Thursday, August 2, 2012

Getting out of 'I Don't Know'

I'm about to start work on my Young Adult Novel tentatively entitled 'Dillon's Dilemma' which I've been reluctant to do because I've been having a case of writer's block.

I'm at one scene where the hero is being chased through a parking lot, except, in my research I've discovered where the characters must be, in order to maintain real world accuracy there is no parking lot.

So now I must rewrite but I'm feeling stuck because I'm walking around in a state of 'I don't know'.  That is to say, I can't yet envision how the scene will work without the features I originally wrote in.  However, it just occurred to me that I never write in a state of 'know', I write all my books and articles like this, in a state of 'faith'. I just trust that as I start writing, the exact 'how' will be revealed.

Yes, sometimes I have to do some rewriting, that's normal, but I get the gist of it out there.  I just do it.  And it works.  The story or idea flows out and fifty minutes or five years (for Dillon's) later it's done.

It's a matter of walking in faith instead of walking in a state of  'I don't know'.  Then it occurred to me, that this applies to all of us in every aspect of our lives.  We hold back from taking action because of 'I don't know'.  We don't know how to get out of the situation we're in. We don't know how to attract that perfect mate. We don't know how to create a steady income from our dream career so we can leave our jobs. We don't know, we don't know, we don't know.  So we don't.

But if you ask anyone who has achieved in the area you 'don't know' you will find initially, they didn't know how either.  They either diligently found out what others did, or merely went ahead in faith that they would figure it out on the way.

"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." ~ Walt Disney.

Did Walt Disney know how he was going to create an animation empire?  Creating full-length animated films, or how he'd successfully create his dream project, Walt Disney World?   I can tell you no, for no one had ever done either before.  There was no one to ask!  Walt had to find the courage to stumble his way through to finding those answers.   Now we have many animations studios making full-length films and many theme parks - although none yet compare to what Walt built.

Stanley Lieber, creator of Marvel Comics' Hulk, Iron Man, X-men, Avengers and many others, had worked at writing comics for years to little avail.  Frustrated that comics were 'doing it wrong' and weren't about to change, Stan decided to quit his job at Timely Comics.  His wife told him, 'If you're going to quit anyway, why don't you start writing your stories the way you think they ought to be written?'

Thus inspired, Stan found the courage to write The Fantastic Four under the banner of Marvel Comics for Timely.  He did it without consent.  It was hugely successful, so he was told to write more!  And more he wrote!   At that time Stan had the Midas touch, many of the characters he created are world famous now and starring in cartoons, movies, games, even Broadway plays!  One in particular wasn't allowed.  After all, no kid would want to read about a person who was part creepy insect.  Stan's boss crushed the idea.  Stan went ahead and printed The Amazing Spider-man anyway in the final issue of Fantasy Tales.

Stan had no idea how he'd create the comic empire that Marvel is now, he just stepped out in faith following his dream and was prepared to face the consequences.

To give a more down to Earth example.  I had no idea how to attract my perfect mate.  For years I walked in 'I don't Know'.   I dated women of course but with little avail.  I was easily discouraged.  Then finally, I got so frustrated I just turned it over to God.  God showed me what to do and despite much of what God asking seeming crazy to me, I did it in faith. Mere months later, I was married to a beautiful, like-minded woman who shared my faith.  It was an end I could not have believed would happen.  It was a process I could not possibly have 'known'.

So when you find yourself saying to yourself, 'I want to but I don't know' - let that go.  Let the need to know how go.  If it's been done before, find out how.  But inevitably your journey will be a little - or a lot - different.  Just commit yourself to the journey and begin.  'How' is discovered along the road to your dreams.

Preston Squire is a writer, blogger and editor committed to removing the shackles of doubt, living life fully and helping others to do the same.

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