I know people who love wild roller coaster rides, and the more adrenaline producing the descent, the better. Some enjoy thrilling, yet dangerous activities like hang gliding or less dangerous but too strenuous for me hobbies like water-skiing or crossing the street without looking both ways. I won’t even watch Fear Factor. Sushi is my favorite food, but I don’t go for the uni or the other more challenging menu items.
So, I am taking this course called, “Stunt Writing,” and the idea is to explore something unfamiliar or outside your comfort zone and write about it. I like the quote of Eleanor Roosevelt the instructor shared, “Every day I do something I am scared of.” But the assignment was not as scary as it appeared at first. The instructor, Erin Jourdan, a graduate of San Francisco State‘s MFA program, shared that her stunt was visiting a shooting gallery, and she even took along a skillful, experienced marksman for support and assistance. So, it wasn’t going to be so bad; I wasn’t going to have to eat something horrible or go parachute jumping. Some chose as their stunt reconnecting with old friends, visiting religious services they were unfamiliar with or examining a painful time in their past in hope of discovering healing and closure. It was a lot less “stunt-like,” than I imagined. When I think of a stuntman/woman, I can see someone jumping off a cliff or diving into shark infested water. Soaring off creativity cliffs or diving into waters of shark-infested ideas is more my idea of risk-taking.
One thing I’ve learned is that if I believe I have received some sort of inspiration for a wildly creative original idea, someone has already thought of it first. Look, with more than seven billion people on this earth, its bound to happen. I remember how difficult it was to try to find a name for my husband’s former business. Every available clever, unique, yet applicable name was already spoken for. And that was 25 years ago. I was trying to help my son and his potential business partner with the same, and days of brainstorming could not yield anything both unique and attention-getting. So finally it happened. I thought of ZynByn (pronounced Zine-Bine.) Since so many domain names are already either in use or squatted on in hopes of a sale, many well-known company names are made up, such as Google and Zemanta. But ZynByn is a sort of typically slurred, fast speaking pronunciation of the Israeli slang phrase, “zayin b’ayin.” Literally, a zayin is a weapon, but colloquially it refers to the male organ. You can see how this understanding might have come about 🙂it is not profanity, but something akin to the English slang, “your equipment.” “Ayin,” means eye. So the phrase could be translated, “a penis in your eye,” which might be spoken when your boss or your mom tells you to do something and is a shorter replacement for, “and you and what army are going to make me do that?” Israelis with their anti-hierarchy cultural bent apparently do not evidence a great deal of respect for either bosses or moms. I was so excited that I emailed darling son my thoughts immediately, expecting a happy and grateful response. But it was not to be. “Mooom, why do you always have to think of something cutesy and humorous?” Then his erstwhile business partner picked something that was rather boring and number one son was okay with that. At least he didn’t tell me, “zayin b’ayin.”
However, I googled, “stunt thinking,” and it doesn’t exist. Yeah! “A year of writing dangerously,” (book title) and, “A year of thinking dangerously,” (blog title) are both out there. “Stunt-Blogger/ing is also nothing new. I heard of an interesting contest among wine-bloggers, an interest of mine, where one blogger would pick a theme, and entrants would write on that theme as it relates to wine, even peripherally. Following voting, the winner would pick the theme for next month’s contest. Wouldn’t it be fun to have a contest where entrants randomly get assigned to write a post for another entrant’s blog, sort of like picking a topic out of a hat? Maybe that’s already been done too?
So, how about, “Think Without Fear?” Perhaps, “A Day of Fearless Thinking?” Someone already did that. But we can do it too; imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. In googling, “Thinking Fearlessly,” I came up with this interesting post: http://www.innovationexcellence.com/blog/2010/02/20/thinking-fearlessly/
Okay, so what is your most outrageous thought? What thoughts would you explore if you had nothing to fear?