A long time friend emailed to ask about the mini-book cover I had posted on my Facebook page—the title page for "McNair's Fearless Field Guide To Doodling & Visual Thinking." It is the second half (16 pages) of the next-to-the-last chapter in HATCH! The chapter is "The Doodle Factor." (He'd not yet gotten to that point, near the end, in reading HATCH!)
Funnily enough, my curious friend is an enormously accomplished doodler. Hah! He is an artist. That's how he earns his living, delights his friends, and creates his almost completely visual blog: "Insight Through Hindsight." ....HERE.
You will love his "doodles" and his wit—a dangerous mind. Even more, he recently wrote about himself and posted it at the opening of his blog on 28 June 2013 as "a bit of a departure." READ THAT first. My friend Chris's story is remarkable will make his art all the more astounding.
In his follow-up email he talked about wanting to doodle more, but being afraid to ...it won't be good enough. The "fear bus" is rather crowded these days. I have a seat with my name on it. I get ht by fear, oh ...every-other ....hour. What if I try and it's ...not perfect?
IT WON"T BE FLAWLESS.
NOTHING IS ...EVER!
In his scond email (about doodling more) Chris included his latest blog post. Here it is—near perfect, I'd say.
My mentor and "boss" at Disney Imagineering, Marty Sklar, said that to most people, the scariest item in the universe is a blank piece of paper. A small sea of infinite white space that appears to go on forever.
Meanwhile, the "actively creative" person sees infinite possibilities. Take charge of the open space ...fill it with anything, everything.
The key is to not care about the first line, the first sentence, paragraph, or page. In his book, The Art of the Start, Guy Kawasaki says that the hardest part about starting is ...STARTING.
At writers conferences one of the top ten MAQ's (Most Asked Questions) is always, "I really wanna write a book, but ...how do you come up with a title ...where do I begin?"
"What do you want to write about, your subject?" I ask. They don't always have an answer. That's a problem, but when they do have subject, I ask, "What do you want to say about that subject and to whom do you want to say it?"
Just start writing ...doodling. Keep going. A title will present itself. (The book I'm working on right now—follow-up to HATCH!—had a great title. As I started the principal writing, I thought of another title. THAT'S IT! In the last week I just relaxed about the title and decided to think bout after much more writing was completed. Now, without thinking nd worrying about it, I have about ten titles. More will come. At some point I'll run a few of my favorites by friends, Facebook/Hatch readers and a great tile will emerge.
When my literary agent was presenting HATCH! to publishers, the title was Donuts On the Moon. (It's still a chapter title in HATCH!) A couple of editors at big New York publishers loved the book and hated "Donuts On the Moon" as a title. I made a list of successful business books with goofy titles (titles with * are listed in my book list, LEFT, and linked to Amazon.com):
Orbiting the Giant Hairball * (Get it!)
Swim with the Sharks Without Being Eaten
Who Says Elephants Can't Dance?
Six Thinking Hats
First, Break All the Rules
A Whack On the Side of the Head
What Color Is Your Parachute
Oh,the Places You'll Go (Dr. Seuss)
Made to Stick
Rules of the Red Rubber Ball *
A Peacock In the Land of Penguins
...Best sellers everyone. [ Above a few favorites ]
Just like the graphic design of a book cover, the title should grab your attention. If it does (and you are in a book store) you will grab the book, flip it over and find out what it's all about, who wrote it, and what's the "promise" (objective) in these pages.
Homework: Grab a blank piece of paper and fill it ...with anything!
HINT: I'll tell you a secret about those who doodle a lot and scribble (write) a lot ...we do it so much that we learn not to care and fuss over every squiggle we draw, every word, line, and sentence we hammer. Create now. Decide later. Fill the blank page, fill another. My book RAISED IN CAPTIVITY: A Memoir of a Life Long Churchaholic is twenty-one chapters. The manuscript was twice as long. I recently re-read the book and then re-examined the unused chapters. There was almost nothing I would include if I were to re-print the book. There were a couple fun stories, but no full chapters that I thought would add to the book in a meaningful way. I wrote a huge amount of words before my publisher and I ever began the process of deciding which chapters would comprise the published book.
(Click book cover to enlarge.)
Used copies of Raised in Captivity available HERE.