Today we’re going to talk about rescue fantasies. Like the kind with George Clooney, you ask? Nope. Unfortunately. I wish. Although George Clooney might be in your rescue fantasy. Let me explain.

(You can watch the video above, or you can read it, transcribed below.)

Rescue fantasies are those dreams you have, of selling your screenplay for millions, or getting a six-figure book advance from your lifestyle blog, or being discovered in a mall like Robin Sparkles–even if you haven’t worked on your screenplay beyond a rough outline you did on a bar napkin, or registered your site on wordpress, or gone to a mall in years. In other words, they’re the fantasies we have of being plucked from the obscurity and toil of our day to day lives. They’re our escape fantasies. And they can be helpful, in so far as they help us know what are our dreams are. Your dream is to write and sell a screenplay, ideally skipping over all the mind numbing screenwriter stuff (like, learning your craft, writing the damn thing, getting feedback, finding an agent, doing a million rewrites, writing another one so you can prove you’re not a one-trick pony, more rewrites, etc etc etc). That stuff, that process-stuff doesn’t appeal to our fantasy brains.

We just want to skip right to the part where we’ve accomplished something and other people are jealous, right? Then, our real lives can begin.

In the fat acceptance community, this is called the fantasy of being thin–the belief that you can and should put your life on hold until you’re a certain weight. I think people engage in this future living in all sorts of areas, so I just call it silver-bullet thinking. It’s the belief that if only this one thing would go your way–you’d sell your screenplay, you’d win the lottery, you’d lost the 15 pounds, you get a significant other, you leave your shitty job–that your whole life will be different. That you won’t bring these problems and issues and bullshit that you’ve been lugging around in your brain for the past couple of decades because they’ve been eradicated by your silver bullet.

Of course you’ll bring those problems with you! You don’t have to look too far in our culture to see lots of high profile people who got their silver bullet and the only thing it eradicated was their mental health and quality of life.

Heres what silver bullet thinking does–it takes away the power you have, to engage in a daily practice of creating what you want in your life and it hands it over to a fantasy. To a nameless gatekeeper who will pluck you from obscurity, without any of the responsibility. I’m not saying I don’t believe in visualizing positive outcomes and holding a powerful vision for your future, but I want it to be powerful–I want it to give you momentum. Momentum to keep chugging along in the present, to use your abilities, and talent, and practice to make your vision real, not just a fantasy. You’ll know the difference between a rescue fantasy and a real vision for your future because one leaves you feeling like watching some Netflix and letting the Universe take care of your screenplay and the other knows that in order for your screenplay to sell for big bucks, it has to exist and it has to be good.

Rescue fantasies and silver bullet thinking are natural and can be harmless and even enjoyable. You can even use them to understand some of the more subtle ways you’re avoiding creative responsibility in your life. If you find yourself engaging in silver bullet thinking, write down your fantasy in great detail. Engage in all your senses–the goosebumps you’ll feel when you see your favorite actress reading the lines you’ve written, what you’re going to wear to the Oscar’s party, what you’ll say in your acceptance speech. And then sit down and do the damn writing. Let your fantasy give you momentum, let it be an energizing part of your creative practice. But don’t it let it be the only part of your creative practice.