It’s an exquisitely foggy morning in Vancouver. Mist softens the edges of trees, buildings, even the water line of English Bay. The urban landscape feels fresh, undiscovered. Filled with mystery and promise. A resonant fog horn in the distance adds to the magic as I make my way along the shore, pausing to listen to the shrilling of gulls overhead.
It’s easy to be enchanted by the cinematic vista while I’m enjoying a morning walk, but I can’t help but think of how this translates to business.
As 2019 gets rolling, I’m looking at areas of my writing business that need my attention. Uncertainty is right at the top of the list. The looming tax season prompted me to get super organized last week, focusing on sorting all my receipts and plugging everything into a spreadsheet so my bookkeeper can make sense of it. Being organized is one thing, but not knowing exactly what’s next is another concern altogether.
I’ve decided to look at it through the perspective of Joseph Campbell, the mythologist and professor of literature who became famous for his theory of a hero’s journey.
According to Campbell, every adventure begins with huge amounts of uncertainty, whether it’s an undiscovered country or learning a new skill, or building a business. There’s rarely a recipe for guaranteed success. Hollywood screenwriters have known this for years: no mystery, no friction, no desired outcome? No story. Check out Ingrid Goes West for a slightly twisted modern take on this.
How lame would it be if we all emerged into adulthood with prefabricated careers and tidily laid out lives? I mean, maybe in the 50’s that seemed attractive, but it’s not the reality in 2019. As a writer and creative being, the mysteries in life are the most fascinating, captivating my attention in ways a predictable outcome never could. In the unknown lies the adventure.
Speaking of adventure, I’m working with some fascinating new clients and I’m excited to be helping them tap into their own heroic journey and share it with their audience.
Your story matters and we need to hear it. Robert McKee, writing legend and supporting character in Adaptation, Charlie Kaufman’s brilliant film about a struggling writer flailing in the creative murk, said it best: “Stories are the currency of human relationships.”
How about you? Are you ready to share your experiences and embark on a quest for success? If you’re on LinkedIn, there’s a great chat from branding guide David Brier about the importance of having a book as part of your connection strategy. Let’s make 2019 the year you share your adventure with the world.