|SkyJump: Jumping 740ft into Auckland City traffic should have been the hardest thing I've ever done...|
|A screen full of horseshite ...much more scary|
For the past three years I've been working to get back into journalism. After a ten years break, trying to re-enter has been terrifying and humbling...and sometimes humiliating. I've started in a new country with few contacts and no influence. My initial emails and calls went largely unreturned even from the tiniest local newspaper in New Zealand. I'm still clueless how not to take it personally.
And like many women I'm a bit of a perfectionist so I tend not to take on something unless I can give it my all (or is that more fear of failing?) and the whatifitsawful is a damning tape always playing.(Blogging helps that a bit because you'd never post anything if you keep primping, though I'm often tempted to press the delete button.)
Since Christmas when I had the germ of an idea, I've written 20,000 words of a novel (at least 85,000 words are needed apparently) Cy, nine, is impressed "All those words!" he says. "But are they the right words?" I grumble. And then I wander into the abyss of: Even if I finish it, will I find an agent, publisher, readers...? Every day I plot to give up. But I don't, mostly because I have little else going on in the career side of things.
A seminal moment for me was reading the fabulously funny "Be Wrong As Fast As You Can" a New York Times piece about how successful people are the ones who can drive though the mucky middle of a project - the ugly, messy, lookslikeabloodybomb middle.
Editor Hugo Lindgren recounts all the ideas he's had, including a Mama Mia-esque rock opera and a sitcom set in Brooklyn that inverts "I Love Lucy," some of which sparked a flurry of emails from Hollywood but in the end never go anywhere, while his lazy, less creative friends got things made. Everything looks bad when you first write it: "I was surprised how mortally embarrassed it can be writing something nobody else will read." Ideas and dialogue that are vivid and genius in your head are inert and alien on the page. Luxurious abstraction sinks into mediocrity and it takes work to pull your project out of that.
John Lasseter, a founder of Pixar (which is just down the road so I feel I know him) said "Every Pixar film was the worst motion picture ever made at one time or another....People don't believe it but it's true."
I found more inspiration today with Cy's book report on Stuart Little, the little mouse that could: "T is for tofness, never giveing up"
|Cy's book report on Stuart Little, the mouse with "sofnifogent braverey"|
What are you afraid of? How has it stopped you doing things - or are you working to make sure it doesn't?