About a year ago, I discovered a little video (via The Chief Happiness Officer) called The 5.75 Questions You've Been Avoiding. Ever since then, I've had the 5 questions on a little note sticking out of my dormant rolodex that really serves as a miscellaneous inspiration file (see end of this post).
The 5 questions are:
- What's going well for you?
- What are you trying to ignore?
- What's boring you?
- How do you want to be remembered?
- Who do you love?
(I won't reveal the .75 — you need to go visit the site for that!)
There are a few reasons for sharing this with you:
- Writers spend a lot of time avoiding what they really need to do, which is to dedicate themselves to their writing. If it's what you really love to do, then do it. (More on this below.)
- For writers of stories, do you know the answers to these questions for your protagonist? It can lead to some major inspiration if you're stuck.
- Finally, the awareness that is advocated in this video, through asking these questions, that's the awareness that's vital for any writer—observing the world and being mindful of our reactions and other people's reactions.
I recently came across a quote (from a Starbucks cup, remember that earlier post?), about what it means to dedicate yourself to something. Other people apparently are very inspired by this quote, though I'm torn on the issue. So I present it here for your consideration:
The irony of commitment is that it's deeply liberating - in work, in play, in love. The act frees you from the tyranny of your internal critic, from the fear that likes to dress itself up and parade around as rational hesitation. To commit is to remove your head as the barrier to your life.
If I could recast this, I'd say it's more about dedicating yourself to a passion, or what you really love, and not necessarily a commitment. Is it necessary to commit yourself to what you already love? Either way, if you love writing, then you know what you need to do after answering those 5 questions. Put away your fear, and take the risk (whether you'd like to call it a commitment, dedication, or passionate pursuit).