It’s been a little over a year since I posted on this thing and much has changed for me since. When I originally started posting my pop culture reviews and analyses on here, it was for one vital reason – take any kind of step toward escaping a 9-5 job I was no longer happy doing. At the time It had been years since I wrote about movies and comics in college, but it was probably the only thing that came somewhat natural to me, so I thought, what the hell, if anything it could be a fun creative outlet to purge my avalanche of thoughts whenever I consume a piece of storytelling from a medium I love.
In short, that’s exactly what coming on here and creating these write-ups did for me. It was a first step – a validation that I like doing this thing, so maybe, just maybe I can go a little further with it. Since I last posted, I managed to leave the job that was no longer fulfilling me and pursue a couple freelance writing gigs based around comic pieces and pop culture news reporting. I’m far from living the dream just yet (the pay isn’t exactly livable), but it’s been a next step that at one time would have seemed impossible to achieve.
Outside of the fact that I enjoy a good self back patting as much as anyone else, I want to share my own viewpoint here to a) have somewhere to lay out my thoughts as I consider my own next steps and b) hopefully reach a few people who are in the same boat and considering their own baby steps toward doing something they like. So, here are a few things that have helped pull me out of some discouraging slumps as of late.
Choose Your Destiny
Getting past your own fear and anxiety to do what you enjoy is a lot like playing Mortal Kombat for the first time (or most video games for that matter, but this is the metaphor I’m running with). You’re presented with those stone pillars with all those mean-looking bad asses lined up from bottom to top and even though you know none of it’s real, that it’s only a simulation on a screen, you feel intimidated nonetheless.
So maybe you start with some basic training to learn the buttons and see what you’re capable of. Not so bad. So you take another gander at those stone pillars. The two hardest difficulties still look pretty scary, but the smallest one with the easiest difficulty and least amount of mutant baddies is starting to look a little more approachable. You get your butt kicked by the first guy, but you actually get some hits in and draw some blood. You realize beating him is doable, with a little more focus you can come out victorious.
You’ve now won a couple matches and suddenly you have a little more pep in your upper-cut. These ninjas in face masks are all show. Before you know it, you’ve conquered the tallest pillar and now you’re looking for the next game to be challenged by. That four-armed bastard at the top wasn’t so scary after all. In fact, as you use a head splitting fatality to finalize a flawless victory on your best friend who thought they stood some sort of chance, you wonder what was so intimidating in the first place.
The Internet Is Your Best Friend
The internet is full of of negativity that will burrow inside your mind like a parasite if you let it. At the same time, if you direct your attention to the appropriate corners, the internet can be endlessly positive and helpful, and can even be the very thing that gets you back up on your feet with a fresh new outlook on life.
YouTube videos and podcasts, as well as books recommended by way of both YouTube and podcasts have been my greatest muses as of late. My current bout of inspiration began from reading The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss. If you’re anything like me and have a niche you’ve always wanted to follow but get trapped by the thought that you’re not personally capable of pursuing it, this is the book for you. Tons of YouTubers and bloggers swear by it changing their life and inspiring them to go after what has now made them successful. For good reason, too. This book will bring you back to reality to realize that most people can be just as successful as those who already are, with the only thing holding them back being the belief that they’re just not capable. Truthfully, If you’re passionate about something, you’re already over qualified. I’d also recommend checking out Ferriss’ YouTube channel where he provides a wealth of tips and strategies for all facets of life.
Beyond that, you’ll have to explore these avenues on your own to find what best fits you. When it comes to self-help books and YouTubers, generally speaking, they all impart the same basic core wisdom and advice to assist you out of your slump, it’ll simply come down to which personality and charisma types appeal best to you.
Write And Keep Writing
From what I’ve gathered out of watching and reading what I’ve consumed so far, the best and most consistent advice I’ve seen is to write as much as possible. This is not to say you need to sit down and churn out your best work every time either. Quite the opposite actually. Some of the best advice I’ve received as of late is to wake up and physically write out at least three pages in a journal. It can be about anything, and I mean anything. From stream of consciousness to whatever’s weighing your mind down, or just any random thoughts you’re having at the moment. By doing this, you’re purging your monkey mind, making those thoughts tangible and leaving them inside the book so you can go about your day without letting them weigh you down.
Personally, this has done wonders for me lately. For a person who writes for work and wishes to pursue writing even further, I (hilariously) realized how little I’m actually writing each day. There’s no doubt that I’ve benefitted greatly from this past year of freelancing, but I’ve found that working within the same perimeters day in and day out has kept me in a very specific corner creatively. Waking up and writing whatever comes to mind each morning has allowed me to discover much more about myself both on a personal and creative level. Often it helps me to work out ideas in my mind and find new ways to approach and think about them. If there’s any one piece of advice I’d offer to anyone considering a daunting new avenue in life, it’s to write first thing in the morning. Which brings me to…
Now that I’ve been writing outside the framework of my job, I’m more motivated than ever to get back to writing whenever possible as I make my next moves in life. I plan to get back to busting out my typical movie, comic and television pieces on here again, and if on occasion I feel up to it, perhaps even write up some more “what’s on my mind” posts like this one right here. Whatever the case, I hope you enjoyed my ramblings or found some kind of helpful advice if you happen to be in similar position as me. If you’re on the path to pursuing any kind of dream, I wish you the best of luck as you conquer those stone pillars one baby step at a time.