When all of us were young, adults kept asking the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” It gets drummed into our head so often, most of us pick up it up and integrate it into our lives and we keep asking ourselves the same question. That’s the process that helped lead you to decide you wanted to be a screenwriter, director, producer, cinematographer, etc.
But what you want to be may be different than what you want to do. I’ve known many people who want to be a writer but who don’t really like the process of writing, and directors who love being on the set with all eyes fixed on them waiting for commands, but who don’t like all that it takes to get to the set. I’ve even known producers who hate meetings, despite the fact that a producer who isn’t in meetings probably isn’t producing much.
When we’re young, we dread saying “no” because we fear we’ll miss out on something, but when we age it’s quite possible we’ll regret some of the things we said “yes” to. After all, when you say, “no” that’s the end of it and you move on, but when you say, “yes” you might find yourself in a bad relationship, a bad job, or something else that becomes a trap.
What we want “to be” when we grow up can become such a trap. The myriad biographies of “successful” people make it clear that once you become what you’ve dreamt of, you quickly habituate to it, and so you need something else — or more of the same thing, over and over again. Read more