Stop Whining And Get Back To Work

Writer Elizabeth Gilbert (“Eat, Pray, Love”) relates the story of a friend of hers, “an Italian filmmaker of great artistic sensibility” who, following years of struggling to get his films made, sent “an anguished letter to his hero, the brilliant (and perhaps half-insane) German filmmaker Werner Herzog.

“My friend complained about how difficult it is these days to be an independent filmmaker, how hard it is to find government arts grants, how the audiences have all been ruined by Hollywood and how the world has lost its taste…etc, etc.”

[Photo apparently of Herzog working on his documentary Grizzly Man (2005), which he wrote and directed.]

Can you relate? I certainly can, at least to some degree. And those kinds of complaints can fit many other forms of creative expression besides filmmaking, and can contribute to (or be based on) limiting thinking and beliefs that hold us back.

Gilbert notes that Herzog replied to her friend, saying something along the lines of, “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 have to, but stop whining and get back to work.”

She says there is deep value for her own creative work in his brusque advice.

Continued in post Stop Whining And Get Back To Work.

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