I was working on an interview for the CanvasRebel website this week, and the question of resilience came up.

The armless Black Knight kicks King Arthur in "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" (1975)
Never mind the odds

Resilience is a key personality trait if you want to be a working screenwriter. A writer at all, actually.

If you try to do creative things professionally, there are going to be quite a few obstacles in your path.

To begin with, a lot of other people want to do the same thing, and the sad truth is that there are only so many jobs. It’s probably not quite as competitive as trying to be an actor or a rock star, but I bet it’s close.

Now, I don’t want to discourage you if you’re just starting out, but you’re going to need to be strong.

I’ve been called stubborn. Like it’s a bad thing (okay, it can be a bad thing). But in this business, stubbornness, or tenacity, is a key characteristic that will give you your best chance for success.

There are going to be times when you get ghosted, when you get passed over, when you get rejected. These are unfortunate, but common experiences.

My most simplistic advice (and yet simultaneously super wise) is to just keep going.

Bearded Forrest keeps on running in "Forrest Gump" (1994)
Run, writer, run

If you take a really big hit, you shouldn’t pretend it didn’t happen and pop right back up. You can stay down for a little while, maybe even wallow for a bit. Eat a pint of Ben and Jerry’s. It might even be a good idea to take some time away from writing so you can clear your head.

But before too long, you’ll need to pull yourself up by your bootstraps (or if you’re not wearing boots, then straps for whatever footwear you happen to be in). And then…

Just. Keep. Going.

I’ve said this before, but the amount of times you get knocked down doesn’t matter, as long as you keep getting up. You can’t have failed if you’re still trying.

Anyway, just wanted to encourage you and say you’re not alone in experiencing roadblocks and letdowns. I’ve experienced plenty myself. And will no doubt experience more. But that’s okay.

Just talking about this has been good for me personally. I feel just a bit invigorated. Hopefully you do as well.

Let’s keep going.


Cover of the graphic novel, "Blowback" (2021)

Jim Hereth‘s latest project is his debut action/adventure graphic novel, Blowback, nominated for Best Original Graphic Novel and winner of Fan Favorite Villain at the Ringo Awards. Available now in digital and paperback editions at Amazon.

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