Be A Protagonist

It’s sometimes usually hard to take your own advice, or, as the case may be, to apply advice from one aspect of your life to another.

Think about your day. What did you do today that moved you toward your larger goals?

Step that back. Can you clearly articulate what your goals are?

If either of these questions stymied you, ask yourself if you would accept that from a protagonist in something you’re writing.

No. You wouldn’t. And you shouldn’t accept that from yourself.

This is not a call for constant productivity; for making demands of yourself that are greater than you could accomplish; for turning life into a series of to-dos. It’s a call to examine the way you think about yourself and what you do.

A protagonist should be attempting to achieve something large, but they have to do it in small increments. One scene at a time. One dramatic beat at a time. But there should always be momentum.

Remember, your characters aren’t constantly doing only things that work towards their major goals. The parts that aren’t worth focusing on get cut out.

Do the same for yourself. Don’t get caught up in the deleted scenes. Find your direction. Build your momentum. Be the scrappy underdog that makes good. Or the bold hero triumphing over adversity. Or the giant robot beating the crap out of other giant robots.

Whatever you have to see yourself as to get the point across, see yourself as a character worthy of attention, sympathy, and success.

See yourself as a protagonist.

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