Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Two Things I Needed To Hear (And So Maybe You Need To Too)

Two Things I Needed To Hear (And Maybe You Do Too)
Last week, I listened to the Off-Camera Podcast with Sam Jones. The podcast is interviews with actors, not something I typically listen to. I listened, however, because Modern Mrs. Darcy recommended the interview with Connie Britton.

I love Connie Britton. I am the least likely person to enjoy a tv show about football, but I was a huge fan of Friday Night Lights. I’m also a really unlikely audience for Nashville, but I started watching it last year (albeit somewhat guiltily, it can be a little soap opera-y). Connie Britton will just do that to you.

My love of Connie only deepened after listening to the interview. She’s very relatable, she’s from Lynchburg, Virginia, a town where I’ve spent some time, and she adopted a son from Ethiopia. We’re practically twins.

She was talking about how early on she was concerned about differentiating herself from other actors. She mentioned something another actor had said to her. It was: Say you have pencils and you’re trying to sell them. Eventually, someone is going to come along and want the particular pencil you’re trying to sell.

It’s pretty banal advice, as advice goes.But as someone who struggles with seeing her work as yellow #2 in a sea of brightly adorned pencils, it was just what I needed to hear. You don’t have to work to make yourself stand out. You just have to work and keep doing what you’re doing – being you. Someone who is looking for what you have to say will find you.

It’s an oddly reassuring analogy, right?

That brings me to the second thing. I’ve been writing a lot lately. For me, reading and writing go in tandem. If I want to write well, I need to read well and often. But I’ve felt guilty reading during the daytime when things are piling up around me.

Then I heard Gretchen Rubin say that there are certain tasks that she considers to be a “billable hour.” Strictly speaking, there is no client who gets the bill but she considers the task so fundamental that she can mentally “write it off” in this fashion.

This was freeing for me. I can read – I just need to charge that time (to someone else)!

Both of these tidbits are random but they resonated with me. Maybe they will for you too.

Happy Wednesday!

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