Thursday, September 11, 2014

TED Talk Thursday: Jia Jiang and 100 Days of Rejections

As a writer, rejection is an every day occurrence. It's literally what you do with the rejection that makes the difference. And Jia Jiang found something fascinating to do--he decided to seek out rejections.

This TED talk is about what happened when he started trying to desensitize himself to rejection so he could succeed as an entrepreneur.

Does it sound familiar when he says that when he got the rejection that started it all, they told him no, but didn't say why they were saying no? I have to argue that the unknown quality of the rejection makes the rejection that much harder to deal with.

I like to think he started having some fun with rejection. :)

I love when he says he learned that when he opens up to the world, the world opens up to him.

And, how cool is Jackie?

Between Tuesday's TED talk on sharing secrets and this TED talk on rejection, do you have any rejections you are brave enough to share with us?

How many rejections do you think you have to endure before you get desensitized?

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

TED Talk Tuesday: Frank Warren and Half Million Secrets

Writing at its best is the revelation of secrets. The deepest connections I've had with books were moments when I recognized something that I didn't realize about myself, and there it was, in words, in a book, written by someone I don't know.

Here is Frank Warren, with whom strangers trust their deepest secrets.

I think they are in good hands, don't you?

Some of these secrets gave me chills. Some made me laugh. But, in each secret I think about the people, the stories, the raw truth behind them.

I dare you to go to and not be enthralled. :)

Would you send him a postcard?

Do you save voicemails? I have one of my grandfather, who died this year.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

TED Talk Thursday: Seth Godin and the Tribes We Lead

Tomorrow, Friday, August 22nd, I am a guest over at the Writers' Rumpus blog, sharing the story of how The Writers' Loft got started.

In honor of tribes like the Loft, I turn to a TED talk about making change through building connections.

Seth Godin talks about how we change the world now through connecting with people who are true believers in whatever it is we are passionate about. I think it is an extremely hopeful, grass roots kind of movement, and one that we can all be a part of, no matter what our passion might be.

Check it out:

Can't see the talk? Click here.

What are your favorite writing tribes? What places do you go to when you need support?

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

TED Talk Tuesday: Andrew Fitzgerald with Adventures in Twitter Fiction

Summer has hit full swing at our house, which means swimming in lakes, playing at playgrounds, and a fun dose of Mario Kart. It also means bee stings, burns, and a black eye from an unlucky collision with a trapeze swing. :) Hoping my kids get their summer legs underneath them soon!

This is a great TED talk, today. I love the idea of exploring what tech is available to enhance and help us tell our stories. If this talk doesn't inspire you to create using social platforms--I don't know what will. :)

Andrew Fitzgerald works at Twitter, so he's very knowledgeable about the medium.

He says:
I actually believe that we are in a wide open frontier for creative experimentation, if you will, that we've explored and begun to settle this wild land of the Internet and are now just getting ready to start to build structures on it, and those structures are the new formats of storytelling that the Internet will allow us to create.
And then he gives examples of storytelling through twitter.

Can't see the TED talk? Watch it through this link.

Having fictional characters that engage with the real world? What a cool way to use twitter. What would your characters want to say to the world? Have you considered using social media to explore creativity?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

TED Talk Thursday with J.J. Abrams: The Mystery Box

So, I'm taking a writing class with the amazing Erica Orloff. A part of the first assignment is for us to think about why we write what we write.

J.J. Abrams starts out his TED talk the same way--talking through why he does what he does.

He starts painting a picture of his influences--a grandfather who opened up machines with him so he could explore what was inside, a love for magic, an assisting grandmother, and we start to see why he does what he does. We start to understand why he creates what he does. It's fascinating. But the talk doesn't end there.

J.J. explains that "mystery is more important than knowledge." And I see it--his perspective--in every show that he makes. The mystery is the ride.

And generally, mystery provides us with the hook to pull us forward in stories. Suspense is all about what you DON'T say.

The whole talk is marvelous, and he shows my favorite scene in Jaws (and the shark isn't in it).

Check it out:

Can't see the talk? Click here.

ROFL--"10 years ago, if we wanted to do that, we'd have to kill a stuntman." He's a funny dude. :)

Oh, and this:
I realize that that blank page is a magic box, you know? It needs to be filled with something fantastic....You know, I love Apple computers. I'm obsessed. So the Apple computer -- this computer, right, it challenges me. It basically says, "what are you going to write worthy of me?" I feel this -- I'm compelled. And I often am like, you know, dude, today I'm out. I got nothing. You know?
Of course, he's brilliant, and he breaks it all down in a way we can all can get to it.

Do you know why you do what you do? Why you write what you write? There is a great exercise for figuring this out in the beginning of John Truby's The Anatomy of Story.