Self Belief is something of an odd concept when you consider that belief kinda requires an external party. All the same there are times when you need faith and times when nothing less than self belief will get you through although a few religious scholars might argue. To illustrate, I point you in the direction of a story written 2,500 years ago that has survived remarkably intact. I am referring of course to “The Oddyssey” by Homer. If you haven’t read it, I can’t recommend it enough it was a story I was fascinated with as a child. In the Oddyssey Odysseus’s faith is nullified when he offends the god of the sea Poseidon. Hardly a wise move when you have to travel by sea to get home. Odysseus’s home journey is one that contains the worst kind of trials including monsters, temptations, sorceresses and men who have their eye on his kingdom. Odysseus has help along the way but in the face of the fury of the gods he has to use all his resourcefulness and resilience to survive. It is only upon his returning home that Athena who favours him acts to help his return to the throne of Ithaca.
There are a couple of lessons in the story and you are going to have to bare with my martianness here. Every major creative project is a mini-oddessey filled with monsters all ready to drag you down to the depths of hades never to return. The question is how are you going to survive. Faith is helpful but as Odysseus when faith will not get you past the monsters. Now I am assuming you believe in “a” god and if you don’t pretend for a moment you do. When creating your story, god might give you a hand here and there – a sunny day to make writing pleasant, an idea from thin air. What god won’t do is sit down and make it for you. Think about it for a second, creation is by definition divine so every creative project puts you smack bang on the gods turf. Why would they hand over a bit of their power willingly to you? If you are going to play on the turf of the gods, they will make damn sure you earn every inch gained and throw up no end of obstacles. On the other hand, prove yourself – finish the Oddessey and the gods will relax a little, cut you a little slack and if you have been really up to the challenge they might even reward you at the end. That’s what’s at stake here.
Oh I here you grumbling that the gods aren’t real and Homer was just a poet but as creatives what is better, the notion that you are trying to herd a bunch of electrical signals in the brain until you get that book done OR that you are on an epic quest worthy of songs being sung in your name? If that’s the options hand me a sword and a toga because I’m off to slay some monsters.
The point is you might kill a monster by accident once but if you are going on an epic quest you know you aren’t going to have much in the way of food, weapons or followers at the end. To finish the quest you are going to have to really want it and believe you not only can do it but that only you can do it.
So if you will excuse me, my editor has just thrown a couple of sea draining whirlpools at me and at the moment I’m clinging onto a piece of wreckage from my boat. Let’s see how I get out of this one eh?
This Weeks Podcast
Just before the XMas break I recorded a what’s coming in 2011 with Rick and Simon and guest Martian Mascot and honorary editor Raven.
Does anyone have more self belief the Clint Eastwood?
Corporate Jim by Ella
This entry was posted on Friday, December 30th, 2011 at 1:20 pm
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.