Hello you beautiful people!

One of the major players in our month of free Self-Management for Actors training we called “SMF-mAy” was the concept of your true north.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, please watch the kick-off vid to that free training series right now. It’s a game changer and the work of setting and continuing to navigate by way of your true north makes all the difference in what you say yes and no to, along your creative path from here forward.

No matter what business you’re in, there’s a time for coming up with ideas, for spitballing concepts, for exploring all the creative ways your story can be told… and during that incredibly fertile and exciting and possibility-filled time, there’s one major rule.

No suits.

In showbiz, what that means is, you’ve got the writers room. It’s where magic happens. It’s a creative incubator for story arcs, brilliant buttons, and the lines audiences remember for a lifetime sometimes.

It’s a safe place.

There are, of course, these people we call “suits.” They’re the network execs. The studio execs. The financiers. The money guys. They are suits. Their zone of genius has NOTHING to do with the kind of “yes, and…” action that happens in the writers room. In fact, these guys are freaked the eff out by the creative process — and by creative storytellers — as a whole. They don’t understand humans who want to build worlds out of words or who want to inhabit other people for a living. This makes no sense to them.

This is why they have to wear suits. They don’t know how to have the same kind of hands-in-the-clay fun that we get to have for a living. That’s okay. Their job has the upside of a steady paycheck and all the privilege we, as artists, don’t often get. So, don’t feel sad for them. They’re FINE. But here’s what they are never invited to do:

Enter the writers room.

While we’re in the writers room spitballing story ideas, we are NOT accepting notes from the network suits. Period.

Yes, OF COURSE there will be a time when we need to be sure we’re on budget, we can get the star we’ve written the scene for, we can actually do that helicopter special effect, or whatever… but DURING the creative idea-weaving part of things is NOT when we take those notes.

I bring this up because I see a lot of creative people shoot down their own brilliant ideas because, “Oh, that’ll be hard,” or, “I won’t be able to afford that,” or, “I don’t know anyone who can help me make that happen,” and so on. Basically, you beautiful creative people have an uncanny knack for becoming your own network suits, and you invite those wet blankets into the writers room at the most crucial part of the creative cultivation process!

Don’t do that!

Don’t shoot down your own brilliance by being pragmatic when it’s not time for pragmatism. That time will come.

Suits eventually DO get to give their notes on whether or not anything the writers have cooked up is actually possible, do-able, on-budget, or even aligned with the network’s politics and agenda. But that meeting happens way LATER. Don’t let any suits — especially not the ones in your own head — mess with the important true north intention-setting I’ve asked you to do.

It’s not time to hear them at that stage.

Now get to spitballin’! There’s a creative dream or ten to craft! ๐Ÿ™‚ The world is counting on you to set your true north and then get on the road to it.

Comments are open just below if you need my help.

All my love,

Bonnie Gillespie autographed the internet

Bonnie Gillespie is living her dreams by helping others figure out how to live theirs. Wanna work with Bon? Start here. Thanks!

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  1. Guy Whitlock June 11, 2019 at 6:11 am

    Hey Bonnie!
    โ€œNo suits…โ€ You just shared a zinger of laser rightness! Great insight! As my father use to say, โ€œNothing ventured; nothing gained.โ€
    Stay Blessed!

  2. Sarah Dolan June 11, 2019 at 6:31 am

    I need to read this once a week. Historically, family has been the biggest suits. I suppose they mean well and are driven by fear, but it can be tough blocking that out.

    1. Bonnie Gillespie June 11, 2019 at 8:04 am

      Hoo boy! Yeah, give them the time and place that their fear is going to be heard so you can brace yourself for their worldview… and definitely don’t give them room to connect with your artist as she makes big plans for you! ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. Tonya Kay June 11, 2019 at 10:00 am

    Yes, to this. Yes, yes, yes.

  4. Sean Frost June 15, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    Lurrrrrve this post, Bonnie! Thank you!

  5. Ellis June 20, 2022 at 11:46 pm

    Thanks Bonnie! Needed to read this right now. ๐Ÿ™๐Ÿพ

    1. Bonnie Gillespie July 7, 2022 at 10:14 pm

      I’m so glad it landed right on time for you, Ellis! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you.

  6. Aimee June 21, 2022 at 2:31 pm

    Need some Wooo help pushing past the suits to move things along to a greenlit. Any suggestions?

    1. Bonnie Gillespie June 21, 2022 at 2:59 pm

      Yes! Saturday (Saturn’s Day) is great for boundaries. So is Saturn’s Hour during any of the other days. It’s going to be much easier to keep those suits out of the writers room when Daddy Saturn is behaving as the doorman while you work on your project. ๐Ÿ™‚

      In my less-woo advice territory, I’d suggest having “Suits O’Clock” — a time of day that is dedicated to “network notes,” so when you TELL the suits to back off while you’re in the creative cave, you can assure the suits there IS a time to connect and get that feedback, just not NOW. Sure enough, when we practice showing up for that notes session, the suits have a LOT less to say and they do very little damage to the creative process because they’re not interrupting it.

      Other Saturn Chart Harmony options include anything you can abstain from, going on a fast, vow of silence, using cannabis, holding obsidian, doing a digital detox… anything we have on the BLACK DAY list of collectibles, basically.

      You’ve got this, Aimee!

      1. Aimee June 21, 2022 at 4:51 pm

        I guess what Iโ€™m really looking for is how to move forward to the greenlight when theyโ€™re not giving me notes and saying they love it but then also walking away.

        1. Bonnie Gillespie June 21, 2022 at 5:07 pm

          The “suits” are the inner critic that barges in while you’re in the creative process. ๐Ÿ™‚ That’s what we’re taming with this work. Does that make sense? They tell you all the ways it can’t be done and interrupt your flow. Those are the suits we need to tame, so we can stay our brilliant, creative selves without disruption.

  7. Aimee pitta June 21, 2022 at 10:42 pm

    Got it

  8. Zipporah Shunise June 22, 2022 at 1:50 am

    Thank you Bonnie!
    I really appreciate this message.
    Girrrrlll this reminder alone was everything: โ€œDonโ€™t shoot down your own brilliance by being pragmaticโ€ฆ.โ€
    This is a mouthful and huge, especially for people like me โ€” born into a family of paranoia! Iโ€™m growing through this deep rooted negative outlook and becoming more open to seeing, affirming, accepting and boldly operating in my brilliance; all along the way consistently doing my best to release the need to fall back into the learned space of self-sabotage.

    Thank you for always being bad-ass, bold, beautiful, inspirational person!

    1. Bonnie Gillespie June 22, 2022 at 10:54 am

      Aw, you’re so welcome, Z! Absolutely, when we’re taught to be realistic… um… it kind of kills our creative spirit in some ways. We were born to create worlds that didn’t exist! What the heck does reality have to do with that?!? ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for your comments. I so appreciate you!


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