My original plan this year before the pandemic was to host a live writers conference here in Malmö, Sweden, in October. I had speakers and everything all lined up – and then I had to cancel it all, of course.
But my main speaker, Jennifer Dornbush, was still excited to do some teaching with me, so we made a pivot in our plans and decided to host a 1-day virtual writers conference called Writing with Hollywood in Mind on July 25, 2020. To give people a taste of what the conference will be like, we are hosting two free webinars of the same name. The next one is Saturday, July 18. Click the link – I’d love to see you there!
I am a huge fan of the Wall Street Journal Review section. Reading it reminds me that there are brilliant and talented authors around the world and if I want to protect my little patch of literary real estate I better keep upping my game. The Review is also my favorite bookstore. I often order a new book the minute I read about in the WSJ. But what I really, really love about Review is that I am inevitably inspired by something I read. This morning, it was a quote attributed to Thomas J. Watson Senior, Former CEO of IBM.
“The trouble with every one of us is that we don’t think enough. . .knowledge is the result of thought.”
This is from a new book by book by Bradley R. Staats entitled Never Stop Learning: Stay Relevant, Reinvent Yourself and Thrive. In his book the author argues that human beings are preprogramed to ‘act’. In fact, Mr. Staats believes we human’s have an action bias and that, by giving into it, we might be doing ourselves a disservice. By not thinking we could miss our goal because we’re moving simply for the sake of moving.
Boy, did that hit home.
I’ve been obsessing over my new project, typing for days, gaining word count, moving forward – except I’m not really getting anywhere. I have been screaming at myself to WRITE when what I need to do is whisper, think. In order to think, I have to ask myself the right questions, take the time to ponder them before I answer and, most importantly, understand why the answers matter.
I have a plot but not a theme. The plot, after all, isn’t just about action but about building a stage on which the characters will reveal themselves to the reader. And what about dialogue? I know I can write appropriate thriller dialogue but will it be fitting and true to characters that I have nurtured over the course of a seven book series? Should I be driving headlong into word count or taking more time to choose the right ones that will drive the story forward most dramatically and efficiently?
I guess I have a lot of thinking to do, but thanks Mr. Staats for reminding me that busyness is not the same as accomplishment.
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