Are you an aspiring writer who wants to share a story, but you feel scared or embarrassed to put yourself out there? Have you ever doubted yourself if you have the talent to be respected?
Today, we’re talking about how to protect your mindset when taking on a creative endeavor. I’m joined by Vincent M. Ward, an actor most known for his role in The Walking Dead, and author of his new book, The Stepdaddy.
Keep reading to discover how Vincent auditioned 75 times before getting his break!
You can also watch the interview on YouTube below.
Be Patient and Persistent
Vincent moved from Dayton, Ohio to Los Angeles, California 22 years ago to pursue an acting career. He’s acted in hundreds of projects like Oceans 11, and even alongside Queen Latifa and Steve Martin. Now, he’s a grandfather to 14 and the author of his new book, The Stepdaddy.
I deeply believe that every moment you have in life prepares you for the next moment to come. Everyone knows that making it as a creative is not easy, especially as an actor or writer. I asked Vincent what he was most proud of throughout his acting career so far. He said,
“I’m proud of staying. Not moving back and not giving up. A lot of times, when your career isn’t taking off right away, people get frustrated and decide to pack up and move back to where they came from.
Now, I’m in my 22nd year of staying put, having faith and being persistent. I always say, I’m not where I want to be, but I’m now where I used to be either! Stay patient. Stay grounded.”
I always tell everyone that half of the job is just showing up. Whatever you’re doing in life, you just need to show up. People want instant gratification, but good things take time. Perfection takes practice. But everyone has gifts to share and a story to tell.
It’s up to us to use our voice, write our stories and leave a legacy. And shame on you if you don’t! Your life experiences aren’t meant only for you, but to help others, too.
Thank Your Haters
What I love about Vincent is his courage to tell the truth. In the acknowledgements of The Stepdaddy, he says thank you to:
“My haters, doubters, and liars for keeping a smile on my face and making me work harder so you can hate me more… If you don’t believe in yourself, then how can you expect others to believe in you?”
Vincent said his pastor Bishop Jones always said, “If you don’t have any haters, then you’re not doing anything.” He continues on,
“People will hate on you if you’re nice, and they’ll hate on you if you’re mean. You don’t even have to do anything, and they will hate on you! People will paint their own picture about you.
That’s the problem with social media. People only post the positive and it may seem like bragging, but it’s not. I’m just trying to mentor, teach, preach, and inspire people to get up off their butts and stop procrastinating! Do what you always dreamed about doing.
You can’t just sit there and depend on other people to take your career and life to the next level. Of course, you’re going to need help, but if you don’t make the first move, then it’ll never get done.”
I love Vincent’s perspective on handling haters and being motivated enough to make your dreams a reality. But I wondered where he gets this level of motivation? He said,
“I have 14 grandkids. That’s why I don’t stop. That’s why I keep going. I keep going because I want to leave a legacy for them. I want them to be proud of their Papa. I want them to know that I built something for the kids. I want to leave something for them.”
I know building a legacy motivates most of my writers. I can attest, there’s nothing better than showing up to a room and a telling you how much your words touched them.
That’s why it’s my responsibility as a publisher to publish inspiring stories. I won’t publish everything, and I’ll always give constructive criticism, but all to ensure we are producing the best book possible. That’s why it’s important to have a publisher who believes in you and can provide the teamwork necessary to get the book done right.
Whether you’re an actor, writer, or entrepreneur, the key to success is waking up grateful and constantly showing up. If you do, the results will be there. If you don’t, the results won’t either.
Success Takes Time
Vincent’s new book, The Stepdaddy, is an extraordinary example of the legacy you can build while sharing your story, impacting the lives of others, and seeing your hard work pay off. It’s even in the works to become a movie!
But self-doubt doesn’t discriminate. Self-doubt inflicts everyone. Vincent recalled,
“One time, I was auditioning for voiceovers that I had to drive an hour to and then wait for another 45 minutes. It was my 75th audition and I hadn’t even booked one. I was tired and fed up. I began emailing my manager telling him I didn’t want to audition anymore because I was beginning to feel like I wasn’t talented enough. Before I could press send, they called me into audition, and I had to turn my phone off. I was ready to focus.
15 minutes later, I turned my phone back on and saw a message from my manager. I was so confused because I knew I didn’t send that email yet. He told me to call, so I did. He answered and said, “Congratulations! You booked your first voiceover.” From that moment on, I told myself I would never quit anything in my life. If you want something in life, you must be patient.”
Most people see the fruits of success and forget about the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to get there. As an author, you must give it everything you’ve got. If you don’t go for it, then it won’t get done. Vincent continues on,
“You have to be psychologically strong. Your heads gotta be in the game. You need to stay focused, even when life will try to distract you. Don’t compare yourself or your career to anyone else’s. People may look like they’ve got everything going for them, but they’re barely surviving. Focus on you.”
This was one of my favorite interviews yet. When you get two passionate and creative people together, it’s hard not to feel the energy and get inspired to keep creating! I hope you’ve found as much inspiration in Vincent’s life as I do.
Thanks for checking out this interview and don’t forget to grab your copy of The Stepdaddy, now available on HaloPublishing.com (https://bit.ly/3bAdt09), Amazon (https://amzn.to/3HWU7OL), Barnes & Noble (https://bit.ly/3bwj33v) and Books-a-Million (https://bit.ly/3u1t66Y).
If you’re ready to publish your book, please submit your manuscript on HaloPublishing.com. Or, you can download our free publishing guide to learn everything you need to know about the entire self-publishing process.
Start writing your legacy today!