I meet writers all the time who have talent. They can turn a phrase and reel the reader in. Their use of words is almost magical. And yet, as the years go by, they fail to produce. What’s the problem? I know it well, because I deal with it myself. And it’s a challenge I […]
Every story is about one thing, the arc of the character. What I mean by that is unless the hero changes, you’ve got no story. They have to be cowardly at the beginning and brave at the end, or selfish at the beginning and altruistic at the end. Something in the character has to change or the audience loses interest.
I like the idea that, at least experientially, we can stretch time out a bit, slow it down, fit more of life into it’s cracks and crevasses. Life will resist, of course. And we can’t all live in the timeless every hour of the day. But we can find those cracks. And we can slip into them from time to time.
For me, it comes down to making a decision and not looking back. When all the options are very good, I no longer spend time figuring out which option is the best. That would take too long because anything can be looked at from too many angles. So instead, I’ve begun to place value in just moving. A good plan executed is better than a great plan mulled over for centuries.
On the final day of Storyline in Chicago we will host the first-ever Storyline Writers Workshop. If you’ve ever wanted to write a book, this workshop is going to help. Dean Nelson, the Director of Pt. Loma’s Journalism Department, acclaimed memoirist Susan Isaacs and myself will be teaching the workshop.
This years conference kicks off with the first-ever Storyline Film Festival, hosted by Steve Taylor. Then, the day after the conference make sure to stick around for the Storyline Writers Workshop. It’s all going to be incredible. That said, we wanted to let you know what the final lineup for the Film Festival is going to be. Here’s a quick run down on the schedule.
A fog is no good, especially if you’re a leader. People need you to have clarity, to know what the priorities are, to know where they fit in the mission and to be encouraged and reminded all the time. So, every few months (not on schedule, more like whenever the fog sets in) I step over to the white board and clarify everything I’m doing. Amazingly, when I’m done, life no longer feels complicated and all goals seem reasonable.
Recently I read (listened to on audio) Willpower by Roy Baumeister and John Tierney and took great interest in their findings about how willpower actually works. Citing study after study (perhaps too many for an otherwise enjoyable read) Baumeister and Tierney argue willpower actually comes from the muscle of the mind and that it can be strengthened.
In John 6, Jesus loses some of his followers after He tells them they have to eat his flesh and drink His blood. I imagine they thought he was crazy. And I would have thought he was crazy too. But it was the twelve disciples who remained. And why?
I have a love/hate relationship with death. I like life. I enjoy getting up every morning. I like my job and my friends and the city where I live. I have bad days but not many. And I like building things in this life. I like building books and launching others into their careers. And yet every once in a while I realize this whole thing is going to be taken away.
When it’s time to write, my mind quickly finds a reason not to sit down and face the terror of the blank page. Normally, these distractions come in the form of odds and ends I convince myself must be taken care of before I sit down to do my work.