Nicola Vincent-Abnett

Nicola Vincent-Abnett
"Savant" for Solaris, Wild's End, Further Associates of Sherlock Holms, more Wild's End

Wednesday 14 September 2016

What if?

… And Why not?

Two heads are better than one, and,
What if? can be followed by Why not?

The husband and I had a long and fascinating chat last night, by way of an ideas session. 

I asked the husband, ‘What if?”

This is a common question that writers and, I suppose, other artists ask themselves. I do it all the time, and I know that the husband does it too.

Once in a while, it’s a question that I ask the husband or that he asks me. Often this occurs while we're working on a joint project… Once in a while, I ask the husband What if? about one of his solo projects. The husband works a lot, so it’s inevitable that he talks to me about what he’s writing, from time to time. I don’t know how often I’ve asked a question, come up with an idea or solved a problem for him, but I do know that I can be useful. We have different strengths, both when it comes to generating ideas and in the actual writing. I think it's healthy that we use each other as resources.

Last night, I had a thought about a project that he's working on, and I had some ideas about it that I thought were worth sharing, so, I asked ‘What if?’

Somewhat to my surprise, the husband said, ‘I don’t think I can.’

I don’t hear this very often, and when I  hear it, it’s more likely to be coming out of my mouth than his.

If you’re going to ask the question What if? Sometimes, you’re going to get a negative responsive.

Some of us, some of the time, take No for an answer… I know I do that, and that I've done it all my life.

If we can just bring ourselves to ask, Why not? Things might be very different… In our lives and in our work.

So, last night, I asked, ‘Why not?’ And it turned out, once we’d gone back and forth a little bit, that there really was no good reason Why not. The husband liked my idea, he simply needed to find a way to implement it. As it turned out, there were very good reasons why he would want to adopt my idea, and some of those reasons were things that I didn't even know about.

It's very gratifying when I get something right.

As soon as the conversation was over… Sometime around 9pm, the husband went back to his desk.

Sometimes, I’m my own worst enemy… On the other hand, this idea, this chat.... asking What if and following it with Why not, could turn out to have been a bit of a coup.

Watch this space.

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