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10 Keys To Writing A Speech

Good mistakes are strong actions, bad results. Bad mistakes are sloppy or lazy efforts, bad results.
Top execs on the power of good mistakes (via fastcompany)
Beautiful and honest prose … albeit from a corporate

Time will tell if Apple is right or wrong, but the following text from Apple’s WWDC presentation today could arguably be a candidate for some of the most beautiful, honest and poetic prose that has ever been or ever will come from a corporate … Kudos Apple!

“If everyone is busy making everything, how can anyone perfect anything? We start to confuse convenience with joy, abundance with choice. Designing something requires focus. The first thing we ask: What do we want people to feel? Delight. Surprise. Love. Connection. Then we craft around our intention. It takes time. There are a thousand no’s for every yes. We simplify. We perfect. We start over, until everything we touch enhances every life it touches. Only then do we sign our work. – Designed by Apple in California.”

1. Don’t go out to lunch.

2. Don’t go online until lunch.

3. Don’t start writing your novel until you know your characters very, very well. What they’d do if they saw somebody shoplifting. What they were like at school. What shoes they wear. Spend days – weeks, months – being them until they thicken up and start to breathe. VS Pritchett said, “There’s no such thing as plot, only characters.” Once you know them well they’ll lead you into their stories. If you start too soon you won’t have a clue what they’re going to do and all is chaos.

4. However hopeless and inadequate you feel, leave that self behind. Psych yourself up until you’re confident that the world will be interested in what happens to your characters. Confidence is key.

5. Don’t “write”. “Writing” is about showing off, or imitating other writers. “Writing” mistakes solemnity for seriousness. Just write. Have courage, be truthful, be true to your characters.

6. Don’t be daunted. Writing a novel is a huge adventure; when it’s going well it’s more fun than fun. When it stutters to a halt put it aside. Go for a swim, go for a walk, take a week off. Don’t panic or be afraid; you and your characters are in it together. Trust them to come to your rescue. Of course it’s a long haul, but you always knew that, didn’t you?

7. If a character stubbornly refuses to come alive, switch to the first person. Suddenly they’ll be speaking to you. Later you can change it back again if you need to.

8. I have to know the ending before I can begin. Map out as much as you need but don’t over-plot or you can constrict your characters. Let them change it as they go along.

9. You don’t have to know the ending.

10. In other words, you don’t have to listen to anyone’s advice. There are no rules to break. That’s the pleasure of it. Read The Paris Review interviews with writers – everyone has their own methods and if a novel is truly alive it will break all their rules too.

11. Discover the times when you’re most creative – mornings, nights, afternoons – and clear the time to work then. Many writers find the mornings are best, and the afternoons are only good for editorial corrections, or getting the washing done. Others can only work through the night, drunk.

12. Sort out your priorities. Don’t clean your home, other than as a displacement activity. There won’t be time. You’ll probably neglect your friends too, and even your personal hygiene. If you have children, however, try to keep them fed.

Four stages of writing
Ernest Hemingway’s Nobel prize acceptance speech

A glowing example of measured, succinct and to the point prose, yet deeply descriptive and nuanced - much like most of his work.


“Hav­ing no facil­i­ty for speech-making and no com­mand of ora­to­ry nor any dom­i­na­tion of rhetoric, I wish to thank the admin­is­tra­tors of the gen­eros­i­ty of Alfred Nobel for this Prize.

No writer who knows the great writ­ers who did not receive the Prize can accept it other than with humil­i­ty. There is no need to list these writ­ers. Every­one here may make his own list accord­ing to his knowl­edge and his con­science.

It would be impos­si­ble for me to ask the Ambas­sador of my coun­try to read a speech in which a writer said all of the things which are in his heart. Things may not be imme­di­ate­ly dis­cernible in what a man writes, and in this some­times he is for­tu­nate; but even­tu­al­ly they are quite clear and by these and the degree of alche­my that he pos­sess­es he will endure or be for­got­ten.

Writ­ing, at its best, is a lone­ly life. Orga­ni­za­tions for writ­ers pal­li­ate the writer’s lone­li­ness but I doubt if they improve his writ­ing. He grows in pub­lic stature as he sheds his lone­li­ness and often his work dete­ri­o­rates. For he does his work alone and if he is a good enough writer he must face eter­ni­ty, or the lack of it, each day.

For a true writer each book should be a new begin­ning where he tries again for some­thing that is beyond attain­ment. He should always try for some­thing that has never been done or that oth­ers have tried and failed. Then some­times, with great luck, he will suc­ceed.

How sim­ple the writ­ing of lit­er­a­ture would be if it were only nec­es­sary to write in anoth­er way what has been well writ­ten. It is because we have had such great writ­ers in the past that a writer is dri­ven far out past where he can go, out to where no one can help him.

I have spo­ken too long for a writer. A writer should write what he has to say and not speak it. Again I thank you.”

Eight rules for writing. I love the first one !

Eight rules for writing. I love the first one !

What are the first few words this picture brings to mind?
For me : Power, design, simplicity, focus, confidence, indifference, WTF is he talking about? They use DELL!,

What are the first few words this picture brings to mind?

For me : Power, design, simplicity, focus, confidence, indifference, WTF is he talking about? They use DELL!,

fastcompany:

Ready, Set, Pause
How’s your Tuesday? If it’s like ours, you’re busy- rushing to a meeting, wondering where to start on the big project that you probably should have started yesterday- stressed.
First, breath. Then check out this technique that just might help you make it through to hump day. 
[Image:Flickr user phill.d]

fastcompany:

Ready, Set, Pause

How’s your Tuesday? If it’s like ours, you’re busy- rushing to a meeting, wondering where to start on the big project that you probably should have started yesterday- stressed.

First, breath. Then check out this technique that just might help you make it through to hump day. 

[Image:Flickr user phill.d]