Are You Brilliant but Things Still Suck?

Dogs Are Smarter Than People: Writing Life, Marriage and Motivation
Are You Brilliant but Things Still Suck?
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There are people out there who are just brilliant. Their brains are amazing. Their art is gasp-inducing.

But they can’t seem to achieve their goals.

These are the people who know twenty-two languages, have maybe five masters degrees, and shrug it off like it’s no big deal.

They can quote Derrida and Angela Davis in the same breath and make the connections between the two.

According to writer/blogger Jessica Wildfire, some people are ‘too good for their own good.’

She calls this the Cold Mountain Effect.

She writes:

Someone can know too much. They can be too talented. They’ll turn any project into an epic journey through the Himalayas. They don’t get tired of working. They don’t want to see the end. They’re not even perfectionists. They just love their work too much.

This stems from the story of the writer of Cold Mountain.

It made history in 1997 with a 61-week run on the New York Times best-seller list, moving 3 million copies.

Based on its success, Charles Frazier got an $8 million deal for his second book, with nothing more than a 1-page proposal. Cold Mountain swept the award scene that year, and went on to become a hit film that earned seven Academy Award nominations.

Sometimes it takes an intervention.

You probably don’t know that Frazier spent almost a decade working on Cold Mountain. According to lore, he couldn’t stop.

One of his friends finally snuck an unfinished copy of the manuscript to a literary agent, who signed Frazier on the spot. That’s the only reason anyone knows anything about Charles Frazier. It’s hard to imagine how long he would’ve kept revising it.

It’s not perfectionism that keeps them going, she argues, but the fear of their own success. Or it can just be the joy that they get from creating and doing and not wanting that joy to stop.

Susanne Babbel MFT, PhD on Psychology Today’s blog talks a bit more in depth about this fear. She’s dealt with a lot of clients who are afraid of success. Many of her clients had PTSD.

She wrote

For them, the excitement of success feels uncomfortably close to the feeling of arousal they experienced when subjected to a traumatic event or multiple events. (This feeling of arousal can be linked to sexuality, in certain cases where trauma has been experienced in that realm, but that is not always the case.) People who have experienced trauma may associate the excitement of success with the same physiological reactions as trauma. They avoid subjecting themselves to excitement-inducing circumstances, which causes them to be almost phobic about success.

There is another layer to the fear of success. Many of us have been conditioned to believe that the road to success involves risks such as “getting one’s hopes up” — which threatens to lead to disappointment.

And many of us — especially if we’ve been subject to verbal abuse — have been told we were losers our whole lives, in one way or another. We have internalized that feedback and feel that we don’t deserve success. Even those of us who were not abused or otherwise traumatized often associate success with uncomfortable things such as competition and its evil twin, envy.

She suggests this exercise.

Recall an event where you were successful or excited when you were younger, and notice what you are feeling and sensing in your memory. Stay with the sensation for five minutes. 

Recall an event where you were successful and excited recently in your life, and notice what you are feeling and sensing. Stay with this sensation for five minutes.

Now tap into the sensation of a memory of an overwhelming situation. I suggest not to start with a truly traumatic event, at least not without a therapist’s support. Start with something only moderately disturbing to you. 

Now, go back to visualizing your success story. Do you notice a difference?

WRITING TIP OF THE POD

You have to be brave sometimes and show your work to the world. Don’t get stuck endlessly tinkering because you love a project so much. You’ll love another.

DOG TIP FOR LIFE

Don’t be afraid of hope. Bad crap happens but even if you’ve been abused and lived in the pound, you can find that success and excitement and the joy again. Us dogs do it all the time.

SHOUT OUT!

The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Summer Spliff” by Broke For Free.

LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN.

And to hear our podcast latest episode for DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE, all about Making Sexy Mission Statements and Writing Platforms, click here.

HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast as we talk about random thoughts, writing advice and life tips. We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 254,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

Resources

https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/somatic-psychology/201101/fear-success

https://www.msn.com/en-au/lifestyle/smart-living/the-cold-mountain-effect-explains-why-the-most-talented-often-dont-reach-their-potential/ar-BB1cNpoV

The Last Twenty Years and Goals

Okay. It’s not officially the end of the decade, but 2020 is such a cool number to get rid of right now, So, I thought about what I was like back in 2000 and I realized that I was:

1. Much cuter.
2. 20 years younger.
3. Had more brain cells.

But that doesn’t matter because in the last 20 years (or 21) – I don’t know it’s math and confusing – I’ve:

1. Gone from being a freelance reporter to a newspaper editor to a book author who gets royalty checks with actual money in them to being a NYT and internationally bestselling author to independently publishing too and also being a writing coach and editor and teacher. Whew.
2. Gone from having a toddler to having a teenager to having someone in graduate school at Dartmouth.
3. Gotten a super cool dog and cat and lost them and now have five furry babies living in this house with me that aren’t humans.

How about you? Has your life changed since 2000? Have you achieved any of your goals? Do you have goals for the next 10 years? The next twenty? I do. 

Here they are:

1. Hike the AT – this can be done in parts, I’m not fussy any more. (Same as ten years ago. Ugh.)
2. Go somewhere warm that is not in this country and not bring my computer. (I’ve done this. It just seems like it will never happen again.)
3. Make the world a tiny bit better somehow in some way and write more books and do more podcasts and get okay at marketing somehow.
4. Do the MDI Marathon somehow, even if I have to walk it.
5. Not be super poor and live in a condemned shack hoarding cats and newspapers and scrunchies.

No, there aren’t like big spiritual/personal life/family goals there because well – I am too shy to post those. 

The most important goal, however?

FINDING GROVER!!!!

Yes, Grover is missing again. I think he may have run away. I haven’t been paying much attention to him. And he has been drinking a lot of schnapps lately and I fear he may have wandered outside into the snow. Or maybe Gabby the Dog took him on a little adventure because she’s super into him.

*sobs*

My life is so empty without him.

SPECIAL PLEA TO GROVER: Please come back, baby. I won’t make you wear the cape anymore. I will try not to be neurotic. Please, baby…please… Don’t make me write a country song about you.


LET’S HANG OUT!

HEY! DO YOU WANT TO SPEND MORE TIME TOGETHER?

MAYBE TAKE A COURSE, CHILL ON SOCIAL MEDIA, BUY ART OR A BOOK, OR LISTEN TO OUR PODCAST?

JUST CLICK ON THIS LINK AND FIND OUT HOW WE CAN.

And to hear our podcast latest episode for DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE, all about Making Sexy Mission Statements and Writing Platforms, click here.


HELP US AND DO AN AWESOME GOOD DEED

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness on the DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE podcast as we talk about random thoughts, writing advice and life tips. We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

Thanks so much for being one of the 254,000 downloads if you’ve given us a listen!

HEAR MY BOOK BABY (AND MORE) ON PATREON

My Patreon site I read and print chapters of unpublished YA novels. THE LAST GODS and SAINT and now ALMOST DEAD.

I also share some writing tips that are also going to be on Teachable as the WRITING CLASS OF AWESOME and send people art.

It’s a super fun place to hang out, learn, read, and see my weirdness in its true form.

And I’m starting up a brand new, adult paranormal set at a Maine campground. You can read the first chapter here.

almost dead book by carrie jones
almost dead book by carrie jones

Avoiding the New Year’s Suck – Dogs are Smarter Than People Podcast

Okay. Okay. I know we always try to be positive because we are positive people. Cough. But New Years? It’s a little frustrating.

That’s because it’s all about goals and new starts. And you know, every day should be about that, right? And then you’re like, “Crap, I failed in my goals. Crap, I need new goals. Crap, why is this party boring? Crap, should my new goal to be to never attend a party?”

And so on.

But that pressure? To be Instagram-worthy, to be super achiever goal person, to be extra? That’s what makes New Years suck. At this house, we like to just celebrate that we’re still alive, not bankrupt, and not in jail. It’s way better that way because there’s not as much pressure.

A long time ago – back in the 1980s – this guy Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi was studying happiness. He gave people pagers. Remember this was in the 1980s. Then he and his research assistants would send the people messages at random times and ask how they were doing, feeling, what they were doing, etc. It sounds a bit like when your mom texts you, honestly.

And he discovered flow. People were happy when they were super engaged in the task they were doing. People weren’t happy when they were doing nothing. They were happy when they were involved in something.

Minds were blown.

When people were in the ‘flow,’ they forgot about time, space, all the other detritus in their lives. They were focused on the now, on what they were doing. What they were doing might be writing, sports, hanging out with other humans, art, and so on… But for them the involvement was so intense that they became engaged and absorbed into it and were happy.

Writing should do that for you.

Writing Tip of the Pod

If you aren’t in the flow, why are you writing? Give yourself ten minutes. Set a timer. If it isn’t working, get up and go back later. Life is too short to be unhappy. Make that your new year mantra.

Dog Tip for Life

Fun and work aren’t mutually exclusive. Having fun and being useful aren’t either, man. Pull out your inner dog and go with the flow this year. Look for the flow.

Be a Part of the Podcast!

Hey! If you download the Anchor application, you can call into the podcast, record a question, or just say ‘hi,’ and we’ll answer. You can be heard on our podcast! Sa-sweet!

No question is too wild. But just like Shaun does, try not to swear, okay?

Here is the link to the mobile app.

SHOUT OUT

The music we’ve clipped and shortened in this podcast is awesome and is made available through the Creative Commons License. Here’s a link to that and the artist’s website. Who is this artist and what is this song?  It’s “Night Owl” by Broke For Free.


WRITING AND OTHER NEWS

ART.

I do art stuff. You can find it and buy a print here. 

TIME STOPPERS!

You can order my middle grade fantasy novel Time Stoppers Escape From the Badlands here or anywhere.

People call it a cross between Harry Potter and Percy Jackson but it’s set in Maine. It’s full of adventure, quirkiness and heart.

Time Stoppers Carrie Jones Middle grade fantasy

MOE BERG 

The Spy Who Played Baseball is a picture book biography about Moe Berg. And… there’s a movie out now about Moe Berg, a major league baseball player who became a spy. How cool is that?

It’s awesome and quirky and fun.

FLYING AND ENHANCED

Men in Black meet Buffy the Vampire Slayer? You know it. You can buy them hereor anywhere.

31702754 copy

OUR PODCAST – DOGS ARE SMARTER THAN PEOPLE.

Thanks to all of you who keep listening to our weirdness as we talk about random thoughts, writing advice and life tips. We’re sorry we laugh so much… sort of. Please share it and subscribe if you can. Please rate and like us if you are feeling kind, because it matters somehow. There’s a new episode every Tuesday!

dogs are smarter than people carrie after dark being relentless to get published

WRITING COACH

I offer solo writing coach services. For more about my individual coaching, click here.

Monday Motivation by Marsie

Good morning!

I hope you all claw onto life and your goals today, the way Marsie my cat claws onto my leg. Make it hurt. 🙂

Protect your goals and your life. Guard them. Own them. Keep your eyes half open all the time. You’ve got this.

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#cat #monday #amwriting