I've been in a writing jam lately. The Epic In Progress (The E.I.P, not to be confused with E.I.N), has nagged me, even though I intentionally put the entire mess on the closet shelf. That's right. All notes, printed pages and other roughness is right there in a big red accordion file. Now that the Spring semester is in full swing, I knew I wouldn't look at the E.I.P for a bit. But, still, there it is, nag, nag, nag.
The problem started with my decision to re-write the prologue in another p.o.v. I mentioned my block in the previous blog. Two of my friends, Stevie P. and Erica O. (that sounds so diva-ish), suggested it's not me, it's the E.I.P. Erica suggested brainstorming with a friend.
Saturday, while searching for her phone number, my girlfriend Marcia Colette called me. Yes, it was a Twilight Zone moment. Oh what a relief! After we bantered about this and that, I changed conversation-gears, and said, "I know why I can't move forward with my Epic," and I proceeded to unload the reasons. Never missing a beat (she rarely misses anything) Marcia said, "You have got to put that all behind you and get on with it."
If that conversation took place face to face, her face would have been in mine. Finger jabbing my chest - I felt it over the microwave. Damn, she's one powerful babe! And as if we were face to face, we brainstormed; I laid out my thoughts for the new prologue to her; she said something like, "Yes! That'll work!" and that afternoon, I sat down and wrote it. Just like that. But...
there was a prelude to Saturday. Is it possible the Universe can read emails? I know if I speak out loud, I get results, but an email request? This past Friday I said in an email to Erica O., "Now if only I could wrap my brain around the actual writing of it... It'll come. I have faith. It'll come."
The next day, Bam! Phone call with Marcia; me sitting down and writing.
I'm a huge believer that when there's something you need, say it out loud. And now I'm thinking that writing the wish had the same impact. I told Erica, albeit in an e-mail, that I had faith. I believed it would come. It did, with a little help from Marcia.
See how the Universe is? Always there, whether you believe in it or not.
It continued to amaze me. Last night I watched an interview on 60 Minutes of Chris Martin, lead singer of Coldplay. He said about his group, "We rely more on enthusiasm than actual skill. Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically and people will like it more." Steve Kroft, CBS correspondent conducting the interview, said that the group is "confident that they are not yet as good as they are going to be."
I can't stop thinking about Chris Martin's statement. It's had an overwhelming impact on my psyche ever since, provoking thought. Enthusiasm the higher power over skill. And I'm confident that after digging into the Epic just one more time, that I'm "...not yet as good as" I'm going be.
Always strive for greatness; do so with complete enthusiasm. "People will like it more." Could that be because true writing comes with gut gusto? I think so, and feel that the root of my recent block was forgetting to just let go. Forget about the skill, whether you're sentences are the correct structure, or if the world's going to like your work. Keep focus on what matters - the passion in you. It'll breed greatness, I believe.
And when the going gets bogged down, it's always best to reach out for a lifeline. In my case, they found me - Stevie P., Erica O. and the lovely ass-kicker, Marcia.
Do you find you're sometimes forgoing enthusiasm/passion for skill? Have you had any "Cue the Twilight Zone Music" moments you'd care to share?