I am currently 62 hours away from being done with my IndieGoGo campaign for Tales of the Sword, Episode Two: “The Scarlet Stalker.” We started with a goal of $6,000 and we’re at $825 right now. I’m very thankful for all the wonderful people in my life who donated, but last night I started feeling down. Why?
Well, Nathan Fillion and Alan Tudyk started their IndieGoGo campaign for Con Man. In a day and a half, they have managed to raise $1.2 Million (give or take a couple hundred thousand). It’s not surprising. In fact, my little fan girl squeed with the rest of geekdom and I’m going to donate as soon as I have some funds. This donation is coming from both the desire to see them create lots of content, but also because I want to get access to their production blog so (as a professional) I can see how they run their project. They are stars that have a rabid fanbase. They are great actors and have a really exciting webseries. I’m happy for them, and for me as an audience member who will get to see their creation.
But the creator in me was super jealous. For just a second. But only for a second, because I’ve done a lot of personal work on this and I have already come to realize what jealousy really is for me. Behind the “I want what they have” grabby feeling is really longing, sadness, and doubt.
I came across this picture of ‘the green-eyed monster’ (jealousy) on the internet and couldn’t find an attributive tag, but it really summed up visually what I was feeling:
When I’m feeling jealous, really what’s happening inside is that I have a longing for something good to also happen for me. I am sad that I am not where I want to be with my own project. But the kicker is I am feeling doubt. The doubt comes from those moments of doubting my project is as interesting/wonderful as the other person’s project. It’s doubting my ability to really do justice to my own work. But it goes deeper than just the project… These sorts of feelings attack us where we live.
My feelings are really about whether or not I’m loved.
This may seem illogical, but often we are equating our work getting funded with people valuing and loving us. But only we can decide we are loved and it’s enough; no one can do that for us. So we have to take this emotional response and return it to its more realistic state.
It’s really hard to reframe and think that funding really IS about the project and a billion variables, none of which have anything to do with us being loveable or worthy.
So I kick myself a little and then I sit back and look at the reality of things. Nathan and Alan have been where I am now. They even talked about it in their interview with i09.
Most all of us who don’t have a show-biz family or aren’t independently wealthy have to start out somewhere. We hold down the day jobs. We do creative work when and where we can. We keep hoping and we don’t give up. And for some, that is eventually rewarded. But we wouldn’t have it any other way; we are committed to living creative lives and trying to make that work financially.
Today as I am winding down my campaign, I am thankful that I can be doing this at the level that I am, learning, making mistakes, and hopefully making content people will love. I don’t believe in a world of scarcity, so I think there is enough for all of us to get what we need. I will be cheering on Alan and Nathan and hoping that one day, they’ll be cheering me on as well.