Today was the Oscars, and there was some great wins to celebrate. Hildur Guðnadóttir winning Best Original Score. Parasite winning 4 major categories culminating in Best Picture. These are worth celebrating because not only were they all well-deserved wins but also exciting signs of inclusivity. A glimmer…no, a lightning bolt of hope in a disturbing time.
But let’s talk about you – readers who didn’t win an Oscar…..this year.
Along our journey there are going to be many wins of all different shapes and sizes. We have the known ones like landing a great gig, screening at a festival, having a project greenlit, your movie getting distribution, winning an award of some sort. But there are other ones too. What categorizes a win?
For me a win is submitting to a gig and having a positive response. It is a bigger win when you actually get the gig, sure, but just hearing back, receiving a “you are not right for this project but we hope to collaborate down the line” is a win. That should be celebrated.
Sometimes when you are having a rough patch even submitting to a project is a win. Or finishing a piece you have started. Actually spending time doing the work you have planned to do, instead of just planning to do it and then furiously procrastinating.
This advice – to celebrate everything – may sound unprofessional and wimpy. Maybe you think we should be tough and battle on. “Ya think just doing your work earns you a gold star? Think Again Soldier!” I hear what you’re saying. But here’s the thing: this creative life is not a sprint, it is a marathon. We often get exhausted by the continual, never-ending persistence that is required of us, at every level. If we are going to work this hard, we may as well enjoy the ride. Celebrating wins of all shapes and sizes helps us do that.
As my guy says to me again and again: It’s A Process. So, reflect on your journey. Mark your progress with delight. Then get back to work.