Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Punching out the Inner Critic

Currently reading Seth Godin’s Permission Marketing, and he has a colorful metaphor for the power of frequency (or persistence).

“Muhammad Ali did not become heavyweight champion of the world by punching twenty people one time each. No, he became champ by punching one guy twenty times. By applying frequency to the poor opponent’s head, Ali was able to bring his message home.” Page 82.

I love Seth Godin. He knows his stuff and communicates clearly, and this was yet another great example of this. Check out Seth’s Blog at
http://sethgodin.typepad.com/. On paper, you’d think that marketing would be a dry subject, but Mr. Godin always seems to find a way to make abstract concepts clear through the use of metaphors like these.

So what does this mean to you as a writer? How many times have you started a project that you were REALLY excited about, only to run out of gas, or get sidetracked by another project? Sometimes projects need that extra push to get beyond the initial adrenaline rush when you start a new project… where you get that first questioning thought that asks you, “What the hell was I thinking when I decided that THIS would be a great project?” Sometimes you have to apply some frequency to the poor project’s head. Work at it just a bit longer when you are convinced that it is going nowhere.

This is your Inner Critic’s way of shutting down an idea if you ignored his initial grumbling at the beginning. He switches tactics and no longer blocks the individual words and thoughts, but attacks the concept itself, by making premature (and often unrealistic) expectations on the end result, when in reality you are still working through the details. If push through this resistance, you’ll be able to bring your own message home.

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