Friday, January 13, 2012

"It's a mind game."

Here we are, in the middle of January. I thought for sure I'd have something amazing to say by now. Hmm. I guess not.

So here's a little twist to mix things up. I'm a dancer and a writer- what if those worlds collided?

From this month's issue of Dancespirit, I give you YOUR TOP 10 COMPETITION FEARS, Everything you worry about on Comp day- and how to deal. And geniusly changed to fit the world of a writer...

Fear #1- the nemesis move-

In dance, this is that one trick that makes your dance pop, but what if you miss it?
In writing, this is that one streak of pure perfectness in your story line that makes every reader in your target audience want your book.

The fix: "Now is the time to trust your training." If you don't hit it this time, you will next time. Keep breathing and practice, practice practice.

Fear # 2 -costume malfunction-

I think it's safe to skip this one in the writing world.

The fix: You know, just in case you're a dancer...uhm, dress rehearsal, body glue, sticky tape, and just leave your hat on the floor should it fall off. I'm guessing you really didn't want to hear all of that.

Fear #3- Forgetting to pack something

In dance, we're talking dance bag. There is nothing worse than arriving without an essential item.

In writing, this is each scene. Does it have enough in it to make it shocked with emotion and movement? Or do you have a dead chapter?

The fix: In dance, "make a list and check it a million times". In writing, read your chapters objectively and ask yourself why anyone else would want to read it.

Fear #4- Blanking Onstage (AKA Deer in the Headlights)

In dance- nuf said.

In writing, blanking on the story. The "I've got nothing" scenario.

The fix: "Any performance-related opportunity builds confidence and decreases the chances that you're going to freeze onstage." Actually, I believe this 100%. In writing, if you're really stuck, ask people leading questions. For example, last night I asked someone what could go wrong if you're riding a horse. The list I was handed was full of possibilities that I hadn't considered. Let the story simmer if you have to, but also get back to your computer and keep trying.

We're going to skip the next few...#5 losing a team member at the last minute, #6 dealing with unpredictable props, #7 Unpredictable stages, #8 the quick change and #9 Letting the team down

Having said that, I can personally tell you that these are all valid fears that my dancers face at shows and competitions on a regular basis. Sometimes it makes you feel better when you realize that you're not the only one. But I like this quote, "Don't be mean to the girl who messes up, because the next time it might be you."

That said, we come to...

Fear #10 Getting psyched out by your competition

The fix: Do it for yourself, not for them. "But if you do choose to check out the others, make the experience a positive one, not a scary one. Try to get inspired."


L.T. Elliot said...

I definitely liked the advice about being nice to the girl that messes up. We all mess up, one time or another. And I think we all need some sympathy and kindness to see us through it.

Laura said...

Thanks L.T. you inspire me.