Often when I peruse the mindlessness of celebrity gossip blogs, I find myself strangely inspired. It's an odd feeling that leaves me confused yet strangely invigorated, like waking up in a strange bed with a raging erection. I page through the stories and pictures and think about how that life is so far from what I want for myself. I have no desire to constantly look to the masses for approval. That the pizza in front of me is worth keeping on those extra 10 pounds and that I never had to live in that traffic jam of a city called Los Angeles.
So why is it that I feel... inspired and motivated? Because despite how I feel about the content of their life or the legitimacy of their attention, they are living it. They have set in motion the steps that it takes to grab ahold of what they want for themselves. Sure, I don't have to agree with how they went about it or the motivation that drives them but you certainly can't ignore the tenacity. In a world that is far more willing to slap you back down when you try to stand up, very few people ever get the chance to be recognized by more than their family and a handful of reluctant friends. But if a family of mindless idiots with nothing to say wants a television show, well goddamn it, they are going to put in the phone calls and pull the favors that are required for the right people to pay attention.
Like you, I watch these shows and think I could do better. I could make more drama, inspire more people and be far better entertainment than most of these families. So why do they have a camera pointed at them whereas we do not? Most likely it was because they made the biggest stink. Want to know why the bands you listen to, the authors you read and the artists you admire command your attention? Because they earned it. Not by producing quality, but by keeping their heads up and walking through the blizzards long enough for everyone else to pack it in and call it a day. They made clear goals, figured out what they had to do to get from A to B and from B to C and so on until one day, they woke up and got what they always wanted.
This isn't about being on television or becoming "famous", it's about taking the little bit of inspiration these awful people leave in their wake and using it to drive us. Because your minimal efforts and half-ass attempts to attain your goals will not be enough. Applying to three jobs is not enough. Recording a demo and giving it to five people is not enough. Going on seven auditions a year is not enough. Making an Etsy page for the amazing things you create will never be enough.
Never be embarrassed of what you believe is what it takes to make you happy. If that means you have to knock on every door, then so be it. But do it with your chin up and shoulders squared. If you want to leave the life that has been made for you, I hope you understand it's going to hurt and you're going to feel all alone, but think of the alternative. Think of what your life will become when you're 80 and you have to tell your grandchildren that you never went for it. That you never really tried for anything. And sure, you'll probably exaggerate and tell them that you lived the life you really wanted with "no regrets" but you'll know in the back of your mind that you are a liar. That you never really gave anything a real fucking shot. That you never rode hard into on-coming traffic. That you never shoved your art in their faces so they couldn't ignore you.
And if you complain about how bored you are, how long the days take and how all you want to do is relax, well then you don't understand this. This wasn't written for you.
But if you feel like there are never enough hours in the day, that sleep only prevents you from creating and if you show your work to others without making excuses well then you know what I'm talking about. And if you know what I'm talking about then you better have a plan.
Because without a plan there is no attack and without an attack there is no victory.