#Trust30 – prompt#7 – Dare
Our arts, our occupations, our marriages, our religion, we have not chosen, but society has chosen for us. We are parlour soldiers. We shun the rugged battle of fate, where strength is born.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Next to Resistance, rational thought is the artist or entrepreneurs worst enemy. Bad things happen when we employ rational thought, because rational thought comes from the ego. Instead, we want to work from the Self, that is, from instinct and intuition, from the unconscious.
A child has no trouble believing the unbelievable, nor does the genius or the madman. Its only you and I, with our big brains and our tiny hearts, who doubt and overthink and hesitate.”
- Steven Pressfield, Do the Work
The idea of “being realistic” holds all of us back. From starting a business or quitting a job to dating someone who may not be our type or moving to a new place – getting “real” often means putting your dreams on hold.
Today, let’s take a step away from rational thought and dare to be bold. What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to accomplish but have been afraid to pursue? Write it down. Also write down the obstacles in your way of reaching your goal. Finally, write down a tangible plan to overcome each obstacle.
The only thing left is to, you know, actually go make it happen. What are you waiting for?
(Author: Matt Cheuvront)
I won’t bore you with my lists of goals and obstacles or tangible plan (if I manage to format one) but what I find interesting about this prompt – other than I totally agree – is that I usually pride myself in being rational. It is something I have constantly strived for, mostly because everything can go off the rails so suddenly, so it is best to plan to be as rational as possible ahead of time.
And this does block me, especially if I am attempting to write from a rational perspective; such as, I need to write a romantic comedy next, because that is what sells…that’s what I spent the bulk of 2007 doing, with no pitch-able romantic comedy to now show for it. This is the brick wall I come back to time and time again. It is obviously a tough lesson for me to learn. I must have 5 rom coms shelved at this point, including one I still work on sporadically. I like to think that I am now a strong enough writer to create in almost any genre, but boredom really factors for me, and if I am bored for sure the reader will be as well!!
So while I do think there is a strong argument for learning rules and structure (I am certainly big on structure) – be they for screenwriting or novels or shorts – but, once you are cemented in those rules, I think it is important to try to forget those restrictions as you begin to create a new story.
I am trying to play more, trying to believe in the world I am creating and desperately trying to not judge the writing, because once I attack a new idea rationally I often kill it for myself, even though it could have been great if I had just believed.
So while being rational may be great in relationships, it can be death to creative endeavors.