We all want to be creative. We all want to be amazing at relationships. This guy, Benjamin Hardy, PHD, wrote an article on Medium exactly about that. It’s called “21 Behaviors that will make you brilliant at creativity and relationships.”
Basically, his article is saying that people limit themselves by defining who they are, what they can do, and what resources they have. This article is wildly popular with 31,000 likes, which means he’s made a ton of money off this point of view. And with over 19,000 Twitter followers, Mr. Hardy is pretty popular, too. He has posts that link to his articles like “10 Steps to Being a Millionaire in 5 Years (or Less).”
If you look at his twitter posts, you’ll find a lot of encouraging things about success and motivation and morning routines that guarantee success.
But we’re talking about just the first point in his article., which is that a goal must be wild and huge. It must be urgent with a time component. It must motivate you and he quotes Napolean Hill who wrote in the book, Think and Grow Rich, “Desire is the starting point of all achievement, not a hope, not a wish, but a keen pulsating desire which transcends everything.”
He also quotes Marcus Aurelias, a Roman emperor. And also Canadian author Justine Musk, who he introduces as only, “Elon Musk’s wife.”
There are a lot of white men talking and quoting and thinking going on in the first few paragraphs of Dr. Hardy’s piece. It’s all about going after what you want and making no excuses about your situation or self because those things will make you fail.
There are twenty more points in Dr. Hardy’s article, but we’re only going to talk to the first one because it relates to writing and why so much writing falls flat.
As with all things in life, you get what you want. If you prefer to make excuses and justifications for a lack of progress, then just admit you prefer your current station in life. Self-acceptance can be a beautiful thing.
However, once you desire progress more than convenience, obstacles no longer stop but propel you. As the Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius is famous for saying,“The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way.”Hardy, per Medium article cited above
You have to have your main character have a desire and they need to pulsate with it. Your main character needs to be passionate about something. They need to go after those passions. There needs to be a bit of urgency about them. The obstacles that happen are the ones that your character needs to smash through in order to get to what she wants.
What is it your character wants more than any damn thing in the world?
Who does your character have to be to get that?
Now, how about you?
What do you want more than any damn thing in the world?
Who do you have to be to get that?
In life, Hardy says that our ambitious goals must be:
Do this for your characters, too.
Don’t be afraid to remember you aren’t a solo show. Think about who can help you become who you want to be and achieve what you want to do.
If you listen to the podcast, you'll hear:
The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song? It’s “Night Owl” by Broke For Free.
The Write. Submit. Support. format is designed to embrace all aspects of the literary life. This six-month course will offer structure and support not only to our writing lives but also to the roller coaster ride of submissions: whether that be submitting to agents or, if agented, weathering the submissions to editors. We will discuss passes that come in, submissions requests, feedback we aren’t sure about, where we are feeling directed to go in our writing lives, and more. Learn more here!
“Carrie’s feedback is specific, insightful and extremely helpful. She is truly invested in helping each of us move forward to make our manuscripts the best they can be.”
“Carrie just happens to be one of those rare cases of extreme talent and excellent coaching.”
My new book, IN THE WOODS, is out!
It’s with Steve Wedel. It’s scary and one of Publisher’s Weekly’s Buzz Books for Summer 2019. There’s an excerpt of it there and everything! But even cooler (for me) they’ve deemed it buzz worthy! Buzz worthy seems like an awesome thing to be deemed!
Order this bad boy, which might make it have a sequel. The sequel would be amazing. Believe me, I know. It features caves and monsters and love. Because doesn’t every story?
Buy limited-edition prints and learn more about my art here on my site.
Get exclusive content, early podcasts, videos, art and listen (or read) never-to-be-officially published writings of Carrie on her Patreon. Levels go from $1 to $100 (That one includes writing coaching and editing for you wealthy peeps).
WHAT IS PATREON?
A lot of you might be new to Patreon and not get how it works. That’s totally cool. New things can be scary, but there’s a cool primer HERE that explains how it works. The short of it is this: You give Patreon your paypal or credit card # and they charge you whatever you level you choose at the end of each month. That money supports me sharing my writing and art and podcasts and weirdness with you.
So, sometimes we burnout. We work and work and strive and strive and juggle multiple obligations and opportunities and we just stop being fully there because we’re so tired. Before I go on, let’s define burnout. I’m going to go with this definition because it's not a Medium or blogger guru, but from the National Institute of Health. “The term “burnout” was coined in the 1970s by the American psychologist Herbert Freudenberger. He used it to describe the consequences of severe stress and high ideals in “helping” professions. Doctors and nurses, for example, who sacrifice themselves for others, would often end up being “burned out” – exhausted, listless, and unable to cope. Nowadays, the term is not only used for these helping professions, or for the dark side of self-sacrifice. It can affect anyone, from stressed-out career-driven people and celebrities to overworked employees and homemakers.” That NIH article also has some nice rundown of symptoms: "Exhaustion: People affected feel drained and emotionally exhausted, unable to cope, tired and down, and don't have enough energy. Physical symptoms include things like pain and gastrointestinal (stomach or bowel) problems."Alienation from (work-related) activities: People who have burnout find their jobs increasingly stressful and frustrating. They may start being cynical about their working conditions and their colleagues. At the same time, they may increasingly distance themselves emotionally, and start feeling numb about their work."Reduced performance: Burnout mainly affects everyday tasks at work, at home or when caring for family members. People with burnout are very negative about their tasks, find it hard to concentrate, are listless and lack creativity." It’s a lot like depression, right? But it’s not the same. Typically, people with burnout don’t’ feel hopeless, suicidal or have low ...
Writing is a way of understanding stuff, not just yourself or the story in your book, but the way you look at the world. And that takes being brave. We are all brave and fearful in big and small ways in our own lives every damn day. For me, Carrie just putting my voice out here on the podcast is terrifying because I had a teacher who made me stay in from recess once to tell me that I needed to fix my sloshy s’s because nobody would ever love a girl who sounded like me, no employer would hire me and no college would take me. “Nobody will listen to a girl that sounds like you. Nobody will take you seriously. Nobody will ever marry you.” So, doing a podcast might be super easy for some people? For me? Not so much because my brain hits back to those negative mental scripts of the past. For Shaun…? Here’s the thing. Life isn’t always awesome. And when it’s crappy, we have to keep writing and being brave. Sometimes it’s hard to focus. Sometimes it’s hard to believe there is a point. You think, “how is my story about a manatee and a sasquatch falling in love relevant?” We get scared. So, you have to say to hell with fear, to hell with doubt. Damn it, everyone wants a love story with a manatee and a sasquatch. Ridicule is a big fear for writers and for humans. We’re afraid of being persecuted, trolled, laughed at, of having someone say we and our life and our story is worthless. Nobody will ever listen to … nobody will ever read … nobody will ever care… That fear? It’s super real. So we have to ...
So, um, a lot of the time during the podcast Shaun will say something that makes Carrie have these huge pauses because she’s reading the subtext underneath what he’s saying. Honesty moment: Shaun’s subtext is usually naughty, which is totally okay because they are married, but Carrie has these brain hiccups when that happens because: She is from New England and grew up where people pretended intercourse didn’t happen and people made babies by sitting on unclean toilet seats. She is a children’s book writer, but not the cool cutting-edge kind that writes about intercourse and she’s worried about her branding. Just kidding! Sort of… Anyway, Alicia Rasley said that in writing: “Subtext is like a gift to the astute reader—an additional layer of meaning implied by the text but not accessible without a bit of thinking. … Experienced readers aren’t confined to the text—what’s printed on the page—they interact with the text, fully participating with the writer in the making of meaning in the story.” Sort of how Carrie interacts with Shaun during the podcast. Writing Tip of the Cast: Not everything has to be super obvious. Trust your readers. Remember your book, like a podcast, is a conversation, not just a monologue. Dog Tip for Life: Don’t be afraid of the subtext. Notice people’s nuance, the meaning under what they’re saying. SHOUT-OUT The music in this podcast is “Check Them In” by Ema Grace and her site is here. We’re able to use this amazing music, thanks to Ema’s kindness and the Creative Commons. Writing News The Spy Who Played Baseball is a picture book biography about Moe Berg. And… there’s a movie out ...