Thursday, October 04, 2012


How many decisions do we make each day?  What to have for lunch, how to spend our time and who to spend it with, whether to say anything/what to say on social media, should we take on this client/project -- from insignificant to significant, the list goes on and on. 

Some believe in the butterfly effect: that ripples from a small action can lead to major changes.  When we have to make choices, we may not know which direction to go.  Research and advice from trusted friends can help.  But sometimes, we suffer from secondguessitis.

 As an actor and writer, what to say and do at a given audition or how to satisfy requests in an editor’s revision letter from an editor can bring on symptoms of secondguessitis.  If we want the job/the book sale, we need to satisfy the buyers.  Figuring out what they really want can lead to overthinking. 

 Let’s say you’re attending a friend’s event but don’t know what to wear.  You show up in a carefully chosen outfit.  If the friend says, “You look great, aka, we love your attention to historical accuracy, but can you dress down, aka, have less historical detail?” you may choose to return to your closet and see what you can do to accommodate him/her.  How much are you willing to change?  
And what exactly does the request mean?  You may be able to ask your friend for specifics--should I change my earrings and/or my shoes?  But with a several hundred page manuscript, you can’t really ask the editor, “Which details did you like?”  It’s a challenge not to worry about cutting the ones they connected with or too many.  And an audition, if they say go bigger or smaller, we may wonder how much is too much.

We wouldn't be at the audition or have the revision letter if we didn't have something the talent buyer wanted to see and work with. But worrying too much about what he/she thinks can freeze creativity.  At some point, when making adjustments, we need to trust our instincts.  And bring to the table whatever it is makes us unique, whether or not our product resonates at that time with that client.    

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