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Making a Stack

I learned two amazing lessons this week. Both from videos on YouTube. If I haven’t told you before I am a big YouTube fan. Not to watch movies or funny video but to learn.

I have discovered that YouTube is brilliant in its ability to suggest related videos. I picked this one up because of the title – The Drawing Advice That Changed My Life. It is made by a young Australian artist Struthless.

In the video, he tells a great story of his mentor Marc Schattner. Marc and his wife Gillie make dog and rabbit face human sculptures, paintings, and sketches. That is all they make. Struth was in awe of their work and constantly whined to Marc when will he be able to get to their level.

Then one day he sat Struth down and gave him some tough love.

One day you write a song, the next day you write a poem, and the third day you do a drawing. None of it adds up to anything. All you are doing is laying a single brink of million different houses and hoping one day it will magically become a mansion. It’s not going to happen.

You can do then things to one degree or you can do one thing to the tenth degree.

The message is as relevant to me as it was to Struth. I too am scattered. I too am doing too many things. I too need to focus. (Watch Struth’s video for the rest of the story.)

I am writing articles. I am writing on Medium. I am sketching. I am writing a novel. Although I love doing all of them, it scatter my energy.

But which one to pick and which one to let go.

It is not easy decision. At least for me.

The answer came from another video. In an interview with Chase Jarvis on CreativeLive Marie Forleo, a life coach, shared an exercise she gives her clients. It is called A Painted Picture.

It is an exercise based on Cameron Herold’s book Double Double to figure out a business vision. But it works well with an individual’s vision too. To do your Painted Picture, sit somewhere comfortable, preferably away from your work environment, and actually sketch a picture of yourself in three years’ time. Not five or ten but three years. The reason you don’t go past the three-year mark is that you need to keep one foot planted in reality, while still be able to `lean out into the future.’

It is a very powerful exercise.

I haven’t done it yet, but intend to do it. And I will share it here with you because sharing it is also part of the exercise.

This week I wrote two articles, What Do Readers Want (And How To Deliver It With Pizzazz) and What If Your Novel Doesn’t Fit The Three Act Structure. Check them out.

It has been two months since I moved to once a week newsletter rather than sending two articles a week. It is about time I ask for some feedback.

This format is working well for me. I get to report to you on two fronts, what I learned and what I wrote during the week. How is this format going for you? Would you like to continue to receive this kind of conversational, once a week newsletter? Or would you prefer to receive articles in your inbox? Is once a week enough? Or would you prefer to hear more often from me?

That is it from me this week.

Talk to you next week.

Take care.

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