The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Monday, August 23, 2010

Applying "writer's block" principles to life

In the most recent radio show, we discussed writer’s block, and a request was made to relate the same basic patterns to the arenas of relationship and physical fitness/health. In order to do this, let’s first break down the pattern so it can be related across disciplines. And we’ll relate that to the flow of the Hero’s Journey.
1) Hero confronted with a challenge.
a: To be a published writer, supporting oneself primarily through the work.
b: to have a lean, healthy body that matches one’s own standards of attractiveness.
c: to find a healthy, supportive, passionate relationship.

2) Rejection of the challenge.
a: Fear that we aren’t talented enough. Or that the market is too restrictive. That we haven’t time, energy, or support.
b: Fear that losing weight will make us more vulnerable, or attract the wrong attention. Fear that if we have more energy, it will just be stolen from us. Fear that we are too old, lack the knowledge, that it will take too much time, or haven’t the genetic potential.
c: Fear that intimacy will just cause pain. That there aren’t enough men/women available. That we cannot trust our own judgement.

3) Acceptance of the challenge
a) Decision to become writer, despite the problems.
b) Decision to develop the healthiest, sexiest, most energetic body we are genetically capable of having with three hours exercise per week. (If you think you really can’t spend 1/60th of your time caring for your body, you’re lying to yourself)
c) Decision to find and/or nurture a healthy, juicy, heart-healing relationship. To become the kind of person who can attract such.

4) Road of trials.
a) writing two stories a month, sending them for publication, and reading 10X what you write.
b) adopting a simple, basic program of exercise AND dietary control (until people are ready to actually lose weight, they will do one OR the other) and measuring the results.
c) Defining your perfect partner, and what that partner’s perfect partner would be. Moving slowly and steadily in that direction. Performing meditations and exercises designed to increase self-love.

5) Allies and Powers
a) Find teachers, role models, writing groups, editors, critics and others to support your goals. Expand vocabulary, focus, clarity, poetics, knowledge of human nature.
b) Find teachers, role models, exercise and/or eating support groups, and friends who will support your goals. Learn more about what people have done to improve their physical health and fitness--and how they did it.
c) Find people who have found lasting love and partnership. They have different values and beliefs from those who do not. Take different actions. Learn what they are, and begin to change your life.

6) Confront Evil-fail
a) Learn techniques for dealing with writer’s block and rejection slips.
b) Learn to identify the patterns of promise-breaking and diet-busting. You will ABSOLUTELY “fail” as you try to lose weight. Everyone does. The trick is getting back in the groove as quickly as possible and learning swiftly.
c) See above.

7) Dark Night of the Soul
a) Learn to identify the negative voices warning you, criticizing you, weakening you. ANY negative voice that weakens you is not your friend.
b) See above
c) See above

8) Leap of Faith
a) Have faith in something larger than yourself. Commit your actions to this cause. Believe that there is a deeper source of strength within you than you have ever known. Identify members of family or friends who can be trusted not only to support you, but hold you to your highest good.
b) See above
c) See above

9) Confront Evil--succeed
a) Celebrate!
b) Celebrate!
c) Celebrate!

10) The Student Becomes the Teacher
a) In your writing, help people understand the process of failure and success, as you understand it.
b) When you create a healthier body, show it off! Tell people your story. Tell the truth.
c) When you are in love, let it shine. Warm others with your light. Show them the path from loneliness to fulfillment.

Just a quick look at these three arenas. More soon!


Shady_Grady said...

Thanks, Steve.

Steve Malley said...

This may have been the perfect post for me right now. Thanks!

Steven Barnes said...

You're extremely welcome

IYASU said...

My fear is being alone, and yet I am alone. since I was 9, and my mom was confronted and had to tell me my step-dad wasn't my biological dad, I have been "alone". 30 years have now passed, and to think of it still hurts. still brings tears because only s drunken fool would do that to a child. its no wonder I have trust issues, emotional-issues, issues-issues. My imagination saved me. It saves me still. That is what my father gave me. and I do also realise that If I am to have a life partner he must needs be a special man because of how special I AM. I AM in love with me, it took some doing, but I do now value myself more than in years past. I AM alone, but never lone-ly.