“In this brave new world, everything is invented (or stolen and hopefully re-interpreted) and everything is free to give away (or should be).”
Before we get started, let me give you a gift. Behold, a link to UNTITLED: Thoughts on the Creative Process for free (simply enter your email address and it will be sent to you post haste!). If you haven't read it, I hope you that you will. If you have read it, I hope you'll pass it along to someone you think might like it.
There's enough for everyone.
Recently I've been captured by the book, The Art of Possibility. It's been around for awhile and I can't believe it took me so long to hear about it. The book contains a series of practices and disciplines centered around the idea that there is enough for everyone. The world is not one of scarcity, but one of abundance.
Here's one quote I've been particularly moved by:
On the whole, resources are likely to come to you in greater abundance when you are generous and inclusive and engage people in your passion for life. There aren't guarantees of course. When you are oriented to abundance, you care less about being in control, and you take more risks. You may give away short-term profits in pursuit of a bigger dream; you may take a long view without being able to predict the outcome.
I must admit, the author's views are new for me. As I reflect on my former career acting (well, mostly auditioning), scarcity was always the name of the game.
There was one role and lots of other skinny white guys trying to get it. Of course there were always more plays and more Sears commercials to audition for, but at the end of the day you either got the part or someone else did.
But this world of ideas, of making things, I don't think is much like the one I left. In this brave new world, everything is invented (or stolen and hopefully re-interpreted) and everything is free to give away (or should be).
There is in fact, enough for everyone.
My wife was having a conversation with another writer friend of ours awhile back. They were both talking about writing books, publishing, getting published, etc. Our friend was explaining that she often feels this weird sense of competition with other writers. The feeling of competition she described sounded a lot like how I used to feel sitting in the waiting room of a casting director's office.
The basic fear is that there is only one book to be written, one contract to be signed, one song to be composed, one project to land, and we're all vying for it.
This couldn't be further from the truth.
But if I'm really honest, more times than not I feel like I'm still sitting in the waiting room running my lines in my head, terrified I won't get the job, and won't be able to pay my rent. So what I'm doing today is an experiment - an experiment in being less in control of my content - an experiment in giving things away.
I'm not sure how long it will be free as we're working on a beautiful print edition (which is a slightly revised version complete with accompanying reflections and exercises) that I hope will make a lovely addition to the e-book.