Comedian Mike Birbiglia shares his six tips for “making it small” in any career, and his advice is particularly sound and relevant for writers who desire to remain true to their mission or to at least find some kind of calling in the first place. I find his advice particularly relevant because too many Christian writers have tried to make the leap into the “big time” as writers long before they were ready.
I could have used an article like this back in 2005 when I was really working hard to get a book published. I needed more practice, more failure, more feedback and a greater sense of acceptance for the kind of work I felt called to do. Here are a few highlights from Birbiglia’s list of six:
“It will take years for your taste and the quality of your work to intersect. (If ever!) Failure is essential. There’s no substitute for it. It’s not just encouraged but required.”
There was a great column in The New York Times recently where Angela Duckworth writes, “Rather than ask, ‘What do I want to be when I grow up?’ ask, ‘In what way do I wish the world were different? What problem can I help solve?’ This puts the focus where it should be — on how you can serve other people.”
The point is, forget the gatekeepers. As far as I’m concerned, what you create in a 30-seat, hole-in-the-wall improv theater in Phoenix can be far more meaningful than a mediocre sitcom being half-watched by seven million people. America doesn’t need more stuff. We need more great stuff. You could make that.
Are you enjoying the contemplative writer?
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