Originally Posted by BrewBillfold
All the posts after the one I'm responding to had very good advice and accurate comments, imo. Just two things I'd add:
(1) You need to develop a goal list, and there needs to be three parts to it: (a) long term goals--where you want to be in five years say, (b) intermediate goals--what would be about "halfway" to your long term goals, and (c) immediate, short term goals--steps you need, and more importantly that you CAN take from TODAY to a few weeks from now to get closer to your intermediate goals. Don't just think about this. You need to literally write it out with headings of "long term goal(s)", etc., and you need to regularly look at it and make sure that you're working on it.
Your goal list will need to be periodically reassesssed, for two reasons: one, your goals might change a bit as you go along, and two, at least the intermediate and short term goals are going to change as you work on them--you'll realize and/or figure out better things you need to do to get to your longer term goals. I'd reassess it, writing out a new one, between every three to six months. Don't reassess/rewrite it too often. If, within six months, you would believe that you don't need a new goal list yet, you really do, because that means that you haven't progressed on the short term goals--you either didn't make them short term enough, you didn't make them things that you can definitely achieve now, or you haven't been working on it, so you'd need to come up with something that you really would do, that you really have the motivation for. Obviously your short term goals can't be things like "get a record contract". They need to be things that you can do, or begin doing, TODAY, without having to bank on being lucky, or someone doing something unusual to help you, etc.
(2) This should be part of your short term goals, and pretty much a persistent part of it if you want to make a living in an arts or entertainment field, but it bears stressing it on its own: You should ALWAYS be working on making and maintaining contacts in the industry. At first it's not likely to be anyone too important in the industry, because you're just not going to be able to get in touch with them. You have to work your way up. It's important to not burn any bridges, and it's important to try to keep continuing, healthy relationships with everyone you've networked with so far, even if they do not seem important in the industry now--they might be in the future. It's important to do this even when it seems like you're doing most of the work of maintaining the relationship and keeping it amicable--otherwise, again, you could burn a bridge that's going to cost you down the road. Success in arts & entertainment industries comes largely from successful networking, and on the flipside of that, no matter how talented you might be, if you do not network well, do not socialize well, if you're difficult to get along with or work with (to put it politely), chances are that you're going to hurt yourself and before too long, you'll probably be out of work altogether.