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  • Don’t Worry About Them – Just Do You!

    April 16th, 2012

    By Danny Manus

    Two weeks ago, one of my best friends in the world got engaged. Three weeks ago, another good friend of mine had a baby. That makes (no exaggeration) – 13 friends in 8 months to have babies.  So this week, I want to pass along some advice that applies to both your writing and your life. It’s advice that I’ve personally never been able to follow, but am really trying to make efforts to do so. And the advice is…

    Stop worrying about where you’re supposed to be, and enjoy where you are.

    I have struggled with this for over 20 years now. I have never, ever been able to live in the moment – it’s just not who I am. When I was in junior high, I wanted to be in high school. In high school, I was raring for college. In college, I couldn’t wait to move to Hollywood and finally start writing for a living.

    And now I’m in my 30s doing something I love, but never planned on doing.  I’ve always been so worried about what everyone else is doing and how I’m matching up to them and where I’m supposed to be at this stage of my life and at this stage of my career, that I haven’t been enjoying what I’ve accomplished.

    Yes, a couple of my friends are selling scripts for a million dollars. Yes, my old assistant is now a staff-writer on a major network show. Yes, almost all of my college friends are married and/or pregnant while I’m still trying to find the next first date. And no, I didn’t win an Emmy by age 30 like I had planned. But, I have been working full-time in Hollywood for almost 10 years. I run my own successful business and brand that I built almost completely on my own. And sometimes I have to take a breath and just appreciate that.

    I’m sure you all have your individual accomplishments that when you think about them, make you proud of yourself. So you have to let go of the 5 and 10 year plans and focus on what you’re accomplishing right now, today.

    And the same goes for your writing. Don’t worry about where you THINK you’re supposed to be at your given age or point in life. Don’t worry about if you planned to have sold your script by now or have an agent. Don’t even worry if your progress on the script you’re writing right now isn’t on target yet. Just be content with the progress you are making and the improvement of the quality of your work from when you started writing.

    We’re not all on the same time schedule of life. It’s something I’ve had to come to terms with and realize in the last couple years, and it’s still seeping in. But if you can just be happy with the work you’re doing, the life you’re living, and if you’re still inspired to work hard to achieve your dreams, who cares if someone else has achieved theirs first?

    When you get stuck and you’re feeling like the writing is hopeless or everyone around you is eclipsing your success or talent in some way, just think – “Okay, fine, today is their day…But tomorrow can still be mine.” Good luck and keep writing!

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