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20 Seconds Of Insane Courage



Which means what?  I suppose, to everyone it could mean something different, but to me, it’s pretty obvious. It means, just get started. It means getting past the fear, and the indecision, and all the reasons for not doing whatever it is you need to do. Basically, for me that means stop thinking. Stop thinking, and just go. Leverage the momentum. Do you ever notice, that just so long as you can start doing something, that the thing; whatever that thing is takes over.  It’s like it has a mind of it’s own. It starts to fill your brain with ideas and suggestions … and for a change, they’re all positive. It’s like once you’re in the thing, your brain knows that the best possible solution to the problem, is to just figure out all the answers. Figure out all the possible plot moves. Figure out all the possible character emotions. Figure out all the twists.  Figure out how the overriding theme of the story can be enhanced by a clever turn of phrase or action on the part of a character … be them minor or major.

The best part of all this, is that it works for anything. It works for getting past the pain of working out. Of knowing, that the next set of 25 push-ups is going to hurt like hell, but not giving your brain the chance to think about it. That’s the problem, with having an over-active imagination … a writers brain. The longer you dwell on something, the more real it becomes. It’s an invaluable tool, when it comes to composing a scene. Being able to play a movie in my head, is what I do when taking my characters through a scene … or when they’re taking me through a scene. But, if you’re just trying to get through the next set of pushups, dips, and squats it’s not helpful.

I suppose, that’s the keys to being an artist. Being able to control your emotions, vision, and imagination for the appropriate moment. Sure, that’s not such an easy thing to do in the heat of a moment, but not every little decision in life has to be life or death dramatic. We may like to think that it is, but really, it isn’t. Grabbing the apple or the chocolate bar. Pushing one more squat out, or pushing the remote control for one more Netflix show. Going to bed, or playing one more round of Everquest. Those aren’t life and death decisions. They’re just everyday life moments. No need to be dramatic. No need to overthink them. No need to be afraid of them.

Summon up that courage … you know it’s never far away. It’s lurking there, just below the surface … just under the skin. Right next to fear and loathing and indecision. It’s a quiet little fella though. He doesn’t feel the need to make a lot of noise like the other annoying  fellas. He knows how strong he is. He knows none of the other stand a chance once you bring him forth. You just, need to remember that he’s there … waiting patiently. Summon the courage; insane or otherwise. It only takes 20 seconds.