John Duffin - My City - artfinder com product my-cityFantasy is important – especially for writers. But maybe we should try to fantasize more about simply finishing the project, not the wild success we’ll enjoy after it’s written.

Here’s an excerpt from “The Powerlessness of Positive Thinking” by Adam Alter in The New Yorker:

According to a great deal of research, positive fantasies may lessen your chances of succeeding. In one experiment, the social psychologists Gabriele Oettingen and Doris Mayer asked eighty-three German students to rate the extent to which they “experienced positive thoughts, images, or fantasies on the subject of transition into work life, graduating from university, looking for and finding a job.” Two years later, they approached the same students and asked about their post-college job experiences. Those who harbored positive fantasies put in fewer job applications, received fewer job offers, and ultimately earned lower salaries. The same was true in other contexts, too. Students who fantasized were less likely to ask their romantic crushes on a date and more likely to struggle academically. Hip-surgery patients also recovered more slowly when they dwelled on positive fantasies of walking without pain.

Read the full article here.

But if you don’t imagine your book or script getting written it will certainly never get written.

As a writer you have to accept that the creative process is a series of manic highs of creative fantasy and frustrating lows of disappointment and despair about your own abilities and how much longer it’s taking than you ever imagined.

So I guess we have to live with and maybe try to manage and direct our fantasies. Because now you’re hooked on the characters, the story, the world you’re writing about – and you’ve already invested so much time and energy in it. Plus there’s usually value in finishing a(nother) draft of almost any project.

As if any writer can really ever stop fantasizing anyway.

If you ever want advice, perspective, encouragement or a fresh take on your writing, e-mail me or call 323-717-4731 for a free consult.

Greg Miller

Awesome art by John Duffin.