Monday, September 22, 2008

What About Potential?

by Robert L. Gisel

Plenty of potential surely helps but what really counts is whether you go the distance. The post from Chris Guillebeau of The Art of Non-Conformity strikes a note as I have seen this in other artists as well. The necessity to actualize out of potential is not limited to artists but seems to be more pronounced in that realm as therein lies the most creation from nothing.

A high capacity battery is great but if you never run the engine who cares. You have to make the trip, put in the time and exert the effort to carry through to a fully realized product.

Chris's post hits a very hot button for artists provoking the question what to do about it. I couldn't resist putting in my 2 cents and am reprinting these here as I liked what I had to say and what to expound on it. My comments:

Tips for the Dip:

Be At Peace With the Ebb Tide

My all time success action at such moments in the illusion of failure is to go with the calm that occurs at the turning of the tide. After the incoming fury and wrath of the incoming tide when it looks like all is spent for naught and now the tide will recede the sea goes very calm. That's when I observe the calmness, tune in to the creative forces of the universe and set about a new onslaught. It's only failure if you fail to persist.

Have the Last Supper.

You have to follow the ebb tide calm with the Last Supper, so to speak. When it appears defeat has beset me or the game is lost I literally go fix myself a special meal in my kitchen or get something I really like at a restaurant and call it the "Last Supper". This is metaphorical for meaning it appears I just lost the title but the eye of the tiger will see it through to
win anew. Always at this time a bright idea or brilliant new phase plan emerges and I know something remarkable and great is just around the corner.

Difference of Potential Creates Energy.

When you think about it no energy is created in the absence of a difference in potential; without that there is no flow. What has more difference of potential than the work of an artist creating something from a blank page, an empty canvass or a void of space.

How Do I know It's Genuinely Good?

What makes it good or not is 1) only that it be different and 2) the discipline in the application of craftsmanship.

1) If you can say what hasn't been said or express a new view of it like a clever metaphor it will stimulate thought in others, you can be assured. Be yourself and express what comes from your heart and that will take you the longest way.

2) A casual observer may say he likes it but the artist, who knows his craft well enough from study and practice will apply his skills with the finesse that entices the involvement and imagination of the intended public, knowing fully well what rules or methodology made it likable.

The smug pleasure from accomplishing my first screenplay was that only I did it; the screenplay itself is a far cry from acceptable. Same of the second screenplay first rendering on paper. By the ninth re-write following the advices of an excellent mentor it transformed to the realm of top notch. Now doing it right comes naturally.

Know what you have that is unique. Study up. Take time to improve your skills. Then success will follow your persistence.

Take a Walk to The Top of the Mount

When all else fails here is another metaphor. In the circumstance where it appears my work is crap after all, that I have really messed it all up, spun my wheels to go nowhere and may well be defeated and left for dead on the battlefield this calls for a walk to the top of the mount to come back with the holy tables. You have to take some time out and review where you stand and be honest with yourself. Get a new view from the highest point of the journey. This is best done by reviewing your goals and most heartfelt desires candidly and reaffirm these or adjust them as needed.

A lost battle only means that you still have to confront the war.

I am interested in the experience of others in this light. Have you observed these things and how? Post a comment to let me know your thoughts on this.

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