List Five Things You Want

By Chris McGinty

Before I begin, this is one of the things that I wrote using a writing prompt. Go ahead, before you read what I have to say, open up a file or grab a piece of paper, and write for as long as you want on the subject of “List five things you want.” This blog should still be here when you’re done.

When I was doing this exercise, I decided to add to each prompt the phrase “between the sheets.” Actually, that’s not what I added, but it would make for an interesting blog, and it would officially be our blog with the most use of the word “butt.” The phrase I added was something to the extent of, “As this pertains to According To Whim.” Well here’s what I came up with. Note that initially I only wrote a couple hundred words to get some thoughts down, and what you’re reading involved rewriting and adding on.

Camaraderie – The truth is that I think first and foremost the reason why we get together and do the show is because it’s time to hang out and have a good time. I’m sure I have a lot of advice that I could give people, but here is a bit that relates to this. Start a project with your friends. It doesn’t have to be a public access show or anything creative, but just find something big that either you want to do or one of your friends wants to do. Once you know what it is, send out invites to people. We’re doing this, on this day, at this time, everybody bring some food and beverage, and let’s work on this thing. It can be working on a VW Beetle. It can be building a fence for someone. It can be a public access show. It’s a strange thing I’ve found in life, but accomplishing something with others is at times more fulfilling than just hanging out.

Creative outlet – Face it; I’m a creative person, so why wouldn’t I want to do something creative? I’ll take this one step further. I’m more likely to get down in the dumps, or just plain depressed, when I’m doing nothing creative with my life. I write everyday, and there is an incredible void that opens up if I don’t. From the start of Sniffles (sniff) I was doing this more for the chance to write comedy. I’ve never really wanted to be an actor, and I haven’t studied acting the way I have writing or music. When you look at everything that goes in to making the show, because there is a blog, a website, and any number of other projects that go on around the central project. A little bit of questionable acting is worth the rest of the stuff.

Fame – Eh, I like to be seen. I like to be recognized. Nathan says that the stardom is not what he’s about, but he certainly complains when other people have 100,000 hits and we have 25. Well those hits come with fame, and fame comes with those hits. I think I dealt with this a little bit in a previous blog. Thing is I know Nathan wants a little fame too, but I’m pretty sure it’s one of many limiting things that we, as humans, say to ourselves. I’ll pick on Miguel for a moment. He’s been saying, “Oh man, I want to be behind the camera. I don’t like how I look. Blah. Blah.” Read the last sentence of the section on creative outlet. Thing is that Stephen Spielberg, who Miguel basically wants to be, is behind the camera pretty much his whole working life. Yet people see Spielberg all the time, sometimes in films, and at awards shows, and whatever. What Miguel is doing is making a flimsy excuse to not succeed by limiting what he will do in order to succeed. I believe that we all want fame, success, or whatever any of those mean to us, but we don’t want the downside. I think sometimes the potential downside looms too heavily in our minds. If I’m giving advice again, it’s to not limit yourself based on fear.

Prosperity – Thing is that while it may seem egregious to my peeps in the ATW that I want to make money off of our little hobby, the fact is that there has been a shift in our world. Where once there was nobility in not profiting from your hobbies, most folks are supplementing their incomes from home these days. Why not doing what we enjoy doing? I used to talk about getting loans and working 40 hours a week to break free of the employment chains. Was this right? I don’t know. What I do know is that I know what I want to do with my time and life, and it doesn’t really involve giving folks pizza or trying to act like a wannabe cop. People like to be entertained, and it’s not going to hurt anything if I get a little bit of their entertainment budget.

Solidarity of purpose – I think one of the things that has limited us here at According To Whim is that we’re not too good at unifying. We would do well to decide on a project and just get it done. No excuses. No drama. Just action. I propose this idea to anybody who has ever said, “I don’t feel like it.” Is it really that you don’t feel like doing whatever it is you say you don’t feel like doing, or is it that your mood is low and you’re blaming something external? With some things in life, there is some sort of completion point, and there is no reason not to just reach that point and then move on to next thing. When you’re working with others this can only happen by sitting down and unifying, and not making excuses.

So that’s about it for this subject. The prompting thing is really useful for getting ideas down. If there’s any other advice I would give before I go, it’s that if you did the exercise earlier before you read this then don’t forget to do anything with it for too long.

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