In a “get unstuck” session I had recently with the multi-talented Jamie Lee Scott, screenwriter and author of Let Us Prey, about a TV sitcom pilot she’s been working on, she mentioned that she kept bumping into the thought: “In the real world, that wouldn’t happen.”
In response, I helped her devise a way she could USE that objection. I had her make a list of how things work in the “real world” and then brainstorm what could happen instead in “sitcom world.” It was freeing for her to USE her doubts and concerns rather than trying to find her way around them.
Turns out, those objections were darned useful.
Get out of your own way
I think your biggest job is to get out of your own way so you can do what you were put here to do, whether it’s writing, painting, healing, speaking, coaching, creating, or some other beautiful way that you’re sharing yourself in the world.
A big part of the way I help you do that work is helping you address your fears, doubts, unsupportive questions, and inner critic’s rants — to reframe those messages and beliefs into more supportive thinking so you can carry on fulfilling your life’s calling.
It’s also worth knowing WHEN to listen to those voices of doubt and HOW to use them.
Wisdom from Walt
Walt Disney used three separate work spaces to develop his projects: One each for the dreamer, the realist, and the critic. The critic wasn’t allowed to speak in the other rooms.
A wonderful neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) technique based on Walt’s wisdom is to walk your project through each stage of development, first taking it to the dreamer, then to the realist (the planner) and finally to the critic. When you reach the critic’s room, the critic is only allowed to ask constructive questions.
The dreamer decides
And the critic is not allowed to answer the questions.
That’s the dreamer’s job.
The realist gets to help too, once it’s her turn again.
This or something better
This is when it’s useful to listen to those inner voices of doubt — when you’re ready, willing, and able to use them and turn them into something better.
On Monday I talked to my screenwriting mentor, Chris, about my latest project. I told him, “It’s good but not great. It’s slow, the world-building isn’t there yet. It’s not a contest winner.” I wasn’t being negative, though it may sound like it. I was in an objective state, standing outside my work and looking at it. By brainstorming together, I got kick-started down a path that I’m even more excited about. Tons of new ideas have been cascading as a result.
The reason? The DREAMER solved the problem — brainstorming is dreaming — coming up with new ideas, looking at things from new perspectives, and being willing to shift in new directions as needed.
Put it into practice
With any creative project, there will always be doubt. Hesitation. A chance to turn back, to do it differently.
What if you took those hesitations — those objections — and used them to make your work even better?
Share your thoughts. I always love to hear from you.
~> THIS THURSDAY: June 7th. Last day to register for the next 4-week session of my “Just Do The Writing” Accountability Circle. For serious writers and for writers who want to get serious about their writing. http://JustDoTheWriting.com
~> Ongoing. Mentoring with screenwriter Chris Soth through ScreenwritingU.
~> Fall. Heading to Hollywood for a ScreenwritingU event to meet with producers and agents.
~> Sacred writing time. Early mornings and Fridays.
~> Reading Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix now. Still have to get my hands on (500) Days of Summer — Zara said so.