Before we’re born our parents are waiting for us to arrive. After we do so it is the human condition for us to be forever waiting. We can’t wait to crawl, walk, run, grow, get a beard if we are male or develop boobs if we’re a female. When all that has happened, we continue with our impatient wait for our first alcoholic drink, our first dance with a member of the opposite gender, our first intimacy. Then our growth to adulthood begins with the seemingly endless wait for our education to be complete, our first time to vote, our first serious relationships, long term commitments, marriage, jobs and then our first children completing this, the first part of the endless cycle of human life.
Presently we are all waiting for the election and whether or not the UK will eventually Brexit. It seems like these things are endless, but one day the wait will be over.
At a time in history when we seem to be waiting for the permission of others to get on with our lives, we feel it’s our duty to help where we can to give our creative lives a better chance of successful resolution.
I am a creative, or what my mother used to call a “Storyteller”. I took it as a compliment, but I think she meant I told porkies. I denied it then, but now, as her memory is soft and hallowed in my mind, I wish she was here to call me whatever she wanted.
The big plus about being in the business of telling stories is that I get to use my mind in a creative and constructive manner. I also get to wait around too long and too often waiting for those with the ultimate power to green light my films, books, plays and other creative projects. Without the investment of huge amounts of the money of others my ideas would never be shared with the world.
Like everyone who ever painted a picture, or wrote a story, or made a film or put on a play we end up waiting on other people to raise their thumb or point it down to the ground as if they were Roman Emperors in our distant history. We live or die by the reactions of these power brokers. Or put it more succinctly we prosper or go hungry by the reactions of those who commission our works.
We usually don’t even know the reasoning behind those decisions which can sometimes appear to beggar belief. It can, for example, be very hard for an author to hear about another celebrity written novel being given the big PR push on Television while their own novel is not even commissioned. It’s even worse when you find out that the supposed celebrity author might have had their book ghost written, and the ultimate insult was recently heard when Katie Price admitted she hadn’t even read her book, let alone written it!
Yes, way before the public get to see our genius or lack thereof expressed for them to view and enjoy there are people who select whether we are worthy of their approval, backing and possible finance.
Ever since I was 17 years old and making my first tentative and independent steps as a creative, I have had to wait on people liking or not liking my ideas. I am not unique in this regard, it happens to the humblest of beginners all the way through to Steven Spielberg.
The reasons for this are because there are far more people with creative ideas, projects and schemes than there is capacity to have them developed, financed, distributed and shown or shared. For example, there are about 70,000 screenplays registered with the American Writers Guild alone, and there are only about 300 films made in America per year. That doesn’t begin to cover the more than 1 million books also available every year. The odds of an independent film maker getting past those barriers are about the same as anyone winning the Lottery. Not impossible but very tough.
Then how comes people like myself get to make some films, write some books etc? The answer is that you have to find ways to try and beat the odds. You have to find alliances, do your homework and find elements that will excite and encourage those decision makers to jump aboard.
It won’t happen just because you are wonderful, it probably won’t happen even if you have created a concept that is brilliant. The reason is obvious if you think about it, and that’s about marketing and sales.
If you have the most wonderful artefact in the entire world but you’re the only person in the world who has seen it how will anyone else know about it?
I decided a while back that I would try and make it my business to help other creatives with their business. To that end I started Give-Get-Go.com in order to explain the routes to success. We can’t guarantee your creative ideas will find someone to commission it for the public to make their choices about it. But we can increase the chances you will have with the project.
There are ways to engage with an agent, a publisher, a commissioner in TV or a film financier. We can help make that happen. We think everyone deserves their shot at stardom. If you don’t follow these simple steps, and rely on luck alone you will, sadly, most likely fail.
That’s why we are creating books, videos and giving talks to create and enhance these opportunities.
You will still have to do your share of waiting, but you can possibly jump the queue and get a quicker response and that gives you a much better chance of success.
No one can make you successful but you, and this becomes possible when you stop procrastinating, get busy doing, and stop making excuses. You will most likely to learn how to communicate your needs and wants, learn how to circulate, to mingle and to realise that we live in an inter-connected world where one hand washes the other.
Be patient with others, understand their schedules will sometimes mean you’re not going to be their priority every time you want them to be. But have a plan of action, and maybe one or two plans in reserve if your first strategy isn’t working.
Where you can, don’t wait for others, and don’t procrastinate, or put another way don’t wait for yourself. Be decisive and take the world on, don’t wait, unless you have to. But don’t be afraid to push for answers. A quick no can be better for you than a lingering maybe. Of course, a yes always seems better, and many times it is.
However, there are instances when you obtain that precious yes and discover you’d have been off going in another direction. For myself I have experienced the wrong derived from my own wrong choices. There were occasions I was too hasty picking a wrong publisher, film distributor or finance deal. Nevertheless, I did get the deals and the books did get published and the films made and distributed. That’s why I still believe a bad deal is better than no deal. It gives you a platform for better things in the future. You have proved you’re a can-do person and there’s evidence in real things you accomplished and once it’s out in the world who knows it might turn out to be successful beyond your wildest dreams. I don’t know what will succeed for you, no one does, all we can do is make an educated guess, get it done and out there to sink or swim.
Above all be patient with yourself. When I was starting out as a very young film maker and writer, I wrote out a list of aims and ambitions I wanted to achieve with the age I would hit that target by. You know the kind of thing, have a film made by the age of 18, check, have a London film premiere by the age of 21, check, in fact I beat that by a year or so, sell my first script by 22, check. There were many more such ambitions listed and I was achieving them, but when I climbed one mountain, I realised it was actually a hill, and in front of me, now with a better view, I saw a range of mountains stretching into the far distance. Half a century later I am still climbing those mountains.
We all have a lifetime learning how to wait until the answers arrive. As one older man said to his friend, “I had it all, money, a stunning home, a great business and the love of a beautiful woman, then pow, everything I’d waited for went in one day, pow, just like that, gone!” “What happened?” asked the friend, “My wife found out about the beautiful woman.”