You do not need anybody's permission to live a creative life.
— Elizabeth Gilbert, Big Magic
When I was blocked, I always thought I needed to get good, learn all the tricks, and figure out all the skills. I was always waiting for someone's permission to create. It was one more excuse for me not to do the work.
When I started teaching, I'd always tell my students they had permission to write and make films. But Elizabeth Gilbert's version is better: you don't need anybody's permission. So, quit waiting for it.
Eventually, that's how I got started writing and kept at it. I quit waiting for it.
I'd write and fail and write again. I'd give scripts to people too soon and share stories when they weren't done. I'd ask my writing partner to write a novel with me just to see what would happen. We didn't wait for anyone's permission.
People who make things don't wait for permission. They do it and see what happens. It's chaotic and messy and a whole heck of a lot of fun.
One more quote from Big Magic, this one from filmmaker Werner Herzog:
"Quit your complaining. It's not the world's fault that you wanted to be an artist. It's not the world's job to enjoy the films you make, and it's certainly not the world's obligation to pay for your dreams. Nobody wants to hear it. Steal a camera if you must, but stop whining and get back to work."
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