You’re supposed to shout that header like you’re a soccer announcer. Not sure that was clear.
First things first — I want to show you something.
It’s not dirty. We save dirty for Fridays. 🙂
It’s the TRAILER FOR POPULAZZI!!!!
TOTALLY want to hear your thoughts on it, but first… my post about goals (which will lead us back to the trailer, I promise).
My favorite movie — and this will probably come as no shock to anyone by now — is The Muppet Movie. It opens with Kermit the Frog, hanging out in the swamp, strumming his banjo and singing about the power of dreams. Kermit ends up following his dreams all the way to Hollywood, and along the way he gathers a rag-tag group of misfits who band together as the best of friends, and at the end of the movie get their “Standard Rich and Famous Contract,” as signed by Orson Welles. Kermit and his pals didn’t have a step-by-step plan; they just followed their hearts, followed their passions, followed their dreams, and achieved everything they ever wanted.
This has pretty much been my blueprint for life. I came out to L.A. the week after I graduated school. I had two distant cousins I’d never met who lived out here, but otherwise I knew no one. I thought I wanted to act, but I knew for certain I wanted to be involved in the entertainment industry, and papered the town with my resume. I got hired to answer phones for a TV show, and that got my foot in the door. Like The Muppets (yes, I know The Muppet Movie is their fictional story, but work with me here), I had no Grand Plan. I jumped at opportunities when they arose, following my dreams, and because of that, I’ve had a very eclectic career, which I love.
I’ve just now gotten to a place where I realize there’s a big difference between DREAMS and GOALS. I dreamed of being a famous actor. I suck at acting, but if it had really been a goal, I could have taken classes, networked, sent my headshots everywhere, and devoted all my energy to getting better and making it happen. The truth was I didn’t want it that badly. When I realized I both preferred and was far better at writing, the switch was simple.
I dreamed that my Marathoner’s Travel Guide would turn me into the Rachael Ray of Running. It would sell through the roof, I’d pitch it as a TV show starring, oh, me, and I’d do episode after episode where I’d travel city to city, showcasing both the marathon and the great hotels, restaurants, and activities that would help runners and their families make the most of the experience.
That was the dream.
If it had been a goal, I’d have spent countless hours doing the legwork to make sure the book was in every running store possible; I’d have researched and traveled like crazy to make myself THE expert in marathon vacations… again, there are a zillion things I could have done. Honestly? I have a husband, a daughter, and a dog. I didn’t really want a career based on traveling. Plus I had other writing projects that appealed to me more.
I don’t beat up on myself for not turning those dreams into goals. I accomplished a lot of incredibly fun and rewarding things following dreams. But in the end, the reason the dreams never came to fruition was because I didn’t want them as goals… I just didn’t realize it when I was dreaming.
Now, however… for the first time in my career… I have a goal.
I love writing novels. I still love TV and film too, and happily, the two disciplines go well together. Creating worlds in book form, then turning them into TV shows and/or movies… I’d say it would be a dream come true, but I’ve learned what happens to dreams. They only get you so far, then you get distracted by the next shiny thing. That’s terrific if it pulls you off a path that isn’t right, but when you find the thing that really fits, it’s worthy of the upgrade to Goal.
So now I’ve done it — I’ve laid out my goal for all to see. Doesn’t mean I won’t keep doing other things (have to pay the bills in the meantime), but it means I’m going to veer away from the Tao of Muppet and make a plan. A big plan, with lots of steps, all laid out in big print that I can’t ignore. And just to amuse myself, as I tick off each step along the way, I’ll take a deep breath and shout:
I’m shouting it now, actually, because the trailer is one of the steps on the Grand Plan. Please feel free to spread the word about it, link to it, like it on YouTube, or even go to my web site to enter a drawing to win awesome new music from The Stone Coyotes, the band that did the trailer; or even a signed ARC of Populazzi.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the trailer, and I’d love to know… have you ever made a Grand Plan in your career or in your personal life? How did it influence how you focused each day? What are your goals, and what do you do to make sure they happen?
It’s a long post this time, I know — thanks for bearing with me, and I look forward to your thoughts!