Why I love, What About Bob?
My husband hates the movie What About Bob. He's a psychologist and thinks the idea of a patient stalking you to your vacation home, then subsequently winning the hearts of your family and driving you insane, sounds more like horror than comedy. I on the other hand, love that movie. I have a soft spot for the antics of Bill Murray. What can I say, I'm from the Ghostbusters generation, but that's not the only reason I love it. I actually think it contains some sound wisdom. Really, I do.
Sometimes I wonder if the producers of What About Bob knew they be doing the public a favor when they made the movie? And I'm not talking about raising the awareness of bladder explosion. (Which is real, by the way. My sister had a patient in the ICU whose bladder had exploded. That is the honest to goodness truth!) No, I'm talking about the sound psychological advice contained in the pages of Dr. Leo Marvin's book, Baby Steps. I wish I could actually buy that book and read it! Unfortunately it doesn't exist. Though I can imagine what it would say if it did:
When facing an overwhelming task (such as doing a gigantic pile of dishes), do not look at the whole chore. Simply break it down into manageable chunks. First say to yourself, I will do the cups and only the cups and so forth.
Okay, so a famous psychiatrist might not bother with telling you exactly how to do the dishes, but that's how I use the advice. Baby steps to load the dishwasher, baby steps to wipe down the counter, baby steps to fold the laundry. It makes me laugh and I get things done.
I think most of us as writers are pretty much baby step specialists. After all an entire book is written letter by letter, word by word, page by page. Sometimes when I start a new project (after the initial new book rush), I look at all the work that needs to be done before finishing and I get overwhelmed. Then Bob's voice comes into my head, "babysteps to the elevator" "baby steps to get on the bus" and suddenly I know I can do it! What about you, do you baby step your way through life or am I the only one who loves this?