Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Have you ever found yourself stuck in a horrible spot? One that leaves you miserable, but without much way to make things better unless you do something completely radical and irreversibly life-altering? Something incredibly scary and risky?

Me? I'm a coward. I hate change. I'll stay in the same rut until I start noticing self-defeating upon self-defeating behaviors, forcing my cowardly self into changing.

I'm a bit of a coward. Others not so much, but I think, if we're to embark on a life-altering quest, there has to be some pretty big impetus to get us out of our comfort zone.

Of course, I always knew that. We all learned about inciting incidents and such.

It's not enough to just make things uncomfortable for a hero/ine. Our discomforts are so familiar that they are part of our comfort zone. That comfort zone is so strong, so sticky, so addictive, that it takes a HUGE event to compel us to leave it.

Have you ever stood at the brink of your comfort zone, trying to decide which way to go? Comfort and the familiar, or the scary unknown? What did you do? How did you find the courage?

11 bonus scribbles:

Erik Ivan James 2/27/2007 06:02:00 PM  

I believe it was Mark Twain who said something like this (paraphrasing maybe):

"Twenty years from now, you will regret more the things you didn't do than the the things you did do. Cast off the bowlines. Leave the safe harbor. Dream. Explore. Discover."

Close to that. And you know what, Spyscribbler? I wish I would have found this quote 20 years ago.

Christina 2/27/2007 06:51:00 PM  

That picture of a man jumping off a cliff is amazing. I can hardly imagine the thrill of it. I'm a coward too. I just got a new laptop and I'm already sitting here nervous about the programs and adjusting to it. I'm a creature of habit. I like things to remain the same for me.

Susan Helene Gottfried 2/27/2007 07:17:00 PM  

Ooh, I do this all the time! I keep thinking of a quote I used to have from Cher. Something to the effect of her greatest fear being that she would make safe choices.

A lot of times, I don't realize how far I've stepped in it until I'm halfway through (like the whole thing with Metallica). And a lot of times, I don't realize how far I could have fallen until it's all over and done with (like the whole thing with Metallica).

I've yet to regret any of my adventures, even those that took me away from writing for extended periods. I've yet to return from an adventure without having learned volumes -- about life, about how to better construct my fictional world, about myself.

Take a deep breath. Trust that you'll land on your feet, and let go.

Kate S 2/27/2007 09:18:00 PM  

Closed my eyes and leapt.

I'm about to do it again.

tkkerouac 2/27/2007 10:10:00 PM  

your describing my life here.

DonkeyBlog 2/27/2007 11:55:00 PM  

Mr Sternberg introduced me to your blog - just saying Hi and letting you know I shall be lurking around for a while, delving through your self reflections and criticisms. Hope you don't mind.

Bernita 2/28/2007 08:08:00 AM  

Some rocks and hard places just have to be endured - because any leap would affect others even worse.
And you have to stand there and brace your arms to keep from being ground to bits.

spyscribbler 2/28/2007 09:27:00 AM  

Okay, LOL, so none of you fell for the I'm-talking-about-writing shtick. LOL, I must be transparent! :-)

Erik, that is a great quote! Regret is the one thing I vowed never to allow in my life. I forgot. Thanks for reminding me!

Oh, Christina! A new laptop! I love new computers. Love, love, love! Shiny, new, and FAST!

Wow, Susan! I went to read your bio, and you DO have an adventurous spirit. How admirable! I could learn a lesson or two, there.

spyscribbler 2/28/2007 09:30:00 AM  

Kate, I'm an eye-closer when leaping, too. Good luck with the leap! I know how scary it is.

tkkerouac, I hope things improve for you!

donkeyblog, Thanks for stopping by! I love Stewart's blog.

Bernita, you're so right. I have to do exactly that for a while longer. There are a few brief moments when I can leap; I just need to time things right. I just can't hold back the rock much longer! No, wait ... I think I can, I think I can, I think I can ...

StarvingWriteNow 2/28/2007 04:43:00 PM  

I suppose deciding to leave my marriage and NOT move back to where I had family and friends was one of those moments. I haven't regretted it, even though at times it was a real bitch.

spyscribbler 2/28/2007 05:39:00 PM  

Wow, starvingwritenow, I admire you! That's a tall cliff to leap off of! Definitely takes courage.