Monday, May 25, 2009

A cautionary tale

On dreams and letting them go, from my post a few days ago on this, Anonymous Gerbil posted some very interesting comments.

"I gave up my dreams years ago, there's nothing anymore. Days go by, I lurk in net like a ghost, acomplish nothing and just wait for the inevitable, oblivion..."

"At first it was nice. Life was simple and cold beer was that "heaven". But one can live like that only for so long. Now I can't even recall when I last time actually enjoyed about anything. And all that because nothing matters anymore."

However accurate Anonymous Gerbil's assessment is of his own life, there is an important warning here.

It can be very difficult to get up in the morning without a real reason for doing so. We all seem to need a point to our lives. Goals seem to get us moving, keep us going. Is a life without dreams a pointless existence?

I'm not sure that it is. I think that's certainly a danger. I guess there is another factor here, one that was brought up by Bwakathaboom in the comments -

"The challenge you face with regards to screenwriting, television production, etc. is that everyone in those fields must ultimately beg the "gatekeepers" for permission to achieve their dream."

Absolutely right. And that is the kick in the pants every time. To quote from my favourite album of last year, "they got dreams of taking someone else's dreams away".

Maybe it's not the concept of having dreams that is the problem. It's dreams that depend on the approval of others.

Maybe it's not a case of dropping dreams altogether, but being selective and refining them down to find dreams that don't depend on others.

I finally managed to see Star Trek at the weekend. Thoughts, however late, on that in the next post.


Red Pill Junkie said...

Ok, so you want to play 'Lonewolf'.

Problem is, we humans don't live in a vacuum. Almost everything we do depends on somebody else. That's why we live in a society.

Playing Gears of War solo campaign can be fun, but after a while, you long with the interaction with other real players; after a while it turns into yet another form of Onanism.

Nevertheless: can you think of a project related to your skills and tastes that would enable you to depend on as less outsiders as possible?

And would that make the creative process of actually getting something done more easy?

If you answer 'Yes', then maybe you should consider make that change. You're still young(ish) and your children are small; now it's the perfect time to make a dramatic change.

AnonymousGerbil said...

Some kind of goal keep one going. Dreams give you goals where to aim at even if you'd fall short and fail, dreams give you that reason why bother. It can be little dream, or a big, it doesn't matter. What matter is there's that reason to do things.

Things start to get "bad" when one can't answer to that "why?" when one wake up. After that it does not matter what time of day it is, what day it is, what week it is etc...

Longer one is without reasons, harder it seems to "snap" out of that state. I've tried, several times, but always failed because that decision "I change things, I can do it." usually ends up being overruled next day when I can't answer to that question, "why?".

So in the end it might not be dreams, but those reasons what keep us going. Dreams may be just easy way to give us those reasons and goals.

Bitter Animator said...

In ways, I think it's play Lone Wolf or drop out of the game altogether.

Not everyone has the stamina of Colonel Sanders and most of those who do still end up with every door closed in their face. The reason we remember Colonel Sanders is because he was the exception.

As Anonymous Gerbil says, those could be small dreams. For example, if I wanted to learn to play the ukelele, that's something I could achieve. If I wanted a platinum-selling album of my ukelele compositions, that is a far larger dream that depends on many others and is rather unlikely.

Most of my dreams are akin to the latter.

As for Gears Of War, I'm a solo player all the way!

Red Pill Junkie said...

I too suffer from grandiose dreams —or is it delusions?

Maybe the reason we fail to achieve them is not for a lack of stamina or talent; but because we don't tackle them in little steps.

Take your dream of making a movie. Stated like that it looks like a lot of work. But what if you broke it down into a series of more achievable steps. So you see what's the very first & easiest thing to do in that list; you accomplish that and move on. So it ends up taking you 5 years of your life, but it won't feel that long because you'll be aware of your progress all the way.

PS: GoW2 solo is great, but you need to play Horde with a friend to really appreciate the game ;-)

Niffiwan said...

There are some people who have made big projects working as "Lone Wolves", though. J.K. Rowling is an obvious example, like many authors. The "Lone Wolf" thing has been a mainstay of literature for a long time.

Making an animated feature used to require many people, but now it just requires a lot of effort from one person (or a few). Nina Paley, M dot Strange, Bill Plympton, Ladd Ehlinger Jr., John Bergin, Paul Fierlinger and others are testament to that. allows you to self-publish your book or movie and sell it through Amazon with no gatekeepers in the way.