Tag Archives: Marshall Rosenberg

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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You Can Laugh It Off

Just seconds ago I was typing another title in the space that WordPress provides. Then, the mystery keystroke combination highlighted the words and swept them away before I could complete a breath. Shouldn’t be that simple. They should have a fix by now. That would be customer service and/or better design. I could get upset about it and still do sometimes.

Or, I can laugh it off.

If you’re like me you forget that laughing it off is an option sometimes.

Let’s decide. You and me both. Let’s decide to laugh more things off than we get upset about. It really is a decision.
Don’t believe me? Read Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication. Go see him before he’s gone. You will realize how many of our reactions are within our control.

This little pitch, blurb, commercial, whatever is not where I’m going this morning. I don’t know exactly where I’m going, but we’ll get there.
For those of you who are new…Welcome to my morning pages. (Not all pages are done in the morning. No refunds.)

Our son went to Disneyland last night to celebrate Leap Day. I was born on the 28th of February, 1963. Many people tell me that I was almost a leap year baby and I tell them that would
have been really hard on my mom because that would mean that she carried me a YEAR and a day more. As I understand it, that would have been really hard on me, too.

I’ve never thought of celebrating leap day that way. I haven’t really “celebrated” leap day that I can remember. When I was in college I lived with a family that had a daughter who was a year and a day younger than me. She was born on February 29. She seemed really well-adjusted. I think she’s a veterinarian now. Did I spell that right? I guess spellcheck would alert me. It doesn’t seem to like my spelling of spellcheck.

I don’t remember that young gal doing anything special about leap day and she was born on it!

However, that doesn’t mean I think my son was wrong.

Just as we can choose to laugh something off, we can also choose to celebrate or not.
Our son chose to celebrate leap day.

Maybe we need more of that. Depending on who you talk to, there are a lot of celebrations already.
Maybe what we need is an attitude of celebration.

Got stuck there for a moment…

Really. How much do you celebrate or have an attitude of celebration? We would probably get along better if we did. Oh, I’m sure there are exceptions. There are twisted people who would celebrate things inappropriately, to put it mildly. We have seen that in the war on terror or whatever we call it now. How can someone celebrate someone’s death? I guess there are exceptions to that, too. If I was suffering under and actual dictator and he died, I guess I could see that as a cause for celebration.

But those exceptions aside, what does it mean to have an attitude of celebration? Is it related to a sense of wonder? Maybe all that’s required is that we not take things and people for granted. Maybe.

What if we told the people that we love “I love you”. Often. I do.
What if we reminded our friends that we really cared about them. Not just with actions or words, buth with both.
If we are a person who prays, how often do we pray for our friends?
If we are a person who sends positive energy to them, how often do we do that?

However we do that, do we do it often?

How much better is that time spent, then the time spent watching a movie? Especially, watching a movie for the second time? The third time?

James Taylor sang, “Shower the people you love with love.” At least I think that’s what he sang.

And what about strangers? I sometimes remember that I’m not being as friendly to strangers as I used to be when I was in my twenties. Or when I was a kid kid. People used to say how friendly I was.

That’s a place to improve, too. Doing it because you remind yourself to do it is just as ok as if you didn’t have to stop and think to be that way. Some may see it as a step backwards, but it’s certainly better than not being friendly.

What if we stopped and thought about being more friendly. Telling people that we care. Even that we love them. I know for some of us that’s hard, but I give you permission to turn over a new leaf. Right now. Tell them Charlie said it’s ok. It’ll be ok. In fact, it might even be great! Fantastic! Wonderful! Celebratory!

Celebrate Me Home. That’s another song lyric. Kenny Loggins.

Right now would be a great time to go to YouTube and search Celebrate Me Home. And James Taylor. (See above.) Celebrate by Kool and the Gang. Sure, you could check out Eve of Destruction for nostalgia or curiousity, but for now, these type of songs. Make a mix “tape”. Let’s see…what other songs are there?

Feeling romantic and a little celebratory or want to? David Bowie’s Let’s Dance maybe.

Want to help the homeless or have a smile for a less than uber-neat stranger? Maybe David Bowie & Queen Under Pressure.
What about We Are The World?

The Greatest Love Of All by Whitney Houston?

What songs help you be celebratory?
What songs remind you to be demonstative with your love?

Loving you, is easy cause you’re beautiful. Minnie Riperton

Did you know that song is about Maya Rudolph when she was a baby? But, as they say, I digress…

There are lots of songs that we can play that will remind us to be engaged or engage “the better angels of our nature”.

If music be the food of love, play on.

Commenters On My Birthday

Today is my 49th birthday and I’ve started to notice that I’m getting more followers. Is this a function of Twitter alone or am I getting more interesting? Or is my writing getting more interesting even if I am not. Oops. Long pause there. I don’t think you’re supposed to do that with Julia Cameron’s morning pages. Where was I?

It IS my birthday, so it would be nice if more people commented today. So THAT is the extent of my appeal. I’m told that when you ask people to be your followers or to comment, it’s not as strong as when they do it on their own. I’ve noticed a lot of people on Twitter asking people to follow because they follow back. Lots of them don’t have more than 1000 followers. I have also noticed that if you simply follow people, most follow you back. Some have quite a few followers and aren’t following very many people. I think that’s an ego thing. Guy Kawasaki is an interesting guy to follow, IMHO, and he is a very successful entrepreneur. He has just a few percentage points more followers than the number of people he follows. Last time I looked he had more than 120,000 followers, I think. So I urge everyone to emulate guy Kawasaki IF you want more followers. Don’t worry if the number of followers and following are similar. So we’re not all Angelina Jolie. On the other hand, I had a guy yesterday say that he didn’t really need any more followers right now.

That seemed sort of a waste of time. He didn’t block me or Tweet Geist Guy. Why would he go to the trouble of telling either of us that? Just let it go. I just heard the familiar bloopy sound from Facebook. Someone is trying to talk with me, but I’m determined to do my morning pages before I do anything else today. OK. I had a little yogurt first. I really am digging this, though. It’s much easier than when I did it years ago. Maybe I just had to get rid of the judgement. I studied Marshall Rosenberg some a few years back. He wrote Nonviolent Communication. If you really take it to heart, you will find yourself judging less. And then, you can start to apply it to yourself, too! So what if this doesn’t impress everybody. It’s not going to impress everyone. Even if you write something that impresses vast numbers of people, you may still have to contend with people like Fran Leibowitz. I watched most of a documentary last night about her. Actually, it was mostly her talking. She loves to talk and she’s good at it. She is judgemental and she thinks that’s a good thing. Maybe judging is good for some things. Like understanding quality. But, if lots of people are making a living or a partial living because of writing and she doesn’t think much of what they write, that’s ok. People have to make a living. At least, 99% of us do. Or maybe 97%. I don’t know the exact percentage of people who can live the life they want to live and simply live off the interest on their investments. I won’t get technical there, but you know what I mean.

There are people who no longer have to work, but they have to curtail their lifestyle quite a bit in order to do so. I’m not actually referring to them. I have no problem with people living simply if they want to do that. Unfortunately, too many people are not in a position to choose. However, if you read, that can be an inexpensive form of entertainment. (Most people can figure out a way to make stuff more expensive if they try…) I hope more people are reading these days. I know some aren’t, but aren’t more people becoming more educated in the U.S. and around the world? More educated people would seem to mean more readers. I’m not exactly sure where I’m going with this…

I’ve encountered people who say that they’re bored. READ. It seems so simple. I do feel sorry for those who truly have a learning disability that interferes with reading. But, what’s the real percentage? Aren’t many people simply making a choice NOT to read? I made a choice for years at a time not to write. There were smatterings here and there, but now I’ve finally made a choice. I made a choice months back to read the 23rd Psalm everyday and that evolved into often reciting/praying it in my head. Maybe I’ll still be doing these morning pages when I am writing something that turns into a book. A work of fiction. And/or a collection of stories. Which reminds me. I am looking for story contributors. This won’t be a work of fiction. I am looking for people to contribute stories of redemption in their lives or the lives of others. I would prefer to speak to the “horse’s mouth” whenever possible. So…do you have a story of redemption in your life or do you know someone? I want to get this published by December 30th.

In this way you can help me…invite your friends to follow my blog. Just for the reason that they might have a story of redemption or they might know someone. That would be a great birthday present. Lots of people following my blog for the purpose of helping me get this book published. It will be a collection of real stories about redemption in the live’s of real people. Maybe someday I’ll create a collection of fictional stories of redemption, but for now, let’s stick with nonfiction. If you are reading this, this would be way cool. I didn’t plan this. It just came out during this morning pages session. I don’t mean that I didn’t plan on putting together a book like this. I originally got the courage to tell a couple friends a little over two years ago. I just haven’t found a really effective way of getting the word out before. It seems to me that a lot of writers that I encounter online do, in fact, help each other in ways similar to this.

So, WHO do you know that has a story of redemption or who might you know or who do you know that MIGHT have a story like this? You can put them in touch with me. You can have them follow my blog. I’m Facebook.com/BigManWalking – so there are ways you can contact me.

I’ve had a vision of a fictional story where a lot of people help someone build a castle-like structure. After it’s built, the group helps another person do something similar. We could do that for each other. Will you come alongside me and help me finish this book of true stories? Then, we can all get together and help someone else. And so on, and so on.
We could be doing something good for each other. And, it doesn’t mean that every work will be the most incredible work of art that everyone will approve of as a literary masterpiece. We might please Fran Leibowitz, but my guess is that she’s pretty hard to please. I’m not sure what she thinks about redemption. She does say that she approves very much of revenge and she’s not that fond of forgiveness, it seems. She’s very interesting, but probably not interested. So, let’s invite people who might be interested. What say you? Don’t forget – and here’s my shameless appeal – it’s my birthday!