There are only a few filmmakers that I follow religiously. Ava Duvernay happens to be one of them. A woman with an inspirational story, Duvernay is the director of the amazing documentary 13th, the up and coming masterpiece, A Wrinkle in Time, the film Selma, and one of my favorite shows (when I actually do watch TV), Queen Sugar.
Ava Duvernay's 13th
The unique aspect of Duvernay -- that I greatly admire -- is that she did not make her directorial debut until she was in her 30s. If I'm not mistaken, it was mid-30s. Seriously, just think about that for a second. A woman who is now directing a major motion picture that exceeds over $100 million started about ten years ago. TEN.
This tells me a few things. For one, it says that it's never too late to do anything. Most people give up before they start simply because they believe that they're too behind everyone else. Nope. Not true.
It also tells me that this woman is full of wisdom, and I need to pay attention. Trust me, I do. In fact, here's a quote that she often says that I hold near and dear to me:
It means nothing to walk around crying about how you want to be a writer when you don't write. It makes no sense to feel depressed that you're not a fashion designer when you don't even go home from your day job and design clothes. Where's the logic in wanting to be a music composer for video games when you don't work on composing music? If you're waiting for a major publisher, a venture capitalist, music deal -- whatever it is, here's what Duvernay is saying:
Stop waiting. Create like no one is watching but you.
Stop waiting for people to tell you that you're on the right track. Stop waiting to jump into a project with all of your heart. Stop waiting to fulfill your own destiny. Stop waiting for validation.
No one is saying to turn investors down if they shall come your way; however, you should continue to work as if no one is watching at all. Get lost in the pure joy of the project. Who knows what will come out of all that love you're putting into the atmosphere. But until then, create your own opportunity and be happy with your small beginnings. Your small wins.
Stop waiting for permission with your creative projects. Get started. You never know where it will lead.