So how CAN we/ you/ I get past a Threshold Guardian or Gatekeeper to reach our goals, anyway?
Writers deal with this question a lot, as does anyone whose “next step” appears to depend on someone or some process beyond their immediate control.
A few years ago I attended a writers conference in South Carolina. While I was mainly there to advance with my life mapping book, for a lark I entered a “slush pile” event for science fiction. Everyone submitted just their first page of a scifi manuscript, and two well-known scifi editors then gave their evaluative response as if they might be sloshing through their daily Slush Pile of unsolicited manuscript submissions. Forty people attended. The editors liked only ONE of these forty submissions. Typically they would read no further than a phrase or a word in the first sentence and they would reject the whole work for some minor ‘pet peeve,’ dismissing the value of the entire manuscript on the basis of a ‘knee-jerk’ reaction to some very minor apparent blemish or weakness.
“This one opens with a Prologue!” (reject.)
“I can’t pronounce the main character’s name.” (reject.)
“Too wordy.” (reject.)
“Too sparse.” (reject.)
“Too colorful.” (reject.)
“Not colorful enough!” (reject.)
So, what can a writer or an applicant for a desired job or a promotion, etcetera, DO when you encounter one of these sorts of Guardians of the Threshold?
Just keep on doing what YOU do best. Cultivate your passion. Do it for Love.
Sure, we can always learn from our travails, and will persistently, so as to improve our approach. The Guardian Gatekeepers, after all, represent accepted standards, genre conventions, well established popular forms. They are experienced as experts in knowing what will “sell” or what the Public needs, wants and expects. And yet innovative artists, by definition, strive to push past the boundaries of convention and aim to advance beyond established norms with their unique insights and contribution of new forms.
So, do it anyway! Keep on writing or composing or applying for and redefining that job you really want. Claim your dreams and go for them with absolute faith that your process bears fruit even just in the doing! Then when you are really ready—on all levels, outwardly and inwardly—the obstacles will dissolve, and you may find your Gatekeepers will turn out to have been among your greatest of Archetypal Allies, after all!
I welcome your Comments and Stories!