One of my favorite movies is Bill Murray's What About Bob? While presented in a tongue-in-cheek manner as only Bill Murray can do, beneath the goofiness, this movie has important messages about pushing past our fears and insecurities in order to embrace what life has to offer. For writers, these messages are particularly relevant.
Here are five life (writing) messages we can take away from this movie. My thoughts are first, with the corresponding movie quote in bold italics.
1. We should all have a mantra that keeps us grounded.
(Writers must engage in positive self-talk to maintain the "want to write" not the "have to write".)
I feel good. I feel great. I feel wonderful.
2. Generally speaking, people are people are people.(Writers, aspiring to multi-published, struggle with the same issues: creative dry spells, costs of marketing, time spent on promotion, surviving edits, etc.)
I have problems the same as you.
3. In the business of day-to-day living, we tend to dwell on negatives rather than celebrate positives.
(Writing is more than putting pencil to paper or fingers to keyboard. Writing is overwhelmingly mental: thinking, planning, ruminating ideas, staring out the window. Give your “I must reach my daily word count a break, or it will break your creative spirit over time.)
Take a vacation from your problems.
4. When our problems seem insurmountable, we should step back and just breathe to regain perspective.
(Writing/Publishing/Marketing/Promoting, to paraphrase Marty Robbins, can seem like “a mountain we may never climb”. Set reasonable, manageable, doable goals.)
So what you’re telling me is that I’m all tied up inside...baby steps untie your knots.
5. We tend to complicate the issues in our lives by over-thinking, when the core of the problem is really quite simple and straight-forward.
(Write. Publish. Repeat.)
There are two types of people in this world: Those who like Neil Diamond, and those who don't.
So, the next time the Vigilante Riders of Self-Doubt show up in the middle of the night at your metaphorical writing door of insecurity, just remember…
Life and writing are really about just taking one positive Baby Step at a time.
Until next time,
Twitter - @kayespencer