One of my favorite books about the creative process is A Kick in the Seat of the Pants by Roger Von Oech. In it, he advocates a kind of multiple personality approach to creativity. Four personalities, to be precise:
The Explorer: This is the intellectually curious part of you. The part that seeks new Truths and asks big questions. Like, why can’t men be midwives? Is there something exclusively feminine about midwifery? Is there?
The Artist: The part of you that make associations, that synthesizes ideas in unexpected ways. Like when you came up with that idea for powdered donut-flavored potato chips one time at the bar. Genius!
The Judge: Your inner critic. The part of you that challenges the quality of your work, and pushes you to improve. Like when you woke up with a hangover, really sat down and thought about how godawful and shitty powdered donut-flavored potato chips would taste.
The Warrior: This is the bulldog inside of you. The part that won’t let you quit, that will fight for your Vision until the end. See also: how Ed Wood convinced otherwise reasonable people to finance, work on and star in any of his “films”.
It’ s important for Heroes to get in touch with all four of these personality types, but I feel that the most important is the Warrior. It’s been said, in a variety of cliches, that perserverance is the most important trait of successful people.
The Warrior is the part of you that keeps getting up after every knockout punch. It’s the part that never, ever quits. It makes you work in the lonely hours of the night while everyone else slumbers. It makes you push yourself to go little farther, dig a little deeper.
This year, I have completed my first feature length screenplay. So, in essence, I have successfully channeled my inner Neil Armstrong, Pablo Picasso and Simon Cowell. And I used my inner Chuck Norris to fight through a phalanx of Inner Demons, like self-doubt, writer’s block and squirrel! However, the battle has just begun. It’s time for the External Conflict, a new theater in my metaphorical War.
I sent my screenplay to a script consultant for professional notes. The next step is to do one last rewrite and send it out to agents, production companies and various contests. And I’m prepared for whatever comes my way. As I blogged recently, I have strapped on my Armour to deflect the criticism and rejection that may be hurled in my direction.This is my inner Chuck Norris’ time to shine. Our Dreams are not going to come along without a fight. We need to be ready to roundhouse kick anything that stands in our way. I’m looking at you, script readers!