Monday August 24, 2009
7:40 a.m. Gentlemen, I have to do some thinking about these manuscripts, and talking to you is as good a way as any that I know. I have, as I see it, three manuscripts. So You Think Your Life Was Wasted; Transforming Yourself, Transforming Society; and what I am thinking of as History Lessons. All of these are to be mined from one central repository of sessions with various people. How am I to efficiently separate them out, so that I don’t have to do a lot of repetitious work?
First, have firmly in mind the central theme of a given book while you were working on. Does this or that entry further the theme?
Second, don’t treat your own words as Scripture, nor ours. Lots of things go on in the course of a life that don’t need to be recorded. You have been told this by Lynn Grabhorn and you did hear it.
Third, don’t try to rush through this or any project. It is well to work steadily. This will bring results. There is no need to feel pressed. Trying to do too much in too little time results in frustration. So, this morning, you think to get on the computer and sort out the manuscripts by cutting and pasting files. But a computer file is too abstract to be dealt with easily in that way. The predictable result is confusion and frustration.
Fourth, although you know this, it is as well to put it into print, so that you may remind yourself later. A book is compiled from notes, it is not merely an accumulation of notes. This is our second point looked at from another view. Your distillation of our words will be much more concise and therefore more effective. We, or rather our words, cannot act as evidence for the unconvinced, nor should you wish them to. Arguments stand on their own, by meeting response, not by citing authority when the authority has to be taken on faith. So, get the argument in your mind and then write it. Don’t think to produce a book by compiling it. Chasing Smallwood had its charms. The Sphere And The Hologram worked because the record itself was the book, although even here you will remember that you had to extensively edit for clarity and relevance. But Muddy Tracks had to be told, not quoted. Similarly this book.
Alright, that’s very helpful as usual. Anymore?
If you actually pay attention to what we said, no more is necessary. If you don’t, no more will be helpful, will it?