I would be lying if I said that Seth Godin has not been a big influence on me this year, because he has. I read Linchpin, which was one of the best non-fiction books I’ve read in quite a while. In the book, and in others similar to it, the subject of the “lizard brain” comes up.
The lizard brain is the part of the human brain that wants to be safe and comfortable. It likes to avoid risks, and prefers the regular, typical, and average course of things. It likes status quo. If you do, or even think of, anything that involves a risk, rest assured that the lizard brain in your mind will protest. I speak of this because I am in the midst of battling it now.
In the past, the lizard brain would tell me that my writing was horrible and that no one would read it. I eventually shut it up, for a while. Now, it has a new mantra: “You won’t be able to finish this project. It’s too much work, and you already missed the deadline you set for yourself.”
This is true, I did miss the deadline. Of course, it was because my computer had crashed and was in the Apple Hospital for nearly two weeks. This was outside of my control. As far as the LB’s first statement, well, my track record for finishing stories was not a good one. I have started well over 50 in my lifetime so far, and 98 percent of them are all still ideas.
The computer crash gave me an answer to that statement as well. None of my little side stories survived the crash. I really have little memory of their characters or plots, which tells me that they were just that forgettable. I was able to save my four big ones, however, including BLAQUE and the sequel. My massive collection of stories got cut from about 25 to 4 with one swoop of the Grey Screen of Death. I have no excuse or distraction now.
So, I am once again telling the lizard brain to shut up. By the time I leave Florida, I am hoping to have the major editing of BLAQUE done. I am resetting my ship date for the end of January 2011 at the very latest.
If you hear your lizard brain fussing at you, then chances are you are stepping outside the box and taking a risk with something. Good for you. Be wise with your risks, but don’t be afraid to take them. Ever.