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My Advice to Myself for 2013

by Emon Hassan on January 1, 2013

Instead of bullshitting myself with a list of resolutions this year, I’ll give myself some advice so when I come to a point in 2013 where I can’t remind myself who I am supposed to be, or what I’m supposed to be doing, I’ll come back here.

  1. Unburden yourself from your regrets. Let them go. They’ll never allow you to be happy. And they are a great recipe for future regrets. They want to be let go and you’re just holding them back to feel sorry for yourself. Don’t be that person.
  2. Be hard on yourself when it comes to your art and craft. Be a Jiro of your craft.
  3. Trust your instincts. It has not failed you. Trust your gut. It has not failed you. Which leads to…
  4. Take on projects that scare you a little. Take on projects even if others may be convinced won’t have an audience. Take on projects that are not topical.
  5. You’ve decided to call yourself a storyteller so stop trying to make the profession palatable for others. Most of them won’t know what it means or why storytelling means so much to you, but they’ll get your passion for it. Again, be like Jiro.
  6. Listen, your voice in storytelling is emerging – not just my opinion – but you need to be bold, daring, and explore farther. But don’t try to duplicate success of one project with another. It’s stupid. Every project is starting fresh. Every project needs a new set of tools. Make your tools work for you, not the other way around.
  7. Remember, people love to be told stories. They’ll pause their lives to give your story a chance. They have a thousand other things they could be doing than be your audience. Be respectful of their time. They need to trust your honesty in telling stories.
  8. Remind yourself why you’re in the storytelling business, because circumstances will sometimes make you doubt your existence. You’re doing this because you love to tell stories. Your product has to be very good and a result of your hard work and dedication. You can’t do it because of money, or fame. Although both will tempt you in taking a left on Mediocre Ave. Don’t fall for that shit. Or I’ll have to give you a kick in the ass.
  9. Dedication, discipline, and diet. Remember these three things that will make you a better storyteller.
  10. About working with people. Most professionals will be horrified by what I’m about to say : be picky about who you work for, work with, or work around. Don’t associate with hacks, phonies, and assholes. However, if you do find yourself in such a position, you and I both agree that the work at hand should still be given 100% and never less. You’ve been good about that. Don’t change.
  11. Life experience is a school we can’t quit. Take from it what works for your life and for your work. Discard the rest. Don’t forget there’s a life outside of work that needs to be lived. Take Maurice’s advice, “Live your life, Live your life, Live your life”.

Bonus advice: You’re a good person with a good heart. Don’t let anyone fuck it up. Have a great 2013!

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