The gumbo is good. It has crawfish. It has kick. You smack your lips, suck water from your Camelbak. And you wonder at this city of 68,000 plus people, a colorful circus of extreme campers and open-minded seekers that’s sprung from an ancient dried-up lakebed like a communal performance piece. There are temples, and dinosaurs, and bicycles outfitted like furry wolves—and there is you.
You look around and it is so vivid and impossible, outrageous and electric, it’s like a mirage.
It’s like writing.
It’s like facing the blank page and triumphing once again over that existential angst. You create something out of nothing.
1. Each time you create a first draft, celebrate. It is a birth.
2. And, you are not done. Because writing is rewriting. Now you let it sit. Settle. Shift. Then you revisit. You ask the hard questions of this draft. What is it really about? Then you re-vise. You re-see. And you write it again. You refine it. You carve out its essential and unique shape.
3. Maybe you didn’t want to write the scene above about Burning Man. Yet it demanded to be written. This is the perverseness of the Muse. Your job is to write what is most vivid, what surfaces. Know there is a reason. This is you connecting to the power of your unconscious. Because in business, story is context for a message. Trust the message will follow.
4. Evoke the senses. You and your readers, your prospects and followers—all desire to be awakened, to be fed and inspired. Above all, do not bore. Your job is to render so vividly and specifically that you create pictures in people’s minds. You unspool a mini-movie and share it with others. Then it becomes theirs, too. What a gift.
5. You must “go there.” Go where it’s uncomfortable. That is the truth. And if you’re going to write, and publish—then you damn well better give us something fresh. Vulnerable. Necessary. Each scene you write and speak from a stage or page, each story, must be a journey into the darkness. Only then can you come back out bearing light. You can’t skip this step, despite fear. Slay your ego. Give us permission to go there, too, into the darkness. Help us connect with you, with each other. You will win our devotion.
I’m Rachel Resnick. Published author, pyro-provocateur and creative entrepreneur. My business is Writers On Fire. We began nine years ago as a provider of luxury writing retreats for creative adventurers. We offer Message Makeovers to stuck entrepreneurs who want to get clarity around their message, reach a larger audience, and make more of a wham-bam impact.
Because know this: Right-brainers are taking over the world. It’s time to tap your inner artist. We all must create our own economies. As Burning Man teaches, we are spinning into a wondrous world fueled by radical self-reliance and self-expression. You are part of this. So I challenge you—find your voice, pinpoint your stories, and sell them. Yes. Sell. Stand in your power, your value, build your books and businesses—and let us rise together.
Writers On Fire offers one-to-one mentoring to help you bring your message, talk and/or book goals from mirage to reality. We hold the space for your psyche and narrative so you can grow, expand and influence. We help you light your narrative and messaging fire through the power of personal narrative. You are invited to make contact.
Shoot us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested. If you dare.
[This post originally appeared as a guest post in Rosemary Sneeringer’s The Book Nurturer. We thought you would enjoy the simplicity. And the clear writing tips. Let us know!]
We are also currently offering our first ever virtual bootcamp! Find out more here.
Special sign-up option through this Friday, January 24th. Come join!