I just attended a webinar for project management by the amazing Alison Levine, author of ON THE EDGE, who climbed Everest TWICE. Though she had to turn back a couple hundred feet from the summit in 2002, in 2010, she made it all the way to the top. She is an amazing speaker, and had so many great lessons, not only for a PMP like me, but for the writer in me as well.
The main takeaway for me was: “Give yourself the freedom to fail.”
Failure is important in everything. We learn from our failures. Alison mentioned we have a lack of tolerance for failure in our society, which is a shame. Lack of failure inhibits innovation. It halts our ability to advance. Her example was, without the first guys who made it to the summit of Everest, the next people to try would not have had the knowledge to make it, too. Every time someone makes it, there are more lessons learned to share with the next teams who try.
Other things she said that resonated with me are:
Fear is okay. Complacency will kill you. — this is something I need to remember in my current WIP, which deals with a person who is learning to overcome her biggest fear.
Break it down into smaller parts. — A lesson I learned a LONG time ago, but it is always nice to be reminded of this important lesson.
Be relentless. — I think all writers need this one. 🙂 If you have been writing as long or longer than I have (almost 30 years), you know what being relentless looks like. It is continuing on in the face of multiple rejections. It is continuing on without reward or even a light at the end of the tunnel. We are martyrs for our muses and our craft.
Take action based on the situation and We can only control our reactions. — important for making sure your characters are doing the “right” thing according to who they are and what their background is and how they would TRULY react in a given situation.
Nobody gets to the top alone. — And here I’ll plug my critique group, Because Magic, and how awesome they are. I would not be the writer I am today without them.
I never thought I would be able to apply Project Management lessons to my writing, but this was one of the BEST presentations I’ve ever listened to.
I’ll be attending Pikes Peak Writers Conference this weekend! More to come on that next week!
Peace and Keep Writing,
Claire L. Fishback