Why You Need to Always Be Creating
Written By Jared Isham
“Never stop creating. Become great at what you do.”
The idea is motivating and inspiring, yet more often than not – giving up only moments after the goal is declared is what inevitably happens. I’d wager that you are as guilty of this as I am. As filmmakers, we need to get in the habit of always creating something. As a photographer, always take photographs. As a cinematographer, always shoot footage. As a screenwriter, always write.
In theory, this isn’t that hard of a practice to get into. The concept is simple with very few steps. You are really just asked to do one thing: create. Then why do we so frequently stop? It is like the new year’s resolutions we make to exercise, and by the time February comes around, most people have given up.
Let’s lean into this further. I was doing some back exercises the other day and quickly realized that one muscle was incredibly sore when I was done. This exercise revealed to me a weakness that I had and alerted me as to an area I should focus on when working out.
This same thing goes towards writing. I had the hardest time figuring out goals that actually produced conflict. With the guidance of a writing instructor, I focused on practicing coming up with conflict-driven goals. I knew it was an area of struggle, so I would write 50 to 100 different conflict-driven goals every day to train that writing muscle to make it stronger. It worked, and I am much better at coming up with conflict-driven goals in my writing. The word of caution comes in the phrase and in the action: never stop. When you stop exercising a muscle, it becomes weak, and you start to lose more and more the strength you had worked to build up. How devastating is it, when you think to yourself, “I got this, I used to train for just this sort of thing,” and then, it doesn’t turn out the way you imagined?
Athletes spend years training to become the best. So do filmmakers. My friend was one of those overnight successes when his film came out and was a hit. It only took him a decade or more of training to have those skills to succeed.
So, the idea might be motivating, but the practice is challenging. Work through the struggles and let your breakthroughs be part of your motivation to continue. Never stop creating, always be training, and you will see your work improve. You will also feel your muscles that you use to create build up and get stronger and stronger.
Jared Isham (Bounty, 2009; Turn Around Jake, 2015) is an independent filmmaker and head of motion pictures at Stage Ham Entertainment (www.stageham.com). He also create videos focused on helping filmmakers to make better films on a micro-budget (www.jaredisham.com)