Pride and Prejudice - The STORY GRID edition - Annotated by SHAWN COYNE

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ARCHIVES OF June, 2012

What It Takes

What It Takes

The Why I Don’t Do Interviews Interview, Plus

By Callie Oettinger | Published: June 29, 2012

Wednesday, Steve did an interview with Chris Brogan. When we scheduled the time with Chris, the idea was that this would be an interview on why Steve isn’t doing Turning Pro-related interviews. (more…)

Posted in What It Takes
15 Comments

Writing Wednesdays

Writing Wednesdays

Self-Doubt and Self-Reinforcement

By Steven Pressfield | Published: June 27, 2012

I never talk about a project I’m working on. It’s bad luck.

Lindy

Charles Lindbergh and "The Spirit of St. Louis." Lindy wasn't just lucky.

But something happened a few nights ago that made me think I should make an exception, both for the sake of my own thinking and for sharing an insight or two. So I’ll keep depiction of the project vague but the wisdom as clear as I can make it.

I was at a professional event with a friend who, each time he introduced me to a new acquaintance, described and made a pitch for the project I’m working on. (Don’t ask why.) He did this a number of times despite my excruciating embarrassment.

Bottom line: everyone he told the idea to went catatonic with boredom. Their eyes glazed over. They began edging toward the exit. Though they were too polite to say anything overtly negative, it was clear that they regarded me and my enterprise the way one might a Comic-Con trekkie describing his plans for solar self-levitation or, perhaps, Newt Gingrich flogging tickets for his colony on the moon.

I went home pretty depressed.

The people at the event were by no means imagination-challenged “suits.” They were bold, savvy entrepreneurs. Almost every one had multiple success stories across all spectrums of art, tech and business.

And their reaction to my project was universal snooze-o-rama.

I thought about it and thought about it and I came to a conclusion:

They’re wrong. (more…)

Posted in Writing Wednesdays
39 Comments

What It Takes

What It Takes

The Necessity of Discomfort

By Shawn Coyne | Published: June 22, 2012

I do it all the time. I take on just enough projects and personal commitments to periodically induce a panic attack. It occurs every three months. Like clockwork.

I’m working with writers on three novels, three works of nonfiction and lending a hand promoting two of their books. Each of these projects requires me to write an extensive brief of editorial notes and ideas.

And…No….Verbal notes won’t suffice. I can’t just get on the phone and pontificate off the top of my head.

If you are asked and you agree to evaluate someone’s work, you must show the artist respect. Writing down criticism requires you to back up your point of view in concrete language. What you find when you write your notes is that you discover solutions to the very challenges you are pointing out to the writer.

If you just jib jab about what’s wrong with a book or script or ad campaign or blueprint, you don’t allow your brain to fully process the information, clarify it, and then provide suggestions to solve the problems you identify. You’re not doing your job. You’re blowing smoke.

I’ve promised my work to these clients all within a two week window. I’m now at the tail end of the first week and I’m getting hinky. (more…)

Posted in What It Takes
11 Comments
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