A 22-year-old says, “Hey, I’ve fully tried every religion and philosophy there is. How come I can’t find Ultimate Reality or inner peace?”
Notice how on the Roadrunner cartoon the coyote only tries each costly contraption once.
Trying hard at everything could mean not giving the right things enough time and space to work. By time, I mean consistency—consistent learning, practice, delivery… And by space, I mean resourcefulness—keeping specifics open to modifications in terms of exactly how, where, with whom… Continue reading
You’ve been sitting at a railway station, watching others come and go on trains. But you’re not really sure where you’re headed.
It doesn’t matter why everyone else seems sure. And you might never be. That’s ok.
The unbearable feeling of wasting life brings pressure just jump on any train. Continue reading
And that would apply to all writing and characterization. Don’t take your first draft too seriously.
I believe characterization is everything in fiction. Seeing your characters come to life is what keeps you and your readers glued to the story.
So once your initial draft is done, I’d recommend going over it however many times it takes . . . editing/adjusting/adding/subtracting . . . until you can read the whole thing aloud and be happy with it. It’s during that process that you’ll really come to know your characters.
A character that’s most unlike you can be the most fun to write. I say push the boundaries. Freely explore exactly what makes you uncomfortable. Practice naturally building tension between your character’s ways and your own point of view. That natural tension can serve your story incredibly well.
Anger can do two things—one harmful, one helpful—both of which bring you fully into the present moment.
Anger sets your focus on how you wish things were right now. It fuels itself on what you feel is unfair or wrong with your current situation.
But acting on that anger could conflict with what you want in the long run . . . especially if how things are right now isn’t ultimately that important.
Anger can also heighten your intuition and instincts. If you ever have to fight for anything in your career (or elsewhere), anger can be a great source of power to draw from.
So, should you be brought fully into the present moment?
If you truly believe your dream is your potential to reach, then every attempt at figuring out how can be a lesson. You’re never certain that whatever you’re trying is exactly the right thing to do. But belief in your dream and potential shows up as resourcefulness . . . trying everything feasible/viable/advisable/imaginable, learning, and always moving forward toward your overarching (yet often practically unclear) vision.
The task is daunting if that’s what you’re focused on (especially once you’re done blasting through your first draft). But let creating that which is in you to create make you the artist you see yourself potentially becoming. That’s how to keep the fire of vision burning long after the joy of plot cools to tedium in the space of countless re-re-re-edits.
Either this is who you are . . . or don’t bother.
The offspring of doubt is motionlessness.
And by that I don’t mean peaceful stillness, but anxious paralysis watching progress being stifled.
Doubt’s parents are perfection and certainty. Continue reading
Your life is the time you have, and that time keeps going by no matter what.
So the question becomes: Why spend your time now on what’s difficult and uncomfortable only to maybe earn something more enjoyable later? Continue reading
If you could ask the Earth to tell you about itself, what would it describe?
Would it mention oceans? Mountains? Trees? Bugs? Lava? Microbes? Atoms?
Could there ever be an end to the describing, when you’d know all there is to know? Continue reading
Once Rocky wins the title (in Rocky II), he finds out his trainer has been fixing easy fights to keep him safe.
He then loses the championship, his trainer dies, and he’s left completely broken and filled with self-doubt. Continue reading
Be aware of what’s filling it. And that’s it.
Experiences and emotions occur in moments; but then your ego tells you stories to keep them going.
Your ego rehearses things like wrongs done against you, treasured memories, and really anything that either props up or deflates your sense of worth or self. Continue reading
The unclear dividing line for me is between things I have no natural ability for and things I’m afraid to just step up and try.
I’m not practical by nature, that’s for sure. I have no sense of territory, organization, or how to work a room or situation to my favor.
I’ll walk unaware past signs of obvious danger, my head tucked hopelessly up in the clouds . . . probably considering some unusual idea for a story I might be working on. Continue reading
I’ve felt that way at times: as though I’ve wasted my best, most precious years.
I’ve watched friends and loved ones move forward in ways I can’t even understand. It’s as if they’ve all got something figured out I don’t; and I’m stuck spinning, going nowhere, getting older… Continue reading
Authentic consistency (or consistent authenticity).
The short-term problem with being/showing exactly what you are/have is it’s not a tactic at all. It never persuades the disinterested who won’t connect with your opinions and values. Continue reading
The way to focus (and refocus, and re-refocus…) on your life purpose begins with the general and then moves to the specific.
Who are you?
Don’t see your purpose as a job or task to complete. Don’t even see it as part of your identity: “I’m a __________.” Continue reading
Change your perspective on your own potential and on the people in your life.
Learn to focus on potential instead of whatever’s keeping you from it. Continue reading
The whole world isn’t really against you; but important people in your world might be, perhaps by not affirming or supporting you in a direction you want to go.
Here are 2 steps of not reacting (how to do nothing): Continue reading
I usually don’t get this specific—a writer writing to writers about writing—but try to focus more on general ideas, like discovering and bringing your value, building relationships, etc.
So this might be fun today : )
And I’m sure what I share will apply to finding success in any creative field. Continue reading
When I was 20, I worked in this horrible little closet turned toner vat, basically breathing ink dust all day while recycling old printer cartridges.
I was thrilled when my boss had the brilliant idea to send me out with a stack of cash to go buy used cartridges from businesses nearby.
I hit the streets flashing massive grins, shaking slews of hands, and trying to amplify my voice and pitches to a superhuman level of charm. This went on for weeks. Continue reading
Let’s say I woke up this morning and somehow knew that all my goals would be instantly achieved if I could just get to my chair and turn on the computer.
That would mean the potential value I hope to bring the world would be brought, received, and undeniably impactful; it would mean all my relationships would be strong and deep; it would mean I’d no longer face even the compulsion to get angry, to eat badly, to sleep little, to drink too much, or . . . to go get high.
What an incredible motivation that would be! Continue reading