Use Your Constraints to Guide You Into Action
Hi, it’s Bob Lucchesi … and thanks for joining me for Day 2 of The Writer’s Life this week.
Yesterday, I told you how Spud Webb at only 5’-7’’ used his limitation to fuel a successful NBA career– and win an NBA dunking contest …
And, how Dr. Seuss used the constraints of only being allowed to use first-grade vocabulary and 50 different words to power him to write Green Eggs and Ham, one of the best-selling children’s classics of all time.
You started thinking about the limitations or constraints you might be feeling in your own writing career.
Today, I’m going to help you identify your specific limitations, learn how to accept them, and, more importantly, discover how to use them as a canvas to create the masterpiece you were born to create.
A widely accepted definition of the word “limitation” is: a limiting condition; restrictive weakness; lack of capacity; inability or handicap.
Notice, I said … “a” definition, not “the” definition.
Here’s my definition of limitation: a starting point; a guide; what you have to work with … your canvas!
Limitations don’t point to what you can’t do – they point to what you must do!
In Byron Katie’s book, Loving What Is, she states that people who don’t accept their present circumstance or resist what is … suffer. What you resist, persists … and, acceptance is the elixir that will set you free into action!
But, before you can use limitations to your advantage, the first thing you have to do is identify what your specific limitations are.
For example, they might be … I have a full-time job and family … I don’t have enough money to start my writing business … I don’t have any connections to get clients …
Make a list of what you consider your greatest limitations or constraints.
The second thing I’m going to ask you to do is accept your limitations. This determines the canvas that you have to work with …
It may be a large fabric canvas on an easel … or an entire wall … a small artist pad … or just a thimble. It doesn’t matter – this is what you have to work with to create your masterpiece … so, accept it!
Now, the third thing I want you to do is use your canvas to determine the brushes and paints you will use. In other words – let your canvas guide your actions!
Here was my canvas as a neophyte screenwriter …
I don’t live in Los Angeles … I have no contacts in the film industry … I have a full-time job … limited funds … newly married.
Here’s how my canvas guided my brush strokes …
My full-time job didn’t leave me much time to write. So, I got up at 4:00 a.m. to write an hour before work each day, jotted down story notes while at work, and on Saturdays and Sundays I got up early to write for several hours before my new bride awoke.
Here are a few more brush strokes that painted my canvas …
Out of the myriad of screenwriting seminars, workshops and conferences in LA to attend throughout the year, I could only afford to pick two. I zeroed in on the ones that had screenwriting classes, agents and producers open for new talent …
I cold called ahead of time to set-up pitch meetings and networking opportunities to meet agents, producers and other writers while in town for the three-day conference …
At the conference networking social, while the locals were “acting” like hot new screenwriters, partying it up … I was making good contacts with young associate producers, writers and agents.
While the local writers have hundreds of these “networking” opportunities in LA, they may not have been as focused as a newly married, determined screenwriter from out of town.
The net result?
I made legitimate contacts at the studios, found an agent willing to take me on, and got my first screenplay optioned.
The painting on my canvas may not have been a Van Gogh, but it looked pretty good to me!
What’s your canvas starting to look like? I’d like to know what brushes and paints you’re planning to use to paint a picture of writing success … let me know here in the comments.
Maybe the upcoming AWAI Bootcamp would be a perfect picture for you to paint … if that’s the size of your canvas. Maybe it’s the Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting, or attending a webinar. Or, maybe it’s just finding 15 minutes of quiet time each day to write. It’s your canvas – paint the picture that works for you!
I’ll be back tomorrow, where we’ll discuss how your limitations shouldn’t hinder you from starting your copywriting career. In fact, they’ll launch it!
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