Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Lessons from the Lohans

Tip of the Day: if you are going to be outside all day, don’t forget the sunscreen. Even if it’s raining when you leave the house. Otherwise you will regret it later. Trust me.

Watching my new guilty TV pleasure this weekend I learned several valuable lessons about writing from the gang on Living Lohan (I know, I did just use a sentence containing the words “learn,” “lesson,” and “Lohan.” But at least I’m not quoting from Denise Richards: It’s Complicated...yet.)

Lesson One Learned from the Lohans: it’s long been my assumption that most creative careers have a similar starting off point, but watching Ali Lohan try to make it in the music business has confirmed it.

Lesson Two Learned from the Lohans: people who pursue acting, music, and writing all have to believe in what they are creating. Because everyone starts at the bottom. Yes it helps if you are famous, have a famous sister, or are well connected. But in the end, if you don’t have some-sort of talent or that extra “something,” you aren’t going to make it in any creative business. You might get more high-profile people to help push you in the business, which can make or break you, but you still need to work hard for your art.

Lesson Three Learned from the Lohans: even if you are only fourteen, talented, and have big-named people supporting you, you will still have self-doubt. Everyone in a creative field, I’m sure has felt doubt at some time. How can you not? With all the rejection constantly being thrown at you. In acting it might be because you don’t have the right “look” for a part, and in writing it might be your character, your voice, or any number of things that just doesn’t work for that agent or publisher at that time. Yes, it’s not necessarily anything you can change. But it’s still rejection. And getting rejected 100 times, no matter how much you tell yourself it’s not personal, still stings.

Lesson Four Learned from the Lohans: people can notice if you aren’t feeling confident in your own work. Whether it’s music or writing.

Lesson Five Learned from the Lohans: when trying to build confidence, sometimes picturing the end result will help. For little Ali Lohan it was performing on a stage to an empty stadium, but for writers it could be visualizing your book on the shelf. And sometimes that might be all you need to rebuild your confidence to keep going.

* These lessons have been brought to you courtesy of the many hours I watch TV a week.

--Emily, Miss Awaiting an Agent


Ghost Girl (aka, Mary Ann) said...

LOL! You're starting to worry me a little, Em!! Seriously, all good points. And I think the most important is that if you want a real career, you have to be good at what you do and you have to believe in it, no matter how many rejections slap you in the face.

Go get 'em!!

Kate Fall said...

Hey, Em, congrats on winning that book from the Class of 2K8. I'm jealous.

Poor Lohan girl, so many people want her to fail. What makes us all crazy enough to pursue a creative career? Not that anyone's waiting for me to fail, but we all open ourselves willingly to rejection. For art! Hey, we ROCK.

Emily Marshall said...

Ghost Girl: most days I worry myself as well :) And thanks for the encouragement. Right back at you. I know we are all in the same boat.

Kate: sorry, but I will enjoy my book win! And we do rock for opening ourselves up to rejection for our art. Go us!

DeenaML said...

I like to switch between utter helplessness ("Oh my god, I am NEVER gonna write something worth ANYTHING! GAH!) and complete egotistcial snobbery ("Oh my god, this book freakin' kicks A$$! NYC would be STUPID not to publish it!)

Do you think I need to adjust my meds? :)

Ghost Girl (aka, Mary Ann) said...

Hey Deena, can I have some of those, too?!!!!