‘I was paralyzed by how behind I felt’ –Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner

Matthew Weiner shares advice, encouragement to struggling artists

“The greatest regret I have is that, early in my career, I showed myself such cruelty for not having accomplished anything significant. I spent so much time trying to write, but was paralyzed by how behind I felt.”

ap289441050Fast Company has a excerpt from the book Getting There: A Book of Mentors, by Gillian Zoe Segal, in which Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner tells his story and offers some advice for struggling artists.

I found that the last few paragraphs, in particular, were great. You can read that below. You can read the full excerpt at Fast Company: “‘MAD Men’ Creator Matthew Weiner’s Reassuring Life Advice For Struggling Artists. The book Getting There: A Book of Mentors Hardcover by Gillian Zoe Segal is out now.

The most defeatist thing I hear is, “I’m going to give it a couple of years.” You can’t set a clock for yourself. If you do, you are not a writer. You should want it so badly that you don’t have a choice. You have to commit for the long haul. There’s no shame in being a starving artist. Get a day job, but don’t get too good at it. It will take you away from your writing.

The greatest regret I have is that, early in my career, I showed myself such cruelty for not having accomplished anything significant. I spent so much time trying to write, but was paralyzed by how behind I felt. Many years later I realized that if I had written only a couple of pages a day, I would’ve written 500 pages at the end of a year (and that’s not even working weekends). Any contribution you make on a daily basis is fantastic. I still happen to write almost everything at once, but I now cut myself slack on all of the thinking and procrastination time I use. I know that it’s all part of my creative process.

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