Sunday, October 4, 2009

Left Meets Right- Journey of the Ant and the Elephant

While researching for my novella, one of my favorite books was The Ant and the Elephant by Vincent Poscente © 2004. This fable is about an ant (Adir) learning skills to lead the elephant (Elgo) to a place of Oasis. The wise old owl teaches Adir to look within himself for answers and to change his negative thinking to positive. As Adir begins his journey, he takes notes on how to become the best leader possible (Adir’s Notes to Self, Lesson No. 1, page 47):

  • Make fear your friend, not you master;
  • You don’t know what you don’t know. Open your mind to discover possibilities that may not be obvious at the time;
  • Zero in on a goal that has a depth of meaning. The journey has to be worth taking:
  • Action Step No. 1: Find the elephant buzz, i.e. the emotion that ignites the vision. Inspire your team through emotion. Never underestimate the power of emotion.

I believe that the above principles can be applied to our writing journey. For example, at some point or another, most writers fear rejection. Who wants to spend hours writing a short story or article or novel only to receive a rejection slip? However, rejection is probably the one thing that any writer can count on. Even the best writers receive rejections simply because there are fewer markets than there are writers.

I am certain that fear of rejection centers around a basic belief that once rejected, always rejected. Perhaps we feel our writing is not good enough, or that we do not have what it takes to succeed. However, my belief on fear: False Evidence Appearing Real. Do not give into it.

In writing, it is always important to open our minds to the many changes in the writing world. While devising your plan for publication, whether you choose the traditional or self-publishing avenue, never close your mind to other possibilities. Listen to other writers. Learn from what works and what does not. Always keep an open mind.

While keeping an open mind, find out what your goals are for publication. Create a plan. Build a network of writers—join a writer’s club, hook up with other writers online. Make it a point to learn from those who are more experienced, and share what you learn with other writers. Do whatever it takes to make your journey worthwhile!

Finally, I really love taking the action of using emotion to inspire. When working with a team, shared emotion is important in reaching a goal. However, as writers know, the actual act of creating a written work is a lonely job. Even if you form a group and write together, you must put the words onto paper. However, I think that igniting that emotion within oneself is what drives us as writers. If we do not feel that drive to write, treat our creation as if we are already succeeding, then we are selling ourselves short. I believe success means sitting down and writing whether we feel like it or not.

Happy writing all!

8 comments:

Jai Joshi said...

These are all excellent points. A real motivational boost on a Monday morning!

Jai

Susan Littlefield said...

Hi Jai:

Excellent, glad to hear it! If you have not read this book, you must! It's very inspirational!

Donna Harris said...

Hi Susan,
Reading your blog is both encouraging and informative for me. The children's book is coming along well, is great fun, and I thank you for your encouragement in getting started on it!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I've had a minor problem and lost your email address, so if you'll send me an email, I'd appreciate it.
Donna

Susan Littlefield said...

Hi Donna, so nice to hear that your children's book is coming along well. Thank you for the nice cmpliment on my blog, my goal is to encourage other writers.

I just sent you an email!

Hugs,
Susan

Darcy said...

That's good advice. Thank you!

Susan Littlefield said...

My pleasure, Darcy. Thank you for stopping by!

Lisa said...

Hi Susan -
I don't know if you remember me from a long time ago. I just recently started posting again at W. D.
I love your article - you are an amazing writer. :O)

Do you think The Ant and the Elephant would appeal to Middle Schoolers and do you think it would be a good read-aloud for the Language Arts department? I can't wait to get a copy and now that I have found your blog, I can't wait to read more!
Lisa (aka EzRytr)

Susan Littlefield said...

Lisa,

Of course I remember you!! In fact, I just posted to your thread at Writers' Digest. How have you been!?

Thank you for your compliment on my writing. That really makes my day!

The Ant and The Elephant is a guide for workplace performance, and it is written in the form of a parable. However, I think the principles would be a great teaching tool for younger people.

When you get around to reading it, please tell me what you think.

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