Sunday, August 19, 2007

No Parachute Desired

Have you seen this new show on the Discovery channel? It's called Survivorman. I love reading memoirs, and I love documentaries. Yes, it's true. I love documentaries! And I am woman enough to admit it. I like reality T.V. Well, let me clarify- I like reality television that truly is reality television. I don't like the MTV version, where each person has a hidden agenda, usually they aspire to be an actor or actress.

The reality I like is more like this show Survivorman. The premise of the show is that this man is dropped in a variety of situations that will require him to use his survival skills to...well...uh...survive! He is dropped off in the middle of a remote area with no food, no water and no shelter. In the episode I watched, he was dropped in the Canadian Rockies. Why do you care? You probably don't. But keep reading.

It was something that this Survivorman said. A bush plane pilot agreed to drop him off at his destination. And when he did, Survivorman made an interesting comment. He said, 'Because of the frigid temperatures, these pilots don't carry a parachute onboard. If their plane goes down, there is no way they would survive." So this bush plane pilot takes off knowing that if he doesn't do it just right, he'll die. He knows that even if he were to survive the plane crash, he'd be a gonner in a matter of seconds. And yet he keeps doing it, again and again.

Have you ever been in a situation like that? Yeah, me either. Then why are we so stinkin' afraid to do something as simple as write a book, or write 27 articles in a week and send them off to our dream publications? It's not like if we fail, we die. If we fail, we just eat a bowl of ice cream, a bag of cheese Doritos, and a box of Hot Tamales (oh wait-that's me), and hit the power button again and have another go of it. I think that sometimes a little information is useful, but too much can be fatal to a writing career.

Surround yourself with people who think you are fantastic. Surround yourself with people who think you are a freakin' genious! Write the best you can write, and then send it off and write some more. Write like there is no possiblity of failing. And if you do fail; if some editor sends you a rejection letter; if someone has a severe lapse in judgement and doesn't see what a genious you truly are-give them a break-everyone makes mistakes. Send your piece, your article or your book, to someone else. Afterall- if you fail-you won't die!

Write Now!

-Karen

5 comments:

Vic Burton said...

Excellent Post. We should all apply that to our writing, but perhaps a little bit to our lives as well.

Karen L. Alaniz said...

Very true. I hadn't thought of it that way!

-Karen

Nita said...

Dang, Vic already said it.

bunnygirl said...

Great words of wisdom!

I've had similar thoughts this past month as I've put myself in debt and spent hours and hours of time moving into this house and preparing to buy it when I'd rather be writing and enjoying my previously debt-free state.

My great-grandfather was a rich man who lost everything in the Great Depression. That same Depression found my grandfather with a wife, child, no home (lost in a flood) and no job. My father-in-law was a paratrooper in Korea.

All of the above are REAL problems. I'm not jumping out of an aircraft into a place where people want to kill me. I'm just borrowing some money (like most people have to) so I can get a house. I'm breaking a lease (legally and expensively) and going to a lot of hassle with moving, cleaning, etc. Big effin' deal. Why the panic?

It's easy to focus in on the little things and think our problems are soooo big and scary. but they're really not. You have to jump at those opportunities when they come and take a few chances in life.

Write. The worst thing that can happen is that someone might not like it. On the grand scale of life problems, that doesn't even make the list!

Thanks for the insightful post!

Karen L. Alaniz said...

You are welcome bunnygirl. And you are right, of course. Applying that not only to our writing, but to our lives. What do we have to lose? Not a whole heckuvalot!

Karen