Always Be Creating…
You might be familiar with the acronym A.B.C. which was popularized in the 1992 film Glengarry Glen Ross, starring Alec Baldwin. It means “always be closing”. But since you and I are content creators, I want to repurpose the acronym into something different, which is “always be creating”. That’s right. “Always be creating.” In this episode I explore the deeper meaning of what I mean when I use that simple phrase using three levels. If you can apply all three in your life, you’ll be all the more happier and productive because of it. Once you’ve heard the episode, I’d love to know how you’ll apply A.B.C. into your life. So comment down below! Thanks for tuning in.
SELECTED LINKS FROM EPISODE:
-Master Mental Fortitude Course Book: http://mastermentalfortitude.com
-Not Twice T-Shirt Campaign: http://nottwice.org
-A Very LA Birthday Short Film: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9SHJaepE0c
-Adorama Affiliate Link: https://www.adorama.com/?utm_source=rflaid914115
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You might have heard the acronym A.B.C. which was popularized in the 1992 film Glengarry Glen Ross, starring Alec Baldwin. It means “always be closing”. But since you and I are content creators, I want to repurpose the acronym into something different, which is “always be creating”. That’s right. “Always be creating.” Let’s explore what I mean by this, shall we?
Let’s begin by considering the most obvious meaning of the phrase “always be creating”, which is to apply yourself everyday towards your creative pursuits. If you’re a musician, play or compose songs. Perhaps you’re a writer in which case you should read books and draft pages. Maybe you’re a filmmaker. Great. So get out there and shoot then edit videos. As a painter, you should spend time in front of your canvas. You get the point. No matter what your desired creative medium is, you need to put in daily effort. By not doing so, you won’t grow and you won’t achieve the results you’re going for.
Again, this is the obvious meaning of the phrase and yet so many creatives I know have so many excuses as to why they’re not going after their passions. Don’t let excuses get in the way. There’s a way to make progress daily no matter what your ambition is. For example, my biggest passion is filmmaking and so I decided a few months ago to not let a lack of money prevent me from making my first feature film. And I’m excited to announce that I haven’t wavered from that goal. As it stands, we’re halfway through filming and by Nov 17th, my friends and I will have shot an entire feature film. There was one day where we shot 11 pages of script in 3 hours. Most Hollywood productions only shoot about 2 pages of script a day. The reason that was possible for us was because we didn’t allow ourselves to be trapped by fear. Our production is as barebones as it gets and yet we’re achieving great results. Sure, there’s mistakes here and there but what production is without them? And furthermore, the audience never sees those if they don’t end up in the final edit.
The point being, don’t give into fear. A lack of time, the most common reason artists cite when they don’t work on creative projects, might not sound like it’s a fear based but it in fact is exactly that. Lack of time is a “practical excuse” you can spout to someone else for why you didn’t work on your creative ambitions. Stop with that. First off, people aren’t sympathetic to excuses. They aren’t. Second, what’s that do for you? If we looked at your daily schedule, I’m sure there’s places in there where we could find time to work on your art. Doesn’t have to be a lot of time. A little time is better than no time at all. So do it.
The other level of meaning to the phrase “always be creating” is to work on projects that are tangential to your pursuits. In my case, that includes things like this teaching series. Every week I make it a priority to come up with a lesson, write it, film it and edit it. It’s like a compressed version of feature filmmaking, especially the editing part. I get better and better with graphics and certain editing features and techniques. I learn aspects about myself through my teachings that I then apply towards filmmaking. Also, before starting this series, I had little experience with green screen. Now I feel much more confident. And, because I publish this as an audio podcast, I’ve developed audio production and post production methods I didn’t know beforehand. It’s been a wonderful learning experience. And of course, as a big added bonus, I get to help other artists, like yourself, in their journeys.
So find ways to do things that are related to your creative passion. This can, and in fact should be, a job. Many people I know who want to be filmmakers or producers themselves, work for various production companies in Hollywood. This is fantastic because you’re in essence being paid to learn. The knowledge and experience you gain can, and I almost guarantee it, will translate to your pursuits. Isn’t that great? The trap that some people I know fall into is in thinking this takes them away from their goals. No it doesn’t. Every experience you have can be in the service of your dreams, but you must see it that way. My friends that do recognize this are growing tremendously in their careers because they’re making connections left and right and utilizing them properly on future endeavors. Now, mind you, this isn’t to say that you should simply view these types of jobs as stepping stones. You have to truly and wholy apply yourself to the job at hand because if you don’t, people will dismiss you because they won’t be able to trust you. You build deep and powerful connections when you establish trust through your work and work ethic.
I want to go back to a sentence I said, which is: every experience you have can be in the service of your dreams, but you must see it that way. This is the core of this lesson and leads us into the biggest meaning behind the phrase “always be creating.” No matter what you do in life, you should see it through a creative lens. When I walk my dogs, it’s a chance to be creative because it relaxes me and allows me to think thoughts. When I cook I’m enjoying myself by learning how to mix ingredients together and seeing how it comes out. The more you view the world from this perspective, the happier you’ll be and the more you’ll be able to take that skill-set, because it is a skill-set you’re developing when you do this, towards your art.
When I talk about people making excuses and not going after their creative passions, I say it’s because of fear. Part of what builds this fear in people is they’re too distanced, mentally, from creativity. The more you exercise creativity in daily, and seemingly mundane, life, the more you’ll unlock yourself. I’ve experienced this firsthand. Sometimes, when I work on my creative projects, I feel like I’m doing it wrong because it’s so effortless. That wouldn’t be possible if I didn’t practice it and practice it deliberately. That’s the amazing part about all of this—the muses reward you only if they see you applying yourself. Apply yourself creatively throughout your whole life and the rewards will be plentiful. “Always be creating.” Remember that. “Always be creating.” A.B.C. A simple, yet powerful acronym.
To recap, see the world from a creative lens—it’ll keep your creative brain sharp. Whenever possible, work on projects that are tangential to your overall artistic goals because you’ll learn skills that you can apply or at least be mindful of in your own work. And lastly, don’t let excuses get in the way of your artistic dreams. Work towards your goals daily, no matter what.
So how will you apply yourself creatively across all three levels? Go ahead and write them down in the comment section. I’d love to know and I’m sure your ways may inspire someone else who might be struggling to figure out how to apply this across all three levels. Collectively, we can all help and inspire each other.
And with that, that’s it for this lesson. However, please feel free to click over to any of the numerous lessons I’ve created just for you. I have so many you can check out along with other free resources. All you have to do is go to my website at philsvitek.com. If you enjoy these lessons but want to learn more about how to apply them to your life, I suggest you go pickup a copy of my coursebook, which is available at mastermentalfortitude.com. Lastly, a huge thank you to the people that helped make this episode financially possible. If you too would like to support this show, you can either head on over to my Patreon or sport some merch from my store. Links are down below as well. Or you can just tell a friend about this show and we can build a great community of like-minded creatives. Anyway, thanks for taking the time to tune in. I’m @PhilSvitek on social media and I’ll see you next time.