The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A mental game of hoops

I think that intelligence is one of those things hardest for people to separate from "worth." So they are afraid that people smarter than them are actually better than them, and so go into denial that anyone could actually be smarter than they are. To me, intelligence is like height in basketball. It is an important factor, but the real question is whether you can get the ball through the hoop.

Just a morning thought. I was going to talk more about the rewrite on SOUTH BY SOUTH-EAST, but when I woke up this morning, there was a note from my collaborator Charles Johnson, with whom I’m writing a little horror short story. He just read my most recent draft of the story, which I sent to him on Friday. And loved it. This is a big “win” for me, because I have massive respect for this National Book Award winning writer. I’m just a poor commercial writer, laboring in the trenches, and the respect of such a lion means worlds to me.

The point is that I was nervous as a kitten. After all these years, every single time I work, the voice in my head still tells me I’m not good enough. It will never die completely: I know that. But I also now understand that it is all right. That that voice doesn’t HAVE to shut up. It is not it’s job to be quiet. It is my job to develop a balancing voice, a sense of loving myself, and my process, and continuing onward, no matter what.

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