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How to Write Fiction

A story starts with an image.

Any image will do as long as it gets you jazzed. I was thinking I had nothing to write about, and then just now I realized I’ve had this image swirling around my head for several months. I think the reason I repressed it is that didn’t respect it. It’s not literally fantastical, but it has a lot of magical fairy dust in its feel, in the feelings swirling around it. A sort of Disney, bubble-gum, cheesiest of romantic comedy element, that made me dismiss it out of hand. The last image that drove me to write a novel and several associated short stories a couple years ago was solidly based in realism, and so I guess I never took this one seriously.
But what does it matter as long as it gets you jazzed enough to sit down and start writing? You only need a way in. Can you imagine, for instance, if you’d had the original idea for Harry Potter? And then telling your friends about it before it had been written? They’d have been positively embarrassed for you! So, throw all judgment out the window especially if you have an image that gets you jazzed.

CRAFT

I mean if you can afford to go to Iowa or audit a college level fiction writing class that would be great, but I think that 90% of it is just reading, reading, reading—any and all of the fiction you can get your hands on, breathing it in like air, soaking it in like sunshine. And then interviews with successful fiction writers on the nitty gritty of their process. And then the other part is simply putting your butt in a chair. How many hours did you have your butt in a chair last week writing? That’s a key question. An image is a huge motivator. There might be one or several swirling around your head even as you read this that you haven’t been acknowledging. Go with it. It’s Hermes appearing in your mind. It’s the magical aid of fairytales showing up to guide you, to sustain you. Even if you’re having to work odd, dull jobs to support yourself your subconscious will be working on it all the while.

Rumi Quotes and Poems

This one makes me think of like the bodies’ organs, the intelligence of life itself which is below the pre-frontal cortex consciousness, but which has this ability to do, if you take it all the down to the quantum level, perhaps an infinite number of processes per second and seemingly without effort. This “without-effort” motif really makes me think a lot of the sub-conscious and especially of dreams. Especially in vivid adventurous dreams you are doing and experiencing so much, maybe 10 or 100x or what you have done even in your most amazing real-life adventures, yet your consciousness seems transported there without effort. If you think of fairy-tales and mythology in general this seems a very common and central motif.

Individual Brands are the Key Story in Media

The whole “streaming wars” story is constantly debated. Netflix is my biggest holding and up to about three months ago, I thought it was going to take over the world! I even think there was a Barry Diller quote from that Allen & Co. conference where he said Netflix had already won.

But then BAM! Overnight everything changes, and I sorely wish I’d sold my $NFLX at 350.

Now suddenly everyone is producing good content and even the Death Star has seen the light and has a very good product in ATT TV. When I use ATT TV on my iPad it feels just like the Netflix experience (I don’t have to constantly re-login with my cable credentials for instance) and the interface looks and feels exactly like Netflix except with the different channels being like the different movies.

Then I see something like this on Twitter:

Look I think Disney and Netflix are going to have great brands and businesses for years to come. Who else could write the check for “The Irishman” and or the rights to College and Professional broadcasts.

But aren’t individual brands as in the case of Bill Simmons above in sports “broadcasting” the biggest, most exciting thing happening in media? Someone on the other side of the media spectrum is Bob Lefsetz in music. People like this are the top, but right behind them are hundreds of others, and behind that are thousands and so on.

So, from an investment perspective how does one capitalize on this trend. Well, for one, Bill’s twitter post prompted this blogpost. So Social Media obviously. I have Twitter and Facebook. But should definitely consider Snapchat and if only TikTok weren’t a Chinese company! Even Cramer said a while back when SNAP was re-awakening from the dead that there were “just not enough of them” meaning to me that the different social media channels, Twitter, FB, Insta, Snap, Youtube, Tiktok are simply what cable channels were in 1980.

Also if this is about the personal brand then it’s hard to go wrong with the web hosting companies like Godaddy, Wix, Weebly, Squarespace. The growth of money flows into these entities over the coming years should be enormous. Etsy as well.