@robblightfooot Your Creative Compass – Dan Millman
Artist, Martial Artist, College Prof
Stasislaw Lec – “I wanted to tell the world just one word.”
Unable to do that, he became a writer. After 17 books, Dan said, “I think you teach what you need to learn, and so I must need to learn a lot.”
Dan won’t lecture a lot about the topic, it’s covered in the book very well.
He often speaks to business groups, and he tends to talk about what they need to know. Problems are usually not about the business, it’s about the people.
Writing is the same. Our problems are often about other things. We can control our efforts in life, but we can’t control the outcome. We can control our efforts. You may 0% of the shot you don’t take. This is about limitations.
Finding enough time – this is external. Writers find a way. You make time. I have the luxury of spending all day writing. This is not a good idea. The best writing he did was when he had 4 hours a day He had to concentrate and fit in in a deadline.
These are some of the obstacles. Inertia. The more important the project seems, the bigger the inertia.
Stages – Pre-procrastination phase, procrastination, then the involved stage of hitting the keys.
The procrastination phase is necessary. It’s the dream phase where we start to develop.
He reads an opening passage of the night sky. Tell’s Twain story. After his death, his colleagues were quoted as saying “Heck, we all knew the same stories he did. We just bothered to write them down.” We’re the people who write things you down.
Writer’s Block – not real. You can always write a note. It’s that you can’t write at the level well. You’ll write badly, you must allow yourself to do bad writing. Ray Bradbury said there are two phases of writing: Throwing up and then Cleaning up.
Dan said he’s never written a great first draft. Your job is NOT to write perfectly, it is to write onward.
Section 1 – David Morrell – Writing Forward
He tells the story of writing a literary novel that was well reviewed but poorly received by the public. It was renamed to “Rambo,” and the rest is history.
You can write down “I have no ideas,” and then what your alter ego would say… “Well, if you did have any ideas, what would they be.” Harold Robbins got this technique from Dan Morrell.
This is done by drawing out your alter ego and giving him a name, say “Socrates.”
There’s 5 stages on writing. There’s even a section in the Creative Compass that talks about how to read a book on writing. (Don’t do it INSTEAD of writing.)
There’s no one best path. You have to write as you can. You can’t write as Shakespeare but you can write as you. There’s a saying that God invented people because God loves stories.
Drop him a note www.peacefulwarrior.com – ask for the one page and how to write a memoirs under contact.
Not all memoirs should be published widely, but all should be shared.
To be successful at what you do. At the share stage, you need to be good at what you do. Work your craft. Anything you practice you’ll get better. Then you need to promote your work.
You must find an audience and let people know about it. Enthusiasm counts.
Some is luck and timing. Some of his best books he did the least promotion. The only thing that carries a book is word-of-mouth. Ultimately, if you write the kind of book friends point out to friends.
SECOND- Master metaphor. When we run up against self-doubt. (This presentation is more about a mind map. Powerpoints that are linear don’t go deep. We’ll get all the necessary stuff done.)
AFTER the involved I get into the Interested phase (would rather write), then comes immersion (don’t bother me—your world is right there with what you’re creating) Then comes OBSESSION phase followed by the DESPERATION phase.
He didn’t mention the “Depression” phase. This is self-doubt. You must counter this with your master metaphor.
How many of you have learned to do something difficult that you accomplished.
Just before he turned sixty, about 8 years ago. He turns 68 this coming week. He told me to practice on a tennis court because it’s level and you can get a death grip on the chainlink fence. The next week two ladies told him, out of compassion, that “you should quit that.” And he did, but then he came back each day. He kept up.
He learned that everything is difficult until it becomes easy. And… there are days where everything fell apart. He was WORSE than he’d been the week before. He found that breakthroughs will often happen right after this.
The master metaphor is that if you persist through a crisis, you’ll get to a breakthrough.
Comments – Dream, we understand. But it’s not a receptive stage. You dream with drafting in mind. You find out where you dream best. Not all good ideas are sticky ideas. Some good ideas will fade, but a sticky idea will sustain you through a long project.
Some stylistically simple or awkward books are still successful because they connect with the reader.
The sticky ideas with universal qualities is what you want to find.
Research – book talks about when to do it. You can wait and just put blanks.
Drafting, page 1. You can write a lot before you actually draft.
The most common mistake that’s between those who shine and those who don’t.
The development stage – no matter how much you polish a plastic spoon it won’t become a silver spoon. Don’t skip development stage. This is an adolescent stage. You need to let it grow. You may need to throw out large passages.
Asked about the Journeys of Socrates… He was told he had to cut the last 300 pages because two characters hijacked the story.
Michal Corda – Editor at Simon and Schuster. He was famous for saying “You know that section of your manuscript between 197 and 302? Can you turn that into a really good sentence?”
Now you can Polish
Development redux– people skip it to their regret, Sweat trumps talent. Then, the Master Metaphor – your past triumphs. Follow the Golden Thread – find the spine. Be loyal to the story and not to the words. You can change the words. We’re all storytellers, even non-fiction. We relate our lives. Our lives are our persona. Questions – ask yourself these questions. Then, the book gets to when the world becomes your teacher.
Development is the big picture look at your book. Three or four drafts isn’t enough.