Get Clear on Your Characters with GMC (Plus a Free Character Profile Template!)

Something I tackled in my most recent screenwriting assignment was getting clear on who the characters are and what motivates them, especially since they weren’t my original characters. This project was a rewrite of a writer-producer’s script so the characters were his, though they now feel like “ours.”

Part of the process of getting there was working through the characters’ GMC (goals, motivation, and conflict) to understand them more deeply.

Cathy Yardley first introduced me to GMC. I’ve done some plot work with her on other projects, and loved her book series where she describes the concept of GMC. The book series is offered collectively in print as Rock Your Writing, also available in a six-part Kindle series, including Rock Your Plot and Rock Your Revisions. She recommends another book called GMC: Goal, Motivation, and Conflict, The Building Blocks of Good Fiction that I found helpful as well. (Amazon links for all of these books are in the References section, below.)

What I find most useful about GMC is that it gives me a way into my character’s head.

The jury is still out on whether or not I’m more of an intuitive writer (one who excels in character and dialogue but has a hard time with plot and structure) or a conceptual writer (one who does well with plot and structure but struggles with the character and dialogue). So far, my take is that I’m more of a conceptual writer.

In any case, it helps me to have a character profile for each character I’m working with, and adding GMC to my character profiles has been exceedingly helpful, so I’m sharing it with you. (This would be a useful tool for creative non-fiction writers too!)

Note: If you’re interested in seeing my entire character profile template, you can download a copy of it at the end of this post. 

How GMC Works

We break goals, motivation, and conflict down into both external and internal GMC. This helps us understand both what’s driving the character externally and internally. This syncs up nicely with Shawn Coyne’s External Content Genre and his Internal Content Genre, though they are different tools (I’ll write about this more in a future post — The Story Grid* methodology has completely rewired my brain for story in an incredibly useful way).

Here’s an explanation of External and Internal GMC.

External GMC

  • The character’s EXTERNAL GOAL is the WHAT they are trying to achieve or accomplish by the story’s end. This cannot be vague in any way. Cathy Yardley once told me that an external goal has to be something that you can easily check off in a box when it’s done. For example, disable the bomb, check. Or, catch the bad guy, check. It can’t be something like “get my mom to approve of me,” because it can be too unclear about whether or not that has actually occurred (although I suppose it could be verbally said, “I approve of you” but there’s still room for interpretation — does she actually mean it, etc.).
  • The character’s EXTERNAL MOTIVATION is WHY they are trying to achieve that goal. What reason do they have for trying to reach their goal? What’s at stake, what are the consequences if they don’t make whatever it is happen? That’s their why. For example, everyone in the building will die (if the protag doesn’t disable the bomb). Or, the bad guy may kill again. This can be considered the “Because” clause.
  • The character’s EXTERNAL CONFLICT is the OPPOSITION to achieving the goal. What or who gets in the way? Usually this is the antagonist but it could also be the establishment, the environment, etc., if it’s a human against the state or human against the world kind of story. This could also be considered the “But” clause if you think of these as a sentence.

For example: Carly wants to disable the bomb because otherwise hundreds of people will die, but the antagonist has hidden the bomb and is taunting Carly with killing people one by one as clues until she finds it. 

Internal GMC

  • The character’s INTERNAL GOAL is about HOW the character is trying to feel or hoping to feel. It may or may not be tied to the external goal. And it probably isn’t something that can be ticked off in a check box. It’s more of a feeling state, such as happiness or independence, or vengeance. It can also be a spiritual goal. The internal and external goals CAN be in alignment but they can also not match up — which can create excellent internal conflict for your character. (Don’t forget, we want them to suffer — our readers and viewers want to worry about our characters, that’s why they’re there!)
  • The character’s INTERNAL MOTIVATION is WHY they want to feel that way. Often this is tied to their backstory, or personal goals outside the story. The internal motivation is the emotion that drives the character. For example, a character may have been overly controlled for her entire life by her parents, so she’s trying to create an independent life for herself.
  • The character’s INTERNAL CONFLICT is WHAT might be stopping her from reaching that state of being. This could be caused by the character themselves, but it can also be tied to the external GMC and cause problems for in achieving it. With our example, our character might suffer from insecurity, and keep turning back to her parents for help.

I like to put these together in a chart, like the one below (spreadsheets are handy here), though I also just make bullet point lists when I’m writing in Scrivener since it doesn’t play that well with tables.

Here’s an example:

  External Internal
Goal Carly’s external goal is to disable the bomb… Carly’s internal goal is to forge out on her own…
Motivation Because otherwise hundreds of people will die… Because her psychologist parents have been holding her back for years with their oppressive personalities…
Conflict But the antagonist has hidden the bomb and is taunting Carly with killing people one by one as clues until she finds it.  But she struggles with insecurity so keeps turning to her parents for support and encouragement, and even worse, now needs their help her track down the bomber.

 

It’s useful to see how the internal and external can work together here. 

I often rework these multiple times until I feel that I’ve landed on something that works. And then I’ll often rework it again, once I’ve finished a script, because I tend to pick up more nuance and information as I interact with the character over the course of the story.

It’s an ever-evolving process.

Want to Check Out My Character Profile Template?

It includes the GMC points I outlined above along with a handful of other useful and streamlined items I assemble for each character. It comes in a PDF and RTF format, along with a Quick Start Guide. You can import the RTF into Word or Scrivener for easy customization and editing.

Click the image below to download it now.

Let me know what you think in the comments!  

 

References

* All book links are Amazon affiliate links:

 

Choose a writing project with decision criteria

Today I’m continuing a series I started last week about choosing writing projects. This is the first post of the series where I’m delving into HOW to choose a project. In the last post I wrote about the issues and challenges that tend to come up for writers around choosing a project and what underlies them (spoiler alert, it’s often some kind of perfectionism!) so that we can start to shift how we’re thinking about it.

** Check out the newly updated version of this series available
for download here (or scroll to the end of this post) **

More on mindset first

But first, a bit more on mindset before we explore “decision criteria”:

I remember when I started the ProSeries at ScreenwritingU in 2011. I was concerned about picking the “right” project to work on. And I remember that our instructor (Hal) seemed to be relatively unconcerned about my choice, which at the time I found somewhat disconcerting. Hindsight being 20-20, however, I can see now WHY he was unconcerned. He knew that — especially for someone like me, a then newbie screenwriter — it didn’t actually matter that much what I chose. It would be a learning script, and if I continued screenwriting, which is of course an assumption of the program, it would be one of dozens of scripts I would write.

It’s hard to hold that in mind when we’re choosing projects, especially because of the things we talked about last time (“It’s so much work!”  “What if I choose the wrong one?!” etc.), but if we take an eagle’s eye view of our writing careers we can see that yes, this next project will be just one of many projects we work on in our lifetimes. Will it be a best seller or a runaway hit? Maybe, maybe not. But you can see that if you try to choose on that basis alone, you might get somewhat paralyzed.

Enter criteria

Hence the concept of criteria.

When you use criteria to select a project, you systematically narrow your field of ideas using a list of criteria that you choose in advance to help you make the decision.

Everyone has to choose their own criteria, there’s no point in me telling you what they “should” be. I can, however, share with you some of the criteria I use and think about (and why) so that it might spark your thoughts about your own.

(Side note: I’ll write about OTHER methods to choose projects in the rest of this blog series, including some intuitive methods. So if this particular method doesn’t resonate for you, not to fret, there’s more to come.)

Okay, so on to project selection using criteria.

Start with where you are right now

The first step is to think about where you are in your writing career and what you are hoping to accomplish. 

For instance, are you trying to:

  1. Establish yourself as a writer?
  2. Figure out your brand?
  3. Choose your first project?
  4. Build an audience?
  5. Break into Hollywood?
  6. Something else?

I think you can see that each of these intentions have different outcomes, and so a project to fulfill them would ideally be picked with a specific intention in mind. And since the project you might choose to build an audience may be very different than the one you might choose if you are working on figuring out your brand, you’ll use different criteria depending on what you are hoping to accomplish in order to narrow the field.

Have a list of projects

Also, assuming you’re a writer with a ton of ideas you’re trying to pick from, you’ll want to have a list of projects that you can refer to as you make your decision. (If you’re a writer who is struggling to come up with an idea — any idea! — that’s a different issue that we’ll have to tackle another day.)

Choose your writing project criteria

Here are some ideas I’ve used for writing project decision criteria (and I like to frame mine as questions). Although I’ve listed quite a few possible criteria, I ask my clients to come up no more than three to five criteria to when we make their project choice. More than that and they just get overwhelmed.

I’ve listed more than three to five here to give you some ideas of various criteria I’ve used at different times to get you thinking about possibilities for yourself.

  • Would I be thrilled to write this project? First off, I want to think about my attachment to the project. As long as I’m committing to a long form project, I want to ENJOY myself. This is my life after all, and it’s too short to waste doing things I don’t feel excited about. (You can also use the question from The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up, “Does this spark joy?” as an alternate here.) This is about thinking about your level of passion, curiosity, interest, and attachment to a particular idea.
  • Does this project have a high level of clarity for me? Even though I love most of my project ideas, certain projects have more clarity for me. I know what they are about. I know why I want to write them. I know who the characters are. I know what the basic story is. If I don’t know those things, perhaps I still have a good sense of the concept and feel that it will be relatively “easy” to develop, as opposed to something that has a lot of blank spots in it and feels hard and/or overwhelming.
  • Is this project marketable and/or high concept? Going in, I want to have a sense that the project will have legs in the marketplace. This can mean a number of things, for instance, that there’s a trend or market interest in a specific genre, or that there’s kind of a built-in audience with a high level of demand for a specific kind of project. Personally, I’m not that thrilled about chasing market trends because I know that they can change and/or that I might not catch the wave at the right time (I’ve read that what’s on the marketplace book-wise right now was bought 18 months ago). However, I do like to know that there’s a potential audience for what I’m writing, like time travel (my favorite!). I also like to know that I have a high concept if at all possible — a project that people instantly “get” and want to know more about.
  • Does this project fit within my brand? Although there’s a lot of resistance to branding, it’s particularly helpful in the screenwriting world. This is because it helps potential buyers of your work recognize you in the field of writers. Without a brand, you’re just one of many in a sea of thousands and thousands of writers. With a brand, people start saying things like, “Oh, yeah, I know a sci-fi writer, you should talk to Jenna Avery.” So it behooves me to stick with projects that support and enhance my brand.
  • What’s the potential budget for the project? If I’m picking a screenplay to work on (as opposed to a novel), I’ll look at the potential budget for the project. I do this because I want to flesh out the slate of work I have available. Right now, I have two spec scripts that are on the high end for budget, so for my next spec script, I’ll want to choose something in the low- or mid-range. Other writers might choose to always write high or low budget. Remember, I’m not suggesting that everyone should do what I’m doing here, but I’m rather sharing the things I think about with the hopes that they spark ideas for you.
  • Does it lend itself to adaptation? As a sci-fi screenwriter, I’m looking at writing novels and novellas that lend themselves to the screen, in that they are cinematic stories, structured like screenplays, and lend themselves to future adaptation for the screen. I’m exploring this option because oftentimes it’s easier to pitch a screenplay in Hollywood (especially a big budget script) that already has a loyal audience in book form.
  • Does this project challenge me as a writer and will it help me grow my writing skill set? I like to choose projects that help me grow. For instance, writing low budget sci-fi brings a whole new set of challenges (it has to be more character- than plot-driven). I had a fabulous time writing a low budget script on assignment over the summer simply because it pushed my edges as a writer and expanded my writing repertoire significantly. 
  • Will this project be easy to write? and/or Will this project be fun to write? On the other hand, sometimes when I’m on the more tired side, perhaps because I just pushed myself to write a complex, dark, or heavier project, it’s nice to pick the next one to be on the “easier” or lighter side (notice I said easier, not easy) to create a sense of balance for myself. 

Notice that most if not all of the questions have fairly simple Yes/No answers, they either are or are not true. And again, I wouldn’t use all of these, I’d pick three to five to use, depending on what I was hoping to next accomplish in my writing career.

From here, I’d narrow my field of questions, then go over my list of potential projects, and see which of them meet the criteria. Then I’d sort them into an order and see which of them, if any, naturally rise to the top and/or fit the most criteria. 

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Over the next post or two, I’ll write about putting projects in order of “best fit” to “least best fit for now” and a few more intuitive approaches to project decision-making. In the meantime, let me know what you think about using criteria to choose your project. Can you see any questions or criteria emerging for you that might help you choose what’s next for you?

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Download the Newly Updated Guidebook Version Here

There’s an updated version of this post and the two others in the series, assembled into a How to Choose Your Next Book (Or Screenplay) Guidebook with an overview of the process in a PDF format, along with a workbook in a PDF and RTF format. You can import the RTF into Word or Scrivener and work with it there.

Click the image below to download the Guidebook now.

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Upcoming Writing Classes

Need help getting going with your writing and/or a big rewrite? Want to get a sense of working with me? Check out these upcoming writing classes I’ll be leading in October and beyond.

Note:  The links I’m providing are referral links so the company involved will a pay me a small commission for referring you to them if you sign up after clicking on the link.

 

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With The Writer’s Store:

Navigating the Inner Journey of a Rewrite

navigatingrewrite-500_smallWHEN: Thursday, October 1, 1:00 to 2:30 p.m. Pacific Time.

HOW: Webinar

WHAT: The Navigating the Inner Journey of a Rewrite webinar is focused on rewriting for screenwriters but also has relevant tools for all writers because it addresses the inner aspects of dealing with a major rewrite. This is a one-time, 1.5 hour webinar and will be recorded if you cannot attend the live class.

DESCRIPTIONYou’ve finished your screenplay, right?

Or have you?

Whether you’ve just typed FADE OUT or you’ve been wrestling with a rewrite for ages, rewriting is a necessary part of the screenwriting process. After all, you want your script to shine before you take it out into the marketplace. And since rewriting is part of a screenwriter’s job description, whether you’re elevating a spec, doing a page one rewrite, reworking a script based on feedback or coverage, or overhauling to meet a producer’s needs, it’s worth making sure you have all the tools you need at your disposal to make it happen. (Read the full class description by clicking on the link below.)

In this class you’ll:

  • Discover how to deal with the resistance and overwhelm that turn up when tackling a major rewrite
  • Develop both practical rewriting strategies and inner mindset tools to help you see your rewrite all the way through to completion
  • Gain the skills you need to successfully complete rewrite after rewrite — a must in the screenwriting industry

Click here to find out more and register: Navigating the Inner Journey of a Rewrite

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On Screenwriter’s University:

Fitting Writing Into Your Life: Becoming a Productive Screenwriter

fittingwritingintoyourlifeWHEN: Starts on October 15 and runs for 7 days

HOW: A weeklong intensive with a three-part online recorded video presentation and discussions online (with lots of interaction and support from me).

WHAT: The Fitting Writing Into Your Life: Becoming a Productive Screenwriter course is about making your writing happen, one day at a time. (There’s a later section of the same course in January you can register for now if the October class doesn’t work for your schedule). Although this class is offered as a screenwriting program it is relevant and useful for other writers too. This is an online program with a prerecorded class (from me) and interactive writing prompts on the site with feedback from me also.

DESCRIPTION: If you aren’t making progress on your screenplay, or you feel blocked every time you sit down to write, it’s time to break the chains of unproductive writing. Adopting the techniques that will make you a consistently productive writer is imperative to seeing any of your writing projects from beginning to end. Get all of the tools to develop an effective strategy and a schedule that you can stick to.

In this week-long intensive, you’ll first watch and discuss (via discussion boards) a three-part video lecture exploring 10 habits and techniques that will keep your writing schedule consistent and productive. Then, you’ll use what you have learned to create a personalized writing plan that you will submit for feedback. At the end of just one week you will have a fail-proof strategy for the most productive writing of your life.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Myths about writing that may actually be sabotaging your progress as a writer.
  • Simple, fresh strategies for handling writing resistance and creative blocks.
  • Ways to design your life and your writing time so it happens regularly.
  • Mindset shifts to help you write more consistently and productively.
  • Techniques to cut down on the time required to “gear up” into writing mode.

Click here to find out more and register: Fitting Writing Into Your Life: Becoming a Productive Screenwriter

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My Fall schedule got so busy with these classes that I decided to postpone my own Called to Write teleclass but I expect to offer it in November or December, so stay tuned!

 

Using the Enneagram to move from character to story

Lyons Fin 018In the third and final session of my interview series with Enneagram and story development expert Jeff Lyons yesterday, we talked about “Bridging the Gap from Motivation to Structure With the Enneagram.” Today’s post is a recap of what we discussed.

His process for “bridging the gap” from premise line to character to story is quite fascinating, and he illustrated it using a breakdown of The Great Gatsby according to the Enneagram.

Bridging the gap

Here’s an overview of the process:

  • Step 1. Write out your premise line and log line.
    (See the last post for more on premise line development.)
  • Step 2. Define the moral problem that best illustrates the story’s premise line.
    (In Gatsby, Nick focuses on trying to fit in and be liked, he isn’t being his truest self, which is a form of lying.)
  • Step 3. Look for the Enneagram type that best represents the motivations (not behaviors) of someone with that moral shortfall.
    (Nick most aligns with the Enneagram type 9.)
  • Step 4. Study the integration and disintegration points for that type to identify what the character is capable of and what they’re greatest opponent might be.
    (Points 3 and 6, respectively.)
  • Step 5. Explore the entertaining moral argument possibilities between those two types.
    (Can you succeed and achieve without giving up your soul?)
  • Step 6. Brainstorm about the communication styles, “pinches”, and blind spots of each of those two types.
    (Nick has various challenges that Gatsby can poke at and wreak havoc with.)
  • Step 7. Map your story using these Enneagram components and correlate them with the visible structure components we discussed last time.
    (This includes the protagonist, moral problem, chain of desire, focal relationship, opposition, plot & momentum (midpoint complication, low point, and final conflict), and evolution/de-evolution and is the more complex step where the story is broken down into a greater level of detail).

I’ve given you the quick version here. Jeff went into more detail during the class, which I highly recommend you listen to if this is of interest to you.

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Would you like to learn more?

Jeff will be teaching this entire system in much more detail at a live upcoming workshop that I’m co-hosting with him here in Berkeley, California on October 26 and 27. We’d love to have you join us!

In the Rapid Story Development workshop, you’ll discover:

  • You will learn the basics of the Enneagram system and how it works to build stories, including hands-on exercises to illustrate how each Enneagram style operates and is motivated.
  • Your own Enneagram type, which will help you become a more conscious writer, so you can consciously know what you’re writing, how you’re writing, and why.
  • Deeper insights into the specifics of the Enneagram that inform how to set up truly compelling conflict, both story-wide and at the scene-level.
  • How to create antagonists that are perfectly designed to challenge your protagonists in a deeper way — no more generic “bad guys”!
  • How to design and understand your character’s natural motivations, communication styles, and conflict styles so that each character can have a unique and identifiable voice — the end of characters all sounding the same!
  • How to translate your nebulous story ideas into a compelling narrative throughline that works from start to finish — everything naturally intertwined to create a story that just feels right.
  • How to land on the underpinnings for key story beats, like your inciting incidents, turning points, midpoint complications, etc, so that they keep your story moving forward naturally without feeling forced.

You CAN learn a lot about this information in books and online — in a piecemeal way. But no one other than Jeff has put this information together in such a cohesive system, and there’s nothing quite like learning it in a hands-on, immersion environment with a master teacher right at your side. Plus, Jeff will be doing 1:1 story development work with every participant (either live in the workshop or following the workshop by phone), which is not to be missed.

Find out more details and register at http://RapidStoryDevelopment.com (note that this link will take you to Jeff’s website to register).

Your turn

Have you considered using the Enneagram in your story development? Will you consider using it in the future? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Warmly,

 Jenna

You may also be interested in:

* Affiliate link
Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

What do you do when the going gets tough?

Yesterday was a tough one.

It was a dark, drizzly day after a bad night of sleep, followed by a bit of bad news. And it was on the heels of a wicked cold that had me laid up Wednesday through Sunday. Not a good cocktail for a sensitive soul with work to be done.

Needless to say, I came home after dropping off my son to feeling rather adrift.

I didn’t know what I wanted to work on. None of the many items on my idea list or to do list was the least bit appealing. Even though I had come up with some nifty ideas on the way home in the car, when I sat down at my desk and confronted my computer screen, a strong feeling of despondency — and resistance — came up.

I didn’t want to do anything.

Or did I?

I checked in with my heart.

I checked in with my spirit.

I asked, “Is there anything I DO want to work on?

The answer came back, “Yes. My script.”

(And this was even after doing my first round of writing first thing in the morning.)

So I did. I got out my latest set of assignments, turned on my timer, and dug in.

An hour later, I felt like myself again. I even went on to have a happy, productive day working with my clients and revamping my website (you can see the evidence on my Shop and Home pages).

By doing my work, by turning to my calling rather than away from it, I found myself.

Your Turn

What works for you?

When you’ve fallen off the wagon of clarity and productivity, how do you find your way back to taking action?

And by the way, I’m not intending to say that action is the only solution here. There are times when for me the right “action” is clearly nothing work-related, like rest, reflection, exercise, or taking a break. But I think I’m talking about something different here — that Thing that happens when you know getting back on path is just what’s called for but it’s feeling elusive. I’d love to hear what works for you.

Tell us about it in the comments.

Warmly,

 Jenna

Coming Attractions

~> Ongoing. My Protection & Grounding Jewelry is on close-out. Only TWO necklaces are left, and then they are gone for good. Find them here.

~> February 2, 2012. Start the new year fresh with your life purpose clear in your mind. My next life purpose breakthrough group session in on February 2. Details. SOLD OUT.

~> February 20th, 2012. The next session of my Writer’s Circle starts. Sign up here. Get my Free Writing Tips series too, and receive a coupon for a savings on your first 4 week session.

 

What I'm Up To

~> Ongoing. Writing in the ProSeries class at ScreenwritingU, which was just named the #1 screenwriting class by InkTip.

~> Daily and especially Fridays. Sacred writing time. The Do Not Disturb sign is up.

~> Now onto Castle, Season 4. So good!

Busting Through Conceptual Glass Ceilings

How do you “up” your creative game?

How do you breakthrough the limitations of your thinking and conceive of something that’s entirely original?

Or is it really true that “there’s nothing new under the sun?”

As a die hard science fiction fan, I can readily attest that nothing delights me more than new ideas and seeing things in new ways, or even seeing my own similar musings explored by like-minded wonderers. Just when I think I’ve seen it all, here comes Another Earth or Melancholia to bend my mind in new ways (haven’t seen them yet, but looking forward to them).

So how do we reach for those ideas and concepts we’ve never thought of before? How can we bust through those conceptual glass ceilings that keep us spinning the same ideas around in endless circles instead of coming up with something new?

I’ll tell you my deep dark secret: I’ve never been sure that I can. I’d like to be able to, but I’ve never trusted my creativity enough to come up with something brand new.

But I like to think I can.

Snap Out of It

My friend Giulietta says most of us are sleep walking through our lives.

There are days when I remember to dig my head up out of the hole of my computer, look at the sky, and remember.

Remember to breathe, to be awake, to see. Oh yeah, I’m awake, I’m alive, it’s not about how much email I “have to” answer today…

Try Something New

As I’ve explored the screenwriting industry, I’ve been thrilled to look at things with new eyes.

The big news over the last few years in the coaching industry is all about learning formulas and blueprints for success. Yawn.

What I love about my current screenwriting class is that the focus is on teaching us to take our familiar ideas and look at them from different perspectives to generate new concepts. It’s entirely refreshing.

If you’re tired of thinking about the same old things in the same old way, try learning something new and see how it translates back into your world.

Set Yourself Up for Inspiration

As I’ve been working with my creative clients around setting up sacred time for their creative endeavors, one of the things that’s become crystal clear is that it is not necessarily in those precise minutes of working that inspiration happens, but that showing up regularly to the work allows the inspiration to come through then or other random moments, like in the shower or on a walk.

Most of us think we have to wait for that moment of random inspiration to occur, but by consciously creating time to put yourself through your paces, you open yourself up to possibilities.

Mind Map Your Way Out of It

I’ve had a lot of fun experimenting with mind mapping and free writing lately as tools to get my creative engines whirring.

I take a “seed idea,” or a problem I’m stuck on resolving, put it at the center of my paper and start spider diagramming until I solve it (thanks to Kris for reminding me recently about this great tool).

Somehow the act of writing down EVERYTHING I’m thinking, without judgment or censorship, is what allows me to come up with new solutions. There’s so much filtering that happens internally, that otherwise those new breakthroughs might never see the light of day.

Which Reminds Me

Isn’t it interesting that so much of the sleepwalking we do in life is tied to censorship?

We’ve been so programmed to “go along” that we forget to think for ourselves.

Wouldn’t it be a brave new world if we could all bust through that conceptual ceiling?

Your Turn

What do you think about all this? I’d love to hear from you.

 

Jenna

 

Coming Attractions

~> October 7th. FRIDAY. The absolute VERY LAST day to get into the current session of my Writer’s Circle. Really, don’t miss it. If you want to write but you aren’t finding the time for it or being consistent or accountable to your dream, this will give you just the kick in the pants you’re looking for. Sign up here.

~> November 10th. My next Life Purpose Breakthrough ‘Big Vision’ Group. Ready to find your life purpose through an astonishingly accurate system of hand analysis and claim your big vision in the world? There’s only one spot left in this affordable small group session. I don’t know when I’ll be offering another one of these sessions, so jump in now if you’re on the fence. Personalized payment plans are available. Sign up here.

 


~> Next two Tuesdays. Right Brain Business Planning with my buddy Kris Carey. Wish us luck for finishing up!

~> Ongoing. Writing in 10 day stretches for the ProSeries class at ScreenwritingU. Amazing!

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

Commit to Your Big Dream

Because Dreaming Big is the best place to start…

My Big Dream (in addition to making a Big Difference in the world for others) is to be a writer — a Sci Fi writer no less, though most likely also a self-help writer Revolutionary Philosopher as well.

About a week ago I wrote my very first sci fi screenplay, under the gun of a competition deadline no less (big yikes). It may not be my best work ever, and it may not win the round I was competing in, but I DID IT. That’s what counts to me.

Since then, as I’ve been crafting and clarifying my next Big Direction for my coaching business (seems like everything is getting Big around here all of a sudden; I like it!), I realized that I need to make a much Bigger :) commitment to my own Big Dream.

… And does even better with a commitment

So, I just cleared space in my calendar every workday (that’s Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday) for one hour of writing time. And during that time, I will NOT be writing ezines, or blog posts, or articles, or web copy. Oh no.

What I WILL be doing is writing my feature length screenplay, come hell or high water. I will allow other Big writing projects during that time, e.g. writing my book, “Hey Folks, We’re Doing It All Wrong,” if I’m overcome with a massive inspiration. But it has to be Big Writing to qualify for that time block.

… And follow through

I intend to let you know how it’s going on the blog as a weekly accountability deal.

I’m not quite sure how I’ll handle it when I’m away or facilitating retreats quite yet (probably I’ll have to do a little schedule rearranging), but I’m sure I’ll figure it out.

(I’m also sure my organizing coach will have some suggestions, and she’s the only one allowed to comment on this matter (see my request below). :) )

Drum roll, please, for the Big Invitation

This is where you come in: I’d like to invite you to join me. What’s your Big Dream? How have you committed to making it happen? I want to help you get your art, your message, or your movement to your audience, too.

Take a moment to think about your Big Dream and share what it is in the comments section below. Then tell us, how are you committing to making that happen?


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In the spirit of Havi Brooks’ “Comment Zen,” I have this request:

Since I am exploring how to be more transparent, raw, vulnerable, and in my full, messy delicious creative energy in my posts, here’s what I would love to hear:

  • How you personally are doing whatever I’m writing about for yourself.
  • How my writing sparks something for you.
  • About your own stories, ideas, musings, and wonderings.

And I would love to skip:

  • You feeling like you need to take care of me, give me useful suggestions, or other well-meaning but unsolicited advice.

Thank you!

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What’s Jenna Up To?

~> January 21st & 22nd, 2011. Voice Your Vision Mastermind Retreat. In-Person Workshop in Berkeley, California. Clarify your unique vision to implement your Life Purpose in a specific, step-by-step plan. Details: www.VoiceYourVisionWithJenna.com

~> January 27th & 28th, 2011. Powerful Strategies to Slay Your Inner Critic Demons So You Can Leap Into the Creative Spotlight.” Appearing as a guest expert at Baeth Davis’s “Claim Your Spotlight” program in Los Angeles, California.

~> NEW DATE: February 22, 2011. Virtual Workshop: Claim Your Calling: 5 Steps To Get You Back On Track With What You Were Put Here To Do. Details. Early registration ends January 27th.

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