The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Known unknowns

Today the most important thing I can do is get ready for my workshop in Wenatchee, Washington, teaching Thriller writing and the Hero's Journey. I don't know what I'm going to say, but I know how I'm going to prepare myself.

Here's a quote from Think And Grow Rich about inventor Elmer R. Gates. "When Dr. Gates desired to draw upon...his Creative Imagination, he would go into (his) room, seat himself at the table, shut off the lights, and CONCENTRATE upon the KNOWN factors of the invention...until ideas began to "flash" into his mind in connection with the UNKNOWN factors of the invention."

And there you have it. You have a GOAL (create invention, get result). Proceed with FAITH (belief that there is an answer, and that you can and should find it.) Take ACTION (write down or concentrate upon what is known, or what you CAN do about a problem until you generate new ideas or perspectives about the unknown or intractable elements.) The last piece, keeping a powerful positive ATTITUDE relates to "faith" but isn't the same thing. I believe it is beginning with the emotion you wish to have at the end. Too many people postpone pleasure until some future point where everything is "perfect."

Things will never be perfect--take your pleasure now, a little bit every single day. This nurtures the "kid" part of you, which is where all the creative genius comes from in the first place. It's "let's play!" as opposed to "now it is time to work."

I'm cutting this short now. The weekend is coming, and it's time for me to play.


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