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A Year of Yes: How to get a book written

“I think I’m going to take a class,” someone said to me. “That will help me finally write my book. That will inspire me, and then I can get the book written and published.” 

Inspiration can give you the spark of a book. Discipline, especially when uninspired, is what gets it written. Not classes or books or even encouragement from others. Don’t write for recognition, ever, because that’s a road to nowhere. I have never written for the purpose of being published. Ever. Certainly I had and have dreams. I wanted and want people to read my work, and I want my work to help people. But mostly I write to exercise the thoughts and emotions and events of my life. I write the books I need and want to read.

Talking about writing doesn’t getting writing done.You have to always be writing. You have to write if you’re tired, calm, restless, happy, sad, angry, disappointed. You have to write your way out, up, over, and through. That’s the only way to get the thoughts out of your head and onto the page. There are no shortcuts.

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It’s difficult to put into words the emotions that surface during Derek DelGaudio’s In & Of Itself. Part magic show, illusion spectacular, storytelling night, and clairvoyant event, it is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. His poise, grace, empathy, and masterful command of the stage and audience are on a level of genius that I didn’t know was possible. I alternately cried and laughed for close to two hours, completely riveted by the through line and captivated by Derek’s presence. Mostly I sat there with my jaw on the floor because I was astounded by his work. * My friend and mentor, the incomparable writer and storyteller @tellingabetterstory, took me and our friend, @hellosemrick, to this show a few weeks ago and I’ve thought about it every day since. I will be thinking about it for many days, weeks, and months to come. Even now as I write this post, I keep getting chills down my entire spine. In & Of Itself is that electric. * Derek gave every member of the audience a gift, personal and perfectly crafted. I’m not quite sure how I’ll ever be able to repay him, and legendary director Frank Oz, for all they gave me—a stranger they will likely never meet—during this performance. Thank you feels so woefully inadequate, and it’s what I have. I mean it from my whole spirit. * Thank you, @Derekdel and Frank, for showing all of us what can happen when we show up with our whole heart, pay attention, and make purposeful connection with another person our single goal. It is the purest form of magic I know—to really see and be seen. * In & Of Itself runs this weekend at the Daryl Roth Theatre in Union Square. After Sunday, August 19th, it will be never be done again.

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