Words of Wisdom from Ava DuVernay
Between creating, building an audience, nurturing your education, dealing with real world problems, dealing with virtual world problems and staying afloat as the Universe evolves much faster than it used to, the life of a storyteller in the 21st century can feel overwhelming at times.
In those moments where I feel overwhelmed, there are exactly two roads I can take; one will make me feel better, and the other one will make me feel absolutely worse.
The first one is to start doing. To take the first practical steps toward creating something, whatever that thing is. To be in action.
The second one is to look at others’ work, and weep and mourn over my lost years and my lack of genius, and money, and network, and possibly Scottish accent.
You might wonder where does Ava DuVernay fit in this story?
Amercian filmmaker Ava DuVernay, who has directed features, documentaries and TV Show episodes in the last three years, shared these words of wisdom during her brilliant Keynote at the Film Independent Forum, where she talked about what prevents us, filmmakers, from making films. (Note that that also works for any soul with the desire of creating anything.)
I clearly remember watching this keynote. I was myself a survivor of dried out creativity and low moral, and DuVernay’s breakthrough moment, when she understood she could keep wishing she had more and never get anything done, or simply start doing with what she had and be in action, was my breakthrough moment six months before. (Only with me, it transformed into a graphic novel).
I believe this to be one of the best words of wisdom that can be shared. There are more of us with too little than too much, if you analyze your world through the lens of the 1%.
So when in doubt, drop the inner conversation feeding paralyzing reasoning, and just do.