The Martian experience or how you have to be lost and alone, when you want to create.

October 08, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

The Martian was the best sci-fi book I have read in years, so I had to view the movie in the first days after the premiere. The movie failed to reproduce enormousness of the main character loneliness, which was so well described in the book. When Mark Watney was traveling across Mars, he had just a very rough satellite maps and, of course, he was without GPS or any other navigation help. And he was without the contact with Earth.

But still, The Martian is a big story. I was walking from the cinema thinking about how similar to Mark Watney experience can be to the experience of somebody, who is working on any creative project. For example, try to imagine that you had left your other assignments and moved for one year to a small village on a rough ocean coast to write a book. 

Sure, you would have some maps in your head. But traveling through a real country is a different experience. 

There are blind roads, which can leave you in the middle of a desert and when you turn back, then you see, that tracks you made were leveled by the wind.  There can be abruptly a steep break across the road, pushing you back, erasing days of progress. Or you would discover, that the plane, that looked so smooth from satellite, is in the reality full of boulders and you can continue ahead, but much slower than you planned.

The only thing you can do in these situations is to take a deep breath and try again. And maybe hum some song by the way. There are no shortcuts and there is nobody to show you how to proceed. You can't avoid mistakes and losses on this road. 

And if you are walking ahead smoothly, if your progress is flawless, painless, fast and easy, then, for sure, you are not on Mars.


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