Back in the saddle again

I took off the period from the Memorial of Trumpets (what most Jews call Rosh HaShana) through Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, at least in terms of blogging. I didn’t stop working entirely, but I did focus on just a couple of things, and on taking full advantage of joining with my people in reflection on the past year and the coming year, and on making things right with fellow humans.

In the Yom Kippur prayerbook, it says that in observing the day we can find forgiveness for offenses against God, but that for offenses between people, we must go to them. That’s a very practical and loving point of view, and I appreciate it.

blowing the shofar (by Alphonse Lévy)
Image via Wikipedia

And that goes for both asking and giving forgiveness.

Hmm…what if I cast a broader net here? OK. If I have offended you, my reader, in any way, I ask your forgiveness. And I invite you to write or call me and tell me about it, so that I can also seek not only forgiveness, but a place of reconciliation. I mean it. My cell number is 650-336-3937.

I’ve grown more and more aware of the significance of emotions in my life and in my communications. When I was a math grad student, good writing was elegant, and elegance meant succinctness. Expressing a thought in the fewest possible words and symbols was the peak of elegance. Unfortunately, I carried that over into my writing. My greatest challenge is to being juicy, and not just concise.

It’s odd, because I’m a very emotional person. I just didn’t accord emotions–mine or those of others–the weight they deserve in human discourse. Now I can say that I feel bad about that. Sorry, even. And determined to do better. (See? Feelings! :-))

Feelings enter naturally into fiction and memoirs. But less naturally into the books being written by my typical clients, who are typically trying to explain their “special sauce” to prospective clients. And that fact makes them all the more important. Emotions are what engage the reader, not facts. Facts are important, but feelings communicate.

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Your mind is a vat of viscous fluid

It has all kinds of stuff floating in it, at different depths. The stuff that is near or on the surface is consciously accessible to you; stuff that is a little deeper show up after a second or two of reflection.

Web 3
Image by MHBaker via Flickr

Deeper things–memories, knowledge–are associatively linked. They only show up when triggered by associations, experiences, feelings. It’s all the stuff you know, but you don’t know that you know. You can’t list it.

The process of clustering that I teach as part of my approach to writing books lets you get at this stuff. It empowers you to list what you know, but didn’t know that you know. It thus makes it possible to quickly identify the things you’re going to have to research, so that you don’t waste a lot of time wandering around Wikipedia or libraries.

Of course, the lists you can then make are useful for lots more than just writing your book. You can create other products: Courses; articles; ebooks; presentations; and more. There are limitless ways in which you can package your knowledge for presentation and sale, and my process lets you get at them with little effort.

To find out more about it, click here.

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