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Thursday, August 14, 2008

There's No Business Like Soul Business


I grew up in far Northern California (up north, we capitalize Northern!) at the foot of a 14,162 foot volcano. Otherwise known as Mount Shasta. It was the 70s and man was New Age a big deal up there. My best friend lived on a purple bus that reeked of patchouli and my 4th grade teacher, Mr. White, wore birkenstocks and lived in a teepee. Literally. I was raised by hippies at the foot of a volcano considered a sacred place by Native Americans and New Agers alike and a town populated by red necks, ski bums and an easy mixture of all of the above. Crystals and gun racks. Deer hunters and truth seekers. It was tah-rippy. Between that strange local mix and my brother's Boston albums throbbing through the wall between our bedrooms - well - I'm dating myself. Let's just say I didn't grow up with Studio 54 anywhere in my reality.

But what I did soak up over time is a sense of awe and imagination. And a deep respect for belief systems of all stripes. Are you way down with auras and meditation and crystals? Are you part of the I Am organization? Sell Amway? Mormon? Okey dokums. It's all good, man.

I'll go ahead and out myself: I am a spiritual person. Meaning that I see and experience patterns, wisdom, beauty and magic in the Universe. I don't follow any particular organization or faith. I'm a bit of a libertarian although New Thought really speaks to me.

Predictably enough, I'm into quantum physics, The Field, The Elegant Universe and What the Bleep Do We Know. I'm crazy like that. I think all things are possible. So other than revealing what you may have suspected about The Wave-inatrix, where is this all leading?

I like to think of the Rouge Wave as a holistic blog. One in which we talk about not only the brass tacks of show business and screenwriting but also a blog on which we encourage writers to really live, be joyful and be complete. Not in a weird, "you complete me, Rouge Wave" way, but in a being rounded and grounded way.

We've all heard the expression, it's not show friends, it's show business. Yes, yes, true enough. But you must remember to stay grounded in what is true for you, personally. With You Tube, Paris Hilton, Twitter, US Weekly and so much more, it's very easy to get in a bit of a lather when it comes to entertainment and specifically to your writing. Again and again, I see writers on message boards who are absolutely absolute in their half-informed beliefs and convictions that, among other things, you should never use "We see" and that Hollywood, competitions, agents, consultants - fill in the blank - are out to get them. More than get them. Screw them over. Steal their ideas, take their money and generally run roughshod over them. You create your reality. Life must be awful for those writers.

There's No Business Like Soul Business, by Derek Rydall, has chapter headings like: Be a Light Not a Star. Derek's book is what I turn to when I sometimes feel overwhelmed by the negativity that creeps into Hollywood. Creeps into? Well - that can dominate at times. Because many in Hollywood and heck, in life in general are very fear-based. There's not enough - jobs, money, rewrites, agents, money, fame, validation, money - etc. In anything you do in life, when you come from a place of "not enoughness" you set yourself up to fail. The truth is that life is not a zero-sum game. There is more than enough for everybody. Enough money, enough jobs, enough validation, love and joy. One of the things I love about Blake Snyder is that he is very much rooted in a value system of more than enoughness.

Being a writer is tough. Bad attitudes flourish and can be persuasive. But you don't have to fall prey to negativity. You don't have to react to it and you don't have to make it your own. Remember that your gift is just that - a gift. And gifts are for giving. Whether or not you are a spiritual person, make sure to round out your evolution as a writer with your personal evolution as well. The two are intimately connected.

When you feel negativity pressing down on you from within or without the industry or in other areas of your life, make sure to tend the garden of your attitude. Remember: there is enough for everybody and the negativity of other people does not belong to you. Do something that keeps you grounded - whether that's meditation, bowling or playing with your kids. A good writer is a grounded writer. Are you in it for the sprint or the marathon? If you're in it for the marathon then stay hydrated with good stuff. Surround yourself with inspiration, motivation and positive people. You create your own reality.

Some other books I recommend:

The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron
The Creative Habit: Learn it and Use it for Life by Twyla Tharp
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
Creative Visualization by Shakti Gawain

By the way, the beautiful picture of Mount Shasta, above is by the incredible photographer Kevin Lahey.


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1 comment:

meg said...

Beautiful thoughts and I agree with you.

A book I just finished a couple of days ago is called Change Your Mind and Your Life Will Follow: 12 Simple Principles
by Karen Casey.

It's a lovely book that reminded me that my thoughts affect how my life goes and that being right in't always the right choice.