Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Don’t Sink Like a Shark!

I was reading some blog posts the other day and I came across one which I initially just glanced over but eventually came back to out of curiosity.  Titled The Hidden Secret, FOMO, and Tubthumping, I was somewhat curious because I had no clue as to what any of these terms might mean.

The first paragraph commented on the hidden secret of depression some writers go through.  Of course, we all know anyone, no matter what their trade or circumstances, may be dealing with that hidden secret.  I wasn’t in the mood to read about depression…I’m not sure exactly when I would be in the mood but I forged ahead anyway to see what tidbits the blogger might offer me.

The blog post then moved on to feelings of missing out when we see others get rewards we may wish for ourselves.  I’ve tried to avoid this feeling because there’s really no point in comparing myself to other authors.  Some have put YEARS into the profession while others may have just gotten lucky with a first novel.  Every story is different.  I may wish for certain things to happen but I won’t begrudge others for getting there before me. 

The post also touched on how a writer might experience self doubt while overcoming various setbacks.  That’s part of the job, unfortunately…rejections, uncertainty, fear of failure. 

You can imagine my frame of mind at this point, whether you know me or not.  I mean, this was getting a bit depressing!   And then, finally, I read these words, “The good news is, there are things we can do about it…” 

Be a shark and keep moving…If you stop moving, you die.

Say what?  Why would anyone want to act like a shark?  They are without a doubt extremely dangerous even if they are very interesting to observe, from faraway of course. 

Would I choose to act like a shark? 

·         Sharks are intimidating.  I’m far from intimidating, unless we’re talking first thing in the morning before I have my coffee.

·         Sharks are very aggressive.  I may get aggressive if I really want something but I tend not to bite if I don’t get my way.

·         Sharks can be unpredictable.  My middle name should be “routine” which makes me the opposite of unpredictable.

·         Sharks eat a variety of items that aren’t good for them.  Okay…I’ll confess to this one.
But what the heck do sharks have to do with writers having depression, feeling left out or having self doubt? 

Good question.

What sharks also do is move…constantly; otherwise, they may die.  Most need to constantly swim to breathe or they will sink and they do not sleep very long, if at all.  Obviously, if we tried to live like a shark, we’d all eventually become just as intimidating, aggressive and unpredictable…or just always in a very bad mood. 

However, if you don’t take the quote literally, the meaning is much different.   

The author says that by acting like a shark means to do something every day to advance your writing career.  She says to find a support network, find the humor, keep it together and remember you have options.  This advice would be true for whatever profession you are in, whatever you may be dealing with in life or whatever goals you may be trying to reach.
This blogger’s tip hit the mark, for me at least.  I would rather keep moving than to sink like a shark.

Finding the humor reminds me of one of the best movies when it comes to cartoons…Finding Nemo.  A quote by a fish called Dory would equate to what the blogger in the “be a shark” post was trying to say.  Remember the funny fish called Dory (even funnier with Ellen DeGeneres’ voice)?  She said:
“Hey Mr. Grumpy Gills…When life gets you down do you wanna know what you gotta do?   Just keep swimming.  Just keep swimming.  Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming…”

Whether you act like a shark and just keep moving or take Dory’s advice and just keep swimming, it’s the same either way and it’s what is most likely the best advice when it comes to all sorts of dilemmas, trials and tribulations we may face throughout our lives.

I now have Dory’s, or Ellen’s, voice in my head repeating, “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming…”  I guess I would consider myself Marlin who said to Dory, “See I’m gonna get stuck now with that song…now it’s in my head!”

Have a great night everyone.

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