The Method

The method is intensely personal; it has to be.

There is an industry devoted to the other side of the method, though. All of us at one time or another have followed the “cult of how.”

Advice,” as James Altucher says, “is always autobiography.” While there can be potential value to be gained, in the end it is only through our own experience that we learn.

Writing is learned by writing. The actual practice, that is. Storytelling is another matter. That takes reading, too.

The multitude of books and guides available can teach us the mechanics of a story. This includes Aristotle’s Poetics. There are answers to be found in those pages. According to Aaron Sorkin, Poetics is all we really need anyway.

But when we have studied, and the mind truly does understand, our personal experience is still needed. Our own views and perceptions are the missing ingredients in great storytelling. When the intellect has succeeded, it still requires the heart.

That too comes with practice — and life.

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