Finding Meaning in Every Stage of Your Creative Career

White arrow on a blue brick wall pointing forward, toward finding meaning.
Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

I was re-reading “Making Movies” (*) by Sidney Lumet (as you can tell if you follow me a bit, I really like this book. A filmmaking book wrote by someone who actually made great films!). Right in the first few pages he says:

“ What does the movie mean to me? Personalizing the movie is very important. […] otherwise, the physical labour (very hard indeed) will become twice as exhausting. The word “meaning” can spread over a very wide range. “the appointment” meant that I had the chance to work with Carlo. and what I learned made a difference on all my subsequent pictures.”

Choosing a project as a professional storyteller is not always easy. Yet, as Lumet pointed out, the project itself might not be the only reason why we choose to sign a contract. We might have to sacrifice some of our time working on not-so-exciting projects in order to get access to people who could reveal themselves to be mentors or source of learning.

Another reason could be monetary. A well-paid job could open the doors for us to fund our dream project. Yet, it is always hard to understand where to draw the line. When are we investing in our future and when are we just selling ourselves off?

The last thing that I found thought-provoking is the idea of finding meaning in the movie you’re working on. In the early stages of someone’s career, there is usually not much of a choice on which project you can pick. And so, in those moments it’s very important to be able to turn things around in your head and find meaning even where there seems to be none. It is important to see what you can take away from the experience you’re living in order to express your full potential.

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