I recently shot a speaker who brought out these thoughts in my mind. In fact, I was emailing myself jot notes as he spoke so that I would remember these ideas. I’ll try to make this easier to read by making it bullet form; here are some things I do to make myself better and more effective. In no particular order. This doesn’t specifically pertain to film & television work, but it applies to me.
- Email myself reminders and notes. I have my email client set up so all the unread emails are at the top of the list. This might only work for me, but I hate having a large amount of unread emails, so I’ll sift through them. This is also why I’ll always get my reminders. Granted – I’ll have some articles and good reads emailed to myself that has been sitting there for almost a year, because I haven’t had the time to read them, or apply them yet.
- Audiences bring out the best in people. They hold you accountable and give you reassurance that you know what you’re talking about; or give you criticism as to where you should improve. Don’t seek criticism from people you know, seek criticism from people you don’t know, they will give you the truth. The main reason I began writing this blog was not to really share my knowledge, but rather to reaffirm that I know what I’m talking about. If I was putting my words out here for everyone to read, it better be right. And if it’s not, I would hope people would infer to me as to where I could improve, or change.
- Get out there and finish what you start. Actions speak louder than words. Hiding behind your computer and saying you’re going to do something is NOT actually doing something. Also, if you start something, finish it. It doesn’t matter if you feel like it’s a shitty project. If you don’t finish this one project, what will make you want to finish the next? This is how projects get shelved and never get looked at again. Have a script that you only got first draft done? Go back at it and re-work it until you feel like you can post it to the public and let the whole world to scrutinize it. I have 2 projects that are shelved right now, and I intend to get them done.
Also; get out there. Step out of your comfort zone and go meet new people. This industry is all about networking. This is something that I need to improve on. I have a close group of friends that have nothing to do with my industry; and I need to stop opting to hang out with them rather than going to a networking event or any other opportunities that arise. Your close friends will always be there, these opportunities will not.
- Share your thoughts. This is the best way to improve. Public fascination will bring others in and allow for a larger collective thought process. Take this all within reason of course; in this industry, you want your ideas to be yours. However, if you have a question or concern, bring it out in forums or to the general public. People who do not hang out with you normally will think in different ways – and they can probably help you think outside the box.
- Read and research what interests you. Fortunately for me, I love what I do, and you can probably find that 70% of the time I spend on the computer is researching camera technology, or reading articles about entrepreneurs, camera or business. This doesn’t always go hand in hand with your job and interests, but for me it does.
Regardless of that, reading and researching will keep you updated and will increase your vocabulary and grammar. In a society of social media, proper literacy is going extinct, and to me personally, is frustrating. My news feed on facebook is horrifying sometimes. The lack of proper punctuation, the lack of context to posts, or even the lack of content. Read and research so you can have a fuller conversation with people, have better knowledge and so your brain keeps working, even when it’s just for fun.
I think I’ll leave it there for now. If you’ve managed to read through all of this, I thank you for taking the time. I’d love to hear your thoughts as well! Post comments below!