know when to give up
The past few posts I’ve written have focused on decluttering your life and seeking joy. Once you’re able to get rid of all the externals and turn your focus inward, you’ll find unbelievable calm. When you’re calm, you’re able to trust yourself because you’re in tune with what you are telling yourself.
Not everything in life is meant to work. I’ve written before about pivoting and about recognizing your need to stay. I’ve written about setting boundaries and not forcing things by letting them come to you, but I think it’s important to clearly state that it’s important to give up on things, too. Not everything, of course. But sometimes the healthiest thing you can do is give up.
I usually attempt to frame language in a positive way because my major at Villanova University was Communication, as well as Sociology and Russian Area Studies. The way people communicate with each other is fascinating. Only ten percent of how we communicate is verbal, and although I lean towards being a wordsmith, it’s incredibly important to focus on other avenues of communication, as well. I finished my third screenplay a few months ago that has a lot of its focus on linguistics and communication. The pitch for “PATTERNS” is that it’s “Arrival” meets “Sicario” meets “The Matrix.” There are a lot of moving parts to it, but life and human beings are complex. Although I strive to keep things simple and decluttered in most areas in my life, writing and acting is where I love communicating the complexities of it all.
I would have never started and finished “PATTERNS” if I hadn’t given up on a different screenplay I was writing right before it. It’s important to finish a job you start but only if it’s a job in which you’re truly invested. I wasn’t fully invested in the other screenplay I was attempting to write because I wasn’t doing it for myself. I was doing it for someone else, and although I gave it all the effort I could at the time, there were parts of it that just weren’t working because I didn’t have the freedom to truly make it my own.
Sometimes, when things aren’t working, it’s best to give up. Giving up on that other screenplay was the best thing I could have done because it led to “PATTERNS,” which is a story in which I felt invested, and by feeling fully invested, I was able to start and finish it in 4 days. That’s not a lot of time for over 90 pages. For comparison's sake, I spent weeks attempting to write the other screenplay and was only able to spit out 30 pages. When you're invested in something and not forcing it, it will feel calm and right.
It’s important to give up on things that aren’t working because you can create space for things that flow and feel easy and natural. That’s not to say that writing “PATTERNS” was easy. There were obviously times where I hit some snags in writing it and it took hard work, but once I was able to get into a flow and a good rhythm, it was as though the story poured out of me.
It’s much easier to be 100% committed to something than 99% committed. I wasn’t 100% committed to that other screenplay, so writing it didn’t feel true to me. Once I was honest with myself about my feelings about that other screenplay holding me back, an authentic and daring story flowed out that, conceptually, was way more complex and fulfilling by comparison.
It’s important to give up on things that don’t add to your life. If things cause you stress because they don’t feel like you, figure out a way to stop doing those things. That other screenplay I was attempting to write was causing me too much stress. The minute I stopped trying to write it and focused on writing a screenplay that felt more true and authentic to who I am as a person, I felt a sense of relief and the creativity flowed. Stress kills creativity, and happiness encourages it. So, you know what? Ignore people who tell you to never give up. Sometimes it’s important to give up if you know it’s what’s best for you. If it doesn’t bring you joy, if it doesn’t inspire your growth, or if it doesn’t make you want to be a better version of yourself, give up. For the love of happiness and creativity, give up!
Thank you so much for reading, and, as always, if you have any pressing questions or if you want to discuss something further with me, feel free to subscribe below or reach out to me on the “contact” page. I’m so grateful you're here and that I’ve been getting a lot of really challenging questions and even better feedback from a community all over the world. I couldn’t do this without you! So THANK YOU! I’m here for you, and I love hearing from you, too! You’re the best, and you have everything you need inside of you! Please believe it! Starve your ego, feed your soul - and follow your heart!