In terms of qualities for being creative and producing great work (whatever your discipline) there are few more valuable than persistence.
When I first started making films, I read a book about the craft of writing and directing – one of the first lines of the text was:
“A professional filmmaker is just an amateur that didn’t quit”
And therein lies the answer, right?
Taking it on face value, you don’t need to be the most gifted, the most skilled or the most resourceful – but the most tenacious in order to reach the top of your field.
Talent will take you a long way. Skills and resources are also important. But if you give in at the first sign of adversity then you will fail.
Persistence is a world-beater. Simples!
Well not quite… You can’t just persist and expect to succeed.
That’s right. All of those people telling you to just grit your teeth and never give up are only half right.
Why? Well, consider this:
If you kept on running into an abandoned building, do you think you’d eventually demolish it? Or would it just lead to bruises, broken bones and a sore head?
And that is the crux of this matter: You need to be persistent about your goal but not about the method of reaching it.
The best thing to do is experiment to see what techniques and approaches yield the results you are looking for – and if they are not working, introduce change.
Looking at the example above, once we had established that running into the building wasn’t working, knowing that our goal was to demolish the building, we could try other things – such as dynamite, maybe even a wrecking ball.
Persistent in your goal – not in your method.
Without being persistent in the correct way, you can work doggedly for years and years and never get close to what you want to achieve. A huge waste of energy and opportunity.
So remember, persistence is key to succeeding. But, you have to channel that persistence in the correct way. Do that and the chances are that you will achieve the things that you truly want to in life.
“My name is Amir Bazrafshan. I am a filmmaker and currently Head of Production at indie distributors Crabtree Films and soon to be Director at my own business Apricot Creative Video.”