Posted by: Kathy Temean | April 4, 2016

Inspiration and Grit For Struggling Artists


Matt Weiner and Jon Hamm

Matthew Weiner Creator of Mad Men talked about his life struggle and gives reassuring life advice over on It is an interesting article, but the bottom line and the one that applies to all of us is below:

It took seven years from the time I wrote Mad Men until it finally got on the screen. I lived every day with that script as if it were going to happen tomorrow. That’s the faith you have to have.

You can’t set a clock for yourself. If you do, you are not a writer.

Hollywood is tough, but I do believe that if you are truly talented, get your material out there, put up with the rejection, and don’t set a time limit for yourself, someone will notice you.

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.

Talk tomorrow,




  1. Hi Kathy

    I can submit for illustrator Sunday tonight . Just let me know what you need . Is it two or three illustrations that follow each other? Anything else?



    • Leila,

      That’s great! Just make sure you include a blurb about yourself. That will make three, so I can keep it going for a while.



      • Ok great. I’ll send these over to you tomorrow.

      • Kathy, I’ve just sent you everything by email. Let me know if you don’t have it. Best, Leila.

  2. I’m working on my submission too Kathy…x I love the feature.

  3. Persistence pays, I’m sure. It’s good to be reminded of that.

    • Pat,

      Thanks for the comment. Sometimes we need a little reminder to keep trudging along.


  4. I read your blog every day. It is always full of helpful info and fun illustrations.

  5. I never get tired of these stories of persistence – thanks for sharing!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: