What would you require to give a writing grant?

I got to thinking today, after hearing about a writing grant opportunity recently, that it would be amazing to one day be able to fund and operate a writer’s grant program. Maybe even a residential one.

And instantly I started contemplating what I would want to see come in from prospective candidates with their applications.

Here’s what’s crossed my mind so far, in addition to the usual “proof of need” one might expect:

  • A specific writing project and a description of its current status, i.e. concept development, rough draft, in rewrites, etc.
  • A plan and timeline for completing it.
  • A pitch for the concept that gives a sense of its marketability, audience, and reach.
  • An outline of the writer’s plan for marketing the project.
  • Possibly also a slate of ideas for future writing projects.
  • An amazing writing sample demonstrating the writer’s potential.
  • A personal introduction that gave a strong sense of who they are as a person, in terms of their spirit, drive, passion, and personality.

I imagine this might be something similar to what a publisher would want, though that’s an area I haven’t explored yet. Some of these things might be of interest to a screenwriter’s manager as well.

What would be on your list?

I’m curious, if YOU had the money to give, what would be on your list of what you’d want to see from prospective candidate for a writing grant? Or if you were advising me on how to make sure I would attract and select writers best suited for making the most of a writing grant, what would you suggest?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not accepting applications yet nor will I be in a position to do something like that for the foreseeable future but I’m interested… :)

Can we use this now?

… Because:

What if we had those things right now for our current writing projects?

Would they help move us forward with a clearer sense of purpose, drive, and momentum? Or not?

What would it be like if we did?


I’d love to hear what you think.

Tell me in the comments!



If this was your wake up call, what would it be?

Seems like every time I turn around, someone I know is going through something big:

… Friends with cancer.

… My father facing health challenges.

… A neighbor’s house catching on fire.

… My cousin’s husband dying.

… Even my own roll-over car accident a few years back now.

The circle of those affected feels like it’s getting closer to me, like a tightening loop.

And it’s got me to thinking…


…Is there anything I’m not paying attention to that I want to be?

Am I going to wait for my next wake-up call, or what if I just paid attention now?


Change the rules that keep you in the dark.

Last night, we saw The Croods. I loved the message at the end: “We changed the rules that kept us in the dark.” (I love that they really spelled it out; it’s a kid’s movie after all.)

And that got me to thinking even more.

How am I keeping myself in the dark, operating out of fear rather than reaching out for tomorrow? Or living for today for that matter?

As writers and creatives, one of the biggest challenges we face every day is our fear. No wonder we act like we’re confronting our own mortality. On some level we are.

But I don’t like this question.

I’ve never liked how people say, “If you knew were going to die tomorrow, what would you do today?”

Maybe there’s something too cynical about me to fully appreciate that question, but there are things I commit to doing on a regular basis that I’m darn sure I wouldn’t do if I knew I’d be dying tomorrow, but I can’t live like that on an ongoing basis. Things like exercising and flossing and making sure my kid’s lunch is made, that yeah, I don’t think I’d pay attention to if the world was going to end.

On the other hand, I’m okay with it in the big picture.

But what about the big picture of our lives? I’m down with looking at that and making sure that what we’re doing matches with where we want to be now and where we want to end up.


It wasn’t too long ago that I got the message, “Write like your life depends on it.”

And I’m writing every day now, which is a heck of a lot more than I was doing at the time. Which was rarely, if at all.

But am I writing like my life depends on it?

Not yet.

So am I going to wait for the next cosmic two-by-four, or am I going to do something about it?

Well, you already know the answer, right?

Do something.

Saturday I got out a pad of paper and started redesigning my schedule to put the focus on more writing. It’s not quite where I want it to be, so I’m going to do some more work on it today. And then I’m going to begin the process of shifting my schedule more and more in that direction. It’s okay with me if it takes a little while to shift; it’s a kind of gradual herding things into the right corrals. But it works.

Having fun.

The other persistent message that I simply have to do something about is FUN.

I’m good at working hard, you probably know that about me by now.

And I’m fairly good at really luxuriating when I give myself the chance. (I just love taking days off and putting my feet up and watching movies and eating great food and treats.)

But I just don’t give myself the chance very often.

I come from a long line of self-sacrificers and workaholics and the buck is going to have to stop here, now.

The funny thing is, I’m still not sure what I truly want it to look like, this fun thing. Writing is fun, but it’s also work.

I think it’s more about lightness of spirit and regular adventures. I hesitate to schedule time for fun. But I also used to hesitate to schedule time for writing, and look where that got me!

What if fun was worth making time for?

That sounds like a ridiculous question even as I write it.

But sometimes my brain needs an excuse to think of things in a new way.

Being appreciative and being present.

And last, I think my perhaps my biggest one, is about appreciation and presence. I’m so good at appreciating things in other people, but not so good at appreciating them in my own life. This is huge, and hard to admit. I’ve got more work to do here.

My recent tech shabbats have shown me about the power of being present and not checked out into my own little world. So I’m getting there. And there’s more. There always is.

What about you?

If this was your wake-up call, what would it be?

What is the voice of your spirit asking you to pay attention to right now?

What have you been neglecting but you know, deep down, you want to attend to?

If the Universe was going to give you a whack upside the head with a cosmic two-by-four, what would it be trying to tell you?

Your turn

We’d love to hear from you in the comments. Anything you’re tolerating? Ignoring? Things you know you want to do but aren’t? What if you chose to tackle them head-on? I’m sure I’ve got a few more of them. Seems like it’s time for an inventory.



Coming Attractions

~> Monday, April 8th. Through April 8th, my OnDemand webinar, “10 Practical Tips for More Consistent Productive Writing“* with the Writer’s Store is on sale. Use the code ONDEMAND413 at checkout to save 50%.

~> Thursday, April 18th. Register by April 18th for the next session of my Writer’s Circle (starts April 22nd). Build a solid habit of daily writing and finish all your writing projects: http://JustDoTheWriting.com.


What I'm Up To

~> Writing. I’ve finished my read-through of Progeny and now I’m starting in on the editing and polishing in earnest. I’m also beginning to outline my next project, tentatively called Do Over, which will be a sweet little time travel romance. Can’t you just see it already?

~> Unplugging. Friday sundown to Saturday sundown. Join me!

~> Reading. Finished How to Train Your Dragon: How to Cheat a Dragon’s Curse* with my son. Now we’ve started in on A Boy and His Bot* by Daniel H. Wilson. I also finished Crucible of Gold* by Naomi Novik (loved it!) and then plowed through a re-read of Do The Work* by Steven Pressfield in one afternoon. Next up is finishing Adventures in the Screen Trade* by William Goldman and then tackling Making a Literary Life* by Carolyn See. Or maybe the other way around. I never do like rules. :)


Thanks for reading.


* Affiliate link

When to look for a mentor — or not

The other day I spoke to prospective client.

She said, “I just don’t know how you can help me. I mean, I already know what I have to do, I just have to do it, right?”

The answer, on some level, is “Yes, of course.”

On the other hand, the beauty of having a coach or a mentor is that you have someone with you to help you through the tricky rough spots, to hold your hand when you lose your way, and to offer a fresh perspective when you can’t see the forest for the trees.

There are many different kinds of support like this out in the world, and the key is knowing WHEN you don’t need help and when you do.

How to decide if you’re not ready for mentoring right now, or maybe it’s time to move on

You might not be ready for mentoring right now, if:

  • You are having trouble listening to your own voice. Sometimes, and this is true for many seekers, we take in so much information, training, and guidance from other people that we lose sight of our own knowing. This is a good time NOT to work with a mentor, but rather the time to take a break, turn inward for a while, and tune into your own voice. The exception to this would be working with a coach or mentor who specializes in helping you access your own inner wisdom, guidance, and intuition rather than directing you with their own.
  • Your mentor has only one right way of doing things and/or isn’t teaching you to “fish” for yourself. Ideally you’ll want to have a mentoring relationship where your mentor is truly imparting the knowledge that will help you fly on your own, someday soon. If you’re working with someone who is just doing the heavy-lifting for you, you won’t get as much out of the relationship as you deserve.
  • It’s not in your budget or it’s not the right program. It is important to invest wisely in mentoring. I’ve seen far too many people invest ridiculous amounts of money in high-end coaching programs that sound good on paper but aren’t specific to their concerns, only to end up in debt and none the wiser for their experience (with the exception of a lesson in more judicious spending). Choose your mentors wisely, and make sure you’re investing in training and support that gets you to the specific outcomes you’re looking for.

How to decide if you’re ready for mentoring right now

You may be ready for a mentoring relationship now, if:

  • Even though you know what to do, you’re still not taking action. It’s one thing to know, it’s another thing to do. When all of your self-sabotaging gremlins rear their ugly heads and trip you up, do you know how to get around them? Do you persevere and get it done? Or do you call it a day? Having a mentor can make the difference between thinking and taking action. And THAT is where the rubber meets the road. In a recent post, I mentioned that I use multiple sources of accountability and mentoring in my life. Believe it or not, I’m not that good about following through on things unless I have significant motivation to do so. I use my mentors, like my screenwriting mentor and my business consultants, to keep me on track with much of my work.
  • You’re ready to stand in equal partnership with your mentor. You’ll want to work with someone who isn’t necessarily “above” you, though they may have more knowledge that you do in a particular area. I’ve learned the hard way to be exceedingly careful about putting anyone on a pedestal. Instead, I look for people to work with that I have the clarity of a peer-based relationship with. When I work with clients, I like to see us standing side-by-side, partnering to address the work at hand together, bringing all our expertise to bear.
  • You lose your way frequently. On the other hand, the beauty of having a mentor is that you have someone to hold the bigger picture for you, even when you lose your way. If you’re at all sensitive, as are many of my readers, you’ll be more likely to flounder when the boat gets rocked. Having a mentor who will remember of all your talents and abilities — especially when you can’t — is a powerful source of comfort and sustenance when the going gets rough.
  • You want to move faster than you can on your own. Having a mentor definitely has advantages when it comes to moving more quickly. In addition having accountability to keep you in swifter action, it’s incalculably faster and more effective to have someone to trouble-shoot, plan, and brainstorm with you than you can usually do on your own, particular if those aforementioned gremlins are throwing their unhelpful comments into the mix. 
  • You want the expertise and knowledge a mentor can offer. I choose to work with mentors who have a particular knowledge and expertise that I lack. Whether it’s writing a sales page or structuring my screenplay, I choose to hire folks I know I can both learn from and can help me do the work. I don’t want theory — I want practice. This is why I’ve always aimed to strike a balance between discussing the work and doing the work with my clients. I walk them through quieting their inner critics, writing proposals, working through detailed project timelines, and designing their writing schedules. Homework will only get you somewhere if you actually do it. Having someone to do the work with you? That’s where you know you’ll get the benefit for sure.
  • You want help applying that expertise to your specific circumstances. So often, we sign up for classes and programs but get lost in the anonymity of groups. When you want help with application of content specific to you, having someone that can focus with you on a precise project can make all the difference when it comes to translating from esoteric idea-land into practical get-it-done land. Which is where I love to live — in that bridge between worlds.

Your turn

I always love to hear from you. Let me know your thoughts.




Coming Attractions

~> Creative Productivity Next Steps. If you enjoyed my Creative Productivity TeleClass Series and you’re wondering about the next steps to put what you learned into practice, stay tuned for an announcement about a free information call with me coming soon. I’ll walk you through identifying your next steps and fill you in about details about how I can support you along the way through my 1:1 mentoring programs. Make sure you’re on my mailing list and watch your inbox for details coming soon.

~> Next Writer’s Circle Session. Register by February 21st for the next session of my Writer’s Circle (starts February 25th). Build a solid habit of daily writing and finish all your writing projects: http://JustDoTheWriting.com. We’re running four groups of fantastic writers right now and it’s a ton of fun. Come join us!


What I'm Up To

~> Daily. Working on rewriting my script, Progeny, with my mentor Chris Soth after finishing the ProSeries. Working now on Mini Movie Seven!

~> Reading The Rescue (Guardians of Ga’hoole, Book 3).* Watching Downton Abbey* (Season 3). Started up again on Michio Kaku’s The Physics of the Impossible: A Scientific Exploration into the World of Phasers, Force Fields, Teleportation, and Time Travel.*


Thanks for reading.


* Affiliate link




How to grow into your dream

Last week I wrote about the most important work you’ll ever do, which is getting out of your own way so you can make your dream real. Along the way, you’ll also need to grow into and trust your dream.

Growing Into Your Dream

You’ll also need to allow yourself to grow into your dream over time.

Here’s how:

  • Step 1. Get Clear: The first phase of making a dream real is getting clear on what it IS, even if the details are fuzzy. What would be deliciously fun for you? What would you be thrilled beyond reason to do? I want to be a published writer.
  • Step 2. Own It: The second phase is owning it — being clear, inside, about who you are, what you are going to do, and why you are doing it. Still okay if the details are fuzzy. This looks like believing and knowing in your heart you are an artist or healer, even before you are doing it in the world. I am a writer!
  • Step 3. Envision It: Now start to imagine the possibilities for HOW this dream can come into being. What kind of writer (or X) do you want to be? What would you be writing about (or working on)? What would be fun? I want to write a sci-fi script.
  • Step 4. Do It: The fourth phase is where your dream become external — where you start taking action in the outside world, without indulging that part of your brain that wants to give up before you even start because it’s too hard or because you think you have to be perfect before you’ll even attempt it. Remember, this whole idea that we can figure it all out before we start is just a way of playing it safe. I am writing — and people know about it.

Then, it’s time to trust and take action.

Trusting Your Dream

Trusting your dream means being willing to pursue it even when the going gets rough (and even when you aren’t totally sure it’s quite the right dream and maybe your mom was right and you should have just stuck with that graduate school degree after all).

Trusting your dream looks like:

  • Showing up daily and doing the work, bit by bit, come hell or high water.
  • Getting up and writing or painting or working even when you don’t want to or when you’re not in the mood.
  • Believing in the project you picked and seeing it through to the end.
  • When you think what you’ve created is pure crap, you don’t give up, but see it as an opportunity to do better.

Can you allow yourself to grow into your dream and trust it?

Your Turn

I always love hearing from you in the comments on my blog.



Coming Attractions

~> November 10th. My next Life Purpose Breakthrough ‘Big Vision’ Group. Sold out. Details about future groups — yes, you might want to get on the waiting list.

~> Wednesday, November 16th at 3 p.m. Pacific Time. Something free, fun, and writerly: A Writer’s Chat. Registration details TBA.

~> November 28th. The next session of my Writer’s Circle starts. Sign up here.


~> This weekend. Right Brain Business Planning with my buddy Kris Carey. Last two chapters to go!

~> Ongoing. Writing for the ProSeries class at ScreenwritingU. Now working on “plotting and outlining.”

~> FRIDAYS & now daily too. Sacred writing time. The Do Not Disturb sign is up.

The most important work you’ll ever do

Once you’ve gotten clear on your dream — the Big Thing you Believe Beyond Reason, or what you really, truly, deep down want to do — the most important work you’ll ever do is to get out of your own way so you can make that dream a reality.

Getting out of your own way looks like:

Cleaning up all the ways you stop yourself, all the negative things you tell yourself, all the fears that get in your way, all the stories, all the doubts, all the old creative wounds that hold you back, and doing something about them. This is the place for thorough examination, exploration, discovery, and recovery.

For instance:

  • Pay attention to where you are procrastinating and get to the bottom of it. Sometimes you don’t have enough information, sometimes fear is coming up, sometimes you haven’t hit the right thing yet, sometimes you really need some down time. Figure out what it is and resolve it for yourself so you can Do The Work.
  • Pay attention to the limits you put on your own dream — how are you limiting your own thinking about what is possible? How have you crimped your dream by being reasonable or realistic? (Again, I’m not saying that you don’t have to pay the bills, trust me, I do too, but I still let myself dream about what I really want because I know that’s the only way I’ll ever accomplish it.) This is often a way that we play it safe and hold back from pursuing what we really want.
  • Pay attention to the stories, fears and doubts running through your mind and get help to address them on a deep level so they don’t stop you anymore. This might look like coaching, energy work, therapy, training, talking with a friend, or journaling. The main thing is to look directly in the face of the fears, doubts, stories and old wounds to say, “Really? You sure about that?”

If you want to write, act, sing, paint — whatever your dream is — your most important job is to clear out anything and everything that might stop you from doing it so you can get on with doing the work you were put here to do.

Your Turn

I always love hearing from you in the comments on my blog.



Coming Attractions

~> November 10th. My next Life Purpose Breakthrough ‘Big Vision’ Group. Sold out. Details about future groups — yes, you might want to get on the waiting list.

~> November 28th. The next session of my Writer’s Circle starts. Sign up here.


~> Next Tuesday. Right Brain Business Planning with my buddy Kris Carey.

~> Ongoing. Writing for the ProSeries class at ScreenwritingU. This class is brilliant! I’m already thrilled with my results and we’ve really just gotten started.

~> FRIDAYS & now daily too. Sacred writing time. The Do Not Disturb sign is up.

Do You “Believe Beyond Reason?”

When Joss Whedon’s sci-fi western television series,Firefly,” was cancelled by the Fox network in 2002, the fans of the show were devastated. But Joss told his actors that he wouldn’t give up and that he would find the show a new home.

Eventually, he found that place with Universal Studios in 2005, where they made a feature length movie called Serenity and resurrected the Firefly story.

Joss says about his movie making, “It’s not to make things people like. It’s never to make things people like. It’s only to make things that they love.”

Refusing to Let It Go

What I love about this story (in addition to loving the show unabashedly), is that Joss was so committed to vision and believed in it so much, that he refused to give up. And his fans and cast did too. Joss says about the experience, “[People] fell in love with it a little bit too much to let it go, too much to lay down arms when the battle looked pretty much lost. In Hollywood, people like that are called ‘unrealistic’ … ‘quixotic’ … ‘obsessive’.”

He seems to be totally okay with that. :)

When he presented the first footage of the movie at San Diego Comic Con, he said to the assembled masses of fans, “This movie should not exist. Failed TV shows don’t get made into major motion pictures unless the creator, the cast, and the fans believe beyond reason.”

Isn’t that the most beautiful turn of phrase?

What Do You Believe Beyond Reason?

What are you so ridiculously over the moon about that it makes you giddy just to think about?

The word passion has become so overused in our culture today, I’m not even sure we know what it means anymore.

To most of us it apparently means something like, “What do you think is a realistic way to make money that you would enjoy doing?”

And while that is a useful question when one is paying one’s bills, it is NOT really the same question as “What are you passionate about?”

Seems to me it’s time to change the question.

Let’s start asking, “What do you BELIEVE BEYOND REASON?”

“What do you believe in so deeply, so permanently, so passionately that you can hardly keep yourself in your skin because you are exploding with joy when you consider it?”

“What brings tears to your eyes when you allow yourself to even just consider the possibility that you might be lucky enough to do it for a single minute of your life?”

Do that. And do it as quick as you can.

Because really, why would we do anything else?

Time’s a wastin.’

Watch Joss’ Introduction Here

Your Turn

I always love hearing from you in the comments on my blog.




Sensitivity 3.0

I’ve worked with highly sensitive souls since I started my coaching practice in 2002. As I evolve, and as we evolve as a tribe of sensitive people, I see more for us than I was able to see before.

I began with one model — let’s call it Sensitivity 2.0 — and now my approach has evolved to a new one — let’s call it Sensitivity 3.0.

Sensitivity 2.0

In the Sensitivity 2.0 model, my focus was on helping sensitives move from a place of struggling with being highly sensitive to thriving with it, essentially learning how to “deal” with being highly sensitive in a not-so-sensitive world.

This has been tremendously important work, in my humble opinion, because I’ve seen so many people move from being frustrated, embarrassed, and deeply unhappy with themselves to feeling uplifted and inspired by their own abilities and their own innate gifts.

My mission statement throughout that time was to “help people find a deep sense of inner rightness so that everything else would just drop away, and they would feel inspired to step forward and shine.”

In the end, much of my deepest work was and will continue to be about that deep sense of inner rightness.

And there’s more…

Sensitivity 3.0

In the new Sensitivity 3.0 model, I want to help you step your dreams up into the next level of their expression.

It’s time to say, “Okay, so we’re sensitive, now that we know how to manage that, what’s next?”

My new mission is to help you “upgrade” from the Sensitivity 2.0 model to Sensitivity 3.0, where not only are you thriving as a sensitive person, you are also getting your deep work into the world.

I want you to bring that powerful, deep art, message or movement you have out and share it with your audience, no matter what pain, ecstasy, doubt, joy, terror, or delicious dilemma you experience in the process.

The world’s deepest hunger is waiting to be fed by your deep gladness, to paraphrase theologian Frederick Buechner.

And I want to help you get there.

Your Turn

I’d love to hear from you about this subject:

  • How have you evolved with your sensitivity?
  • What’s next for you?
  • Where do you see us going as a “tribe”?



Coming Attractions

~> August. Doing Creative Destiny Assessments with visionary creatives ready to claim their creative destiny. Interested? Email me here to request a session.

~> September 6th. Beta-testing my new writer’s accountability system with a select group. Want to participate? Email me here to request the details.

~> September 29th. My next Life Purpose Breakthrough ‘Big Vision’ Group. Details. Only 4 spots available.


~> Alternate MONDAYS. Right Brain Business Planning with my buddy Kris Carey.

~> FRIDAYS. Sacred writing days. The Do Not Disturb sign is up.

~> Vacationing with my family in August (at least part of it!).



7 Steps to Get Clear and Get Going On Your Big Vision for Your Right Work

You know you’re Not Happy doing the work you’re doing right now.

Or maybe you’re beyond not happy into Soul Sick and just know you can’t bear to get up in the morning and face going to that job another single minute.

You probably even have tons of ideas about what to do instead but you’re still not sure where to start. You might even feel like you can almost put your finger on it, but not quite give it a name or describe exactly what it is that you want to do.

But deep down you know it’s time to either: 1) Start your own “thing” (read: business) or find a job that’s finally suited to your temperament, life purpose and innate talents.

I call that finding your Right Work or your Authentic Work.

Here’s How to Get Clear and Get Started on Your Big Vision for Your Right Work

1. Get Clear On What You Were Put Here to Do
It sounds easy to say that, I know, but it’s also not as hard as you think it is to find your life purpose. It is written out like a road map, right on your hands, for you to follow. I can easily tell you what it is through a hand analysis session.

2. Don’t Rule Anything Out
When it comes to crafting a Big Vision for your life, don’t rule anything out. It’s way too easy to let your inner critic (or as Julia Cameron says, your “Censor”) start yammering at you too early in the process. You DO want to critique and refine your plans, but not until later on in the game (see Step #7, below).

3. Dive Deep
Now it’s time for some deep sea diving. What are all those long lost secret dreams and cherished notions you’ve let go of along the course of living a practical life or the life your parents told you to have?

I always have my clients look for patterns and themes in the answers they come up with, because strangely enough, even when you’re spinning in confusion, there’s always some method to your madness. Usually it’s simply a matter of taking the time to stop and pay attention to all the powerful clues your psyche and soul are hinting about.

4. Dream Big
Once you’ve got your Censor under control and you’ve spent some time going deep down, expand it outward by brainstorming and dreaming big. There’s no point in holding back here, so have at it.

At this critical point in the process, it’s tremendously helpful to get input from like-minded mentors and peers who can help you stretch beyond the limits of your own thinking.

  • What would you LOVE to do?
  • What would it look like?
  • Who would you be doing it with?
  • Where would you be working?
  • What would you be doing?

Imagine it in full, technicolor detail. Steep in the energy and imagery of it.

5. Detail Your Vision
Next, spend some time detailing out your vision on a practical level.

  • How does it work with your available energy?
  • How will you know when you’re successful?
  • How much money are you making?
  • How many people are you working with? How many widgets are you making?
  • How many hours are you working?
  • How many days, weeks, months are you working?

6. Reverse Engineer a Plan
Now, take a look ahead and see yourself living that Big Vision in the not too distant future. Then, reverse engineer from that future point in time to here. How did you get there? What steps did you take?

Once you start exploring, you’ll see it’s not so hard to get there from here.

7. Implement, Refine and Adjust
Now that you’ve crafted your plan, get out there and start doing it. Rely on your Censor to give you input on places to adjust and refine. Get help along the way to keep moving and keep your momentum going.

Ready to Get Into Action?

I love nothing more than seeing you get clear on your Big Vision and getting into action making it real. I’ve laid out all the steps for you — now it’s up to you to make it happen.

For those of you who know you do much better with support than working on your own — reserve your spot now for my  Voice Your Vision retreat  in Berkeley on April 29th and 30th for and I’ll help you get clear and get going. (Early registration ends this Friday).


What’s Jenna Up To?

~> March 29th, 2011. My Artist’s Way Accountability & Support Group continues. Details.

~> April 20, 2011. Speaking at the Thriving Practice Workshop Series in Berkeley, California on creating a web presence and using social media to reach clients.

~> April 23, 2011. Next broadcast of my Radio Lightworker radio show “Dreamification.” Details. Listen from anywhere in the world to this Internet radio show.

~> April 29th & 30th, 2011. My next Voice Your Vision retreat will be held in Berkeley, California. Early registration is now available through April 1st at midnight Eastern Time. Special savings if you’ve already had your hands analyzed. Contact my assistant Jamie to schedule a private one-to-one chat with me to find out if this program is right for you. Check out this video to get a sense of what it’s like to work with me in this way.

Band of Misfits, or Voices of Reason? Guest Post by Kristine Carey

Kristine CareyThis is a guest post by Kristine Carey, an expert coach and speaker with years of experience helping entrepreneurs love their work (and life!) who is passionate about you unplugging from the collective and finding success on your own terms, to simplify and return ease, fun and meaning to work.

I rewatched the latest Star Trek today; one of the things I like about it is the story of how all the core crew got to know each other.

When you look at them as individuals they are clearly the smarty pants of their class. And yet another quality also stands out: They are all misfits.

Kirk is the consummate rebel who doesn’t believe in no win scenarios. Spock, as much as he appears to play by the rules, gives the metaphorical finger to the Vulcan High Council and joins Star Fleet.

Scotty is assigned to a snowy planet in the middle of no where for proposing, and experimenting with, transporter technology that others said wasn’t possible. And McCoy, having lost Earth to his ex-wife (“my ex-wife got the whole damn planet in the divorce; all I’ve got are my Bones”), takes his belief of integrity and doing what’s right to the stars.

All misfits in a certain sense — all possessing the necessary mettle to do what’s right, and what’s needed, when called upon, despite what convention may say. They come to rely on each other’s quirks, lean into the unlikely combination they present, the possibilities they create together.

Who’s Got Your Back?

I’m wondering: Who’s got your back?

Do you run with a crowd that follows the rules and plays it safe?

Or do you listen to those whose voices are outside the mainstream? What unconventional voices are whispering in your ear right now, encouraging you to do something wild, take a gamble that just might payoff?

Be unconventional; look to the periphery for inspiration, what your next, right action may be. And look for those hanging around on the rim with you, leverage their particular brand of crazy, and see how far you can go together.

Question: What’s your brand of crazy, how can you leverage it, and who can you get to come on this journey with you?

Visionaries: You Must Be a Leader and You Must Have a Plan

I love science fiction with a passion that is beyond reason. It delights me utterly.

I love it because it expands our limited thinking in the most unbelievable ways. And since I espouse and delight in such expansive, biggifying thinking, well, sci-fi pretty much always makes my day.

Can’t Stop the Signal?

This weekend, one of my all-time favorite sci-fi shows — Firefly — experienced a fascinating resurgence. It was cancelled shortly into production in 2002 after a short-sighted move on the part of a big network (Fox). The fans of the show have been pining for more ever since.

On Twitter last week, in response to the news that the show will be airing again on the Science Channel, the lead actor, Nathan Fillion, mentioned that if he were to win the lottery, he’d buy the rights to the show, make new episodes, and release them on the internet.

The fans of the show have gone wild with tweets, comments, and speculation ever since, and have even kicked a fund raising campaign idea into gear to try to get the show back on the air, again (apparently there have been other past attempts with unfortunate outcomes).

Why am I telling you all this?

What fascinates me about this is that while an anonymous fan has jumped into action to set up a fund raising website, the project doesn’t seem to be gaining much momentum. I think this is true for a few key reasons:

1. There is no clear leader on the project. The person who has set up the website has chosen to remain anonymous. I think this undermines his or her credibility.

On the other hand, I personally think this project would have a much better chance of success with leadership from the visionary series creator, Joss Whedon, or at very least the lead actor, Nathan Fillion. If they were taking the lead on this, with a good team to help them implement it, I think nothing in the ‘verse could stop it.

2. There is no clear plan for the project. The basic idea floated on the fan website is this: We’ll figure it out once we get the go-ahead from Fillion. The issue I have with this is that there isn’t enough for him or other leaders to respond to. Lots of good ideas but no clear plan. I think the folks behind the scheme might want to consider laying out a serious campaign and a serious approach so that the Powers That Be have something tangible and real to respond to.

3. The role of the followers is muddy. As fans, do “we” have the power to take on a project like this? I’ve been asking myself that question pretty seriously over the last few days, and thinking closely about whether or not I want jump on board and make a proposal to make this project happen.

On the one hand, it’s a perfect “Browncoat Rebellion” against the evil (Network) Alliance — a more show-paralleling campaign could not have been better designed.

On the other hand, even in the show, they still had the captain to lead the charge. :)

Visionaries Take Note

What can we learn from this? We visionaries who want to deeply impact the world with our ideas, art, messages, and insights…

1. If you want to see your vision come to fruition, you have to be the leader — be someone other people can follow. Sure, you can empower people to take action on your behalf or even design a plan. But your followers need clear vision, leadership, and sense of direction before they can get started. That’s going to come from you, the leader.

(Joss? Nathan? Anonymous fan website guy? Anyone?)

2. You must have a clear, actionable plan in order to make your vision real. With details, strategies, and purpose. Personally, I’d LOVE to see Firefly get back on the air. In this case, designing a powerful, clear, decisive campaign is in order, with time lines, a crowd funding platform, and promotion strategies.

When contemplating our own vision, think about how you can design a practical, real, step-by-step plan to make it so.

3. It’s not enough to just have a good idea and a plan — you also have be passionate enough about it to get into action with it AND see it through. Someone — ideally you — has to take the reins, be a leader, and get into action making your vision real. The passion will carry it forward from there. Right now, this Firefly project is a brilliant idea filled with passion — but no clear leadership and no real plan.


Your Turn

  • Where are you with your vision? What is it about?
  • What is your plan to bring it into being?
  • Is your passion in place to help you see it through?
  • Or — what does this article spark in your thinking about your vision?

Share your thoughts with us in the comments below.

(Browncoats — your comments, opinions, and debates are welcome too.)


What’s Jenna Up To?

~> February 25, 2011 at 11:30 a.m. Pacific Time. Special call with guest Isabel Parlett on “How to Say What You Do, When What You Do is Deep, Powerful, and Hard to Describe.” Register here.

~> March 1, 2011. My Artist’s Way Accountability & Support Group starts. For details send a blank email here.

~> May 2011. My next Voice Your Vision retreat will be held in Berkeley, California. Specific dates and registration details to be announced. A special savings will be available if you’ve already had your hands analyzed.