelings, or passion you’re focused on how popular it will be. It’s like the musical artist that tries to make a hit record instead of just going with the flow and creating what they feel.
Every writer I respect put in 10 years or more.
Every athlete I respect put in 10 years or more.
Every entertainer I respect put in 10 years or more.
But the most important aspect about those 10 years is that they knew exactly what to focus on. You can spend 10 years practicing the wrong shit. If your practice is ineffective then when it’s time to perform it becomes harder for you to win. I know you’ve heard of Malcolm Gladwell’s quote about how it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill which I’m not gonna say is completely wrong but what’s not taken into consideration is the quality of practice during those hours.
People aren’t born to be elite.
People aren’t born successful.
They made the choice to be those things. Regardless of their circumstances.
Steve Martin spent 30 years getting to the top of his career. 30 mothafucking years. 10 years of being bad at comedy. 10 years of finding his groove. 10 years of success. I see people complaining about not being where they wanna be after 1 year of work. Sometimes they’re complaining after months. Like you just picked up DJ’ing 8 months ago. No you not about to have as many gigs as a DJ who’s 10 years deep. You just started photography 2 years ago fam. No you’re not gonna be Chase fucking Jarvis. Anything you want that’s significant in life takes time to build. Stop looking at your 30th birthday as the end and treating it as the finish line. It’s not. Prepare yourself because you might still be hustling.
Money Making Mitch lied to you. It ain’t 10 days. It’s 10 years.
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