If You Want To Write

I’m starting this post off with a link:

Andrew Stanton @TED

I think I’ve found someone who can be an important influence for me. Maybe he’ll be of help to you, too.

Just to remind you – this – these – recent posts have been morning pages. Morning pages are an exercise in creativity that I learned about from Julia Cameron who wrote “The Artist’s Way.” I’ve known about Julia for nearly two decades.

Part of what you have to do as a writer is simply write. Julia wants you to write without judgement.

Another influence, Marshall Rosenberg, who wrote Nonviolent Communication, would agree.

When you brainstorm, judgement gets in the way by stopping the flow of ideas.

But what about when you get the effluent out of your system. What happens when you are really getting down to writing the stories you want to write?

Joe Ezsterhas is another influence, but he may be too good for a beginning writer to emulate. Or too, I don’t know…can’t quite put my finger on it.

For those of you who might be turned off by his subject matter, you might be surprised to know that he has found his way back to God.

But, for the art of storytelling, maybe Andrew Stanton is the one I need to watch and read more of. Yes, that preposition is at the end of the sentence.

That’s how we talk in real life. Often. Wasn’t it Mark Twain who first started writing that way? As opposed to James Fenimore Cooper who had Native Americans speaking the Queen’s English perfectly?

There are a lot of influences to choose from, yet I see something in Andrew Stanton that I “get”.

Sometimes you just need someone to speak to you in a way you can hear.

I remember nearly a decade ago when I hosted a networking lunch I called The PG Lunch, in Del Mar, California, which is immediately north of San Diego. I had a friend who is a chiropractor who owned her own business and she came to my lunch several times. My friend and mentor, Fran Cannon, was there nearly every time and he would give a mini-blurb every time about his seminars for business owners. I had told my chiropractor friend about Fran’s seminars more than once. More than twice. More than three times. And she had heard him give his presentation more than once or twice.

One day the lightbulb went on and she said, “Oh, this is the guy you’ve been telling me about!” She ended up going to his seminar within a few weeks from that realization.

Maybe that’s what’s happening to me with Andrew Stanton. I don’t know if he’s incredibly unique and that’s what appeals to me. Maybe I’m finally ready to hear what he’s saying.

I’ve been in Toastmasters nearly 11 years now and we’ve learned that telling a story is very important in giving a speech. I’ve attempted to do so with varying measures of success.
I’ve won contests within our club and competed at the next level.

Recently, writing down stories has become much more important to me. How to do it “right” has been on my mind.

I’ve listened to people before who spoke about storytelling as well as many who were simply great storytellers.

Now I think I am finally getting somewhere. I’ve got my computer, such as it is. I’m practicing writing every day. People in my life are giving me more space to write. Some are even intrigued. Now I can put together stories that people care about.

That’s a big part of what Andrew Stanton is saying. But he’s not just saying that. He’s telling us how to put the elements in place that will make people more likely to care. He’s not saying that it’s an exact science. It’s an art. It takes practice.

Are you writing the kind of writing you ultimately want to write?

I say:

First- Judge Not, Lest You Miss Out, er, Disrupt The Creative Flow.

You can always edit later.

What about your ending? How do you want the story/characters to end up?

How do you get people to care about your characters?

I don’t know all the answers, but I honestly believe you should take a peek at Andrew Stanton.

He’s the guy who did Wall-E, among other things.

If you’re a purist about some things and don’t think he’s in the right category for you, remember #1.

Judge not.

You can always throw that stuff out later.

I’ve always been confident that I can learn. Can you learn? What if it’s a new trick?

Don’t be an old dog or stubborn mule.

We have to be humble to learn. We have to know that we don’t have all the answers. Maybe you have everything you need as a writer. If that’s true, I’m sorry for wasting your time.

If you don’t have absolutely everything you need or want as a writer, take a listen/watch Andrew Stanton.

What if you were my younger brother or sister?

I’d just say, “Hey! Do this thing for me, ok?”


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