My odyssey about MY ODYSSEY
In my on going odyssey to prepare the best proposal of a memoir of which I am capable I recently ran up against a major obstacle. What I am about to describe is a common complaint of many aspiring authors and others who identify themselves as "creative." I am referring to coming to a screeching halt that predictably occurs as I near completion of a major project such as finishing my proposal.
Although I am thoroughly familiar with the psychodynamics of this phenomena including fear of failure, fear of success, and the like the important issue is how to get unstuck.
What is required at such stuck points is to find a way to convert negative inertia into kinetic positive inertia. One useful method I have found useful is to prime the pump of my personal unconscious. I have made a habit just before drifting off to sleep to cheer- lead my whole self (conscious and unconscious forces) to concentrate and focus on mastering the next task of my next day's to do list.
In this case, the next task was to find a way to surmount my current "98 percent" stuck point resistance. Before going to sleep I encouraged myself to associate to this predictable pattern. I know that significant change is always accompanied by a certain degree of anxiety. But the issue is to be able to specify exactly what the anxiety is all about. As I ruminated about this question I thought about times when I have dared to push beyond familiar boundaries. The outcomes were a mixture of good and bad. The conscious message is that moving into the unknown is risky. Nothing new here – I knew that already. I finally went to sleep and perchance to dream.
I HAD A DREAM
Did you ever have a dream that while having it you knew that the quality of the dream was unique? That is the experience I had with the dream that follows.
I am with one or two others but they are nameless and faceless. We are located somewhere in the Amazon in some dark, all green forest. More specifically we seem to be gathered in a lean-to that serves the function of being a staging area. I am given instructions by someone that we - me particularly - have been given permission to proceed along a path, right next to where we were standing, that has never been explored. I am both fearful and excited. Ordinarily these two feelings might neutralize each other and I would stall. This time I felt as if I could tolerate the intensity of both the fear and the excitement into a combined feeling of determination. I awoke feeling energized.
The meaning of the dream is quite clear. I am facing un-chartered territory with a new sense of resolve and determination.
I associate to the following graphic image which sums up my current state of consciousness:
In viewing Michelangelo's David facing Goliath the following is observed. If you look at David's face from Goliath's point of view – head on – David has a fierce determined look. It is as if his expression is saying that while he knows that Goliath is formidable he is no match for David's determination to marshal all his forces and by effort of will intends to rip him to pieces. Yet, at the same time, if you look at David's expression from a side view you will see his lips quivering with understandable fear.
The final message is that to overcome a 98 percent resistance one has to be ready, willing, and able to venture into un-chartered territory facing the unknown tolerating the intensity of what could be overwhelming feelings, thoughts, and fantasies and having the courage to both stand one's ground and advance the troops having no knowledge of what lies in store only that the journey is worth all of the effort it naturally entails.
I met with my editor/ agent to put the finishing touches on the two chapters needed to send to prospective publishers. We are in total agreement. The proposal will go out in about three weeks.