Thursday night ARWA (Alberta Romance Writers' Association) was pleased to welcome W. Brett Wilson to chat with our group.
I have to admit I had no idea what to expect, and I imagine we were not his usual audience. But my personal evening started with a good long walk in the balmy Calgary air and going out for beers with a couple fellow writers. So, the night was a success before I even got to ARWA. Excellent.
|Sarah Kades, W. Brett Wilson, Lorraine Paton at ARWA.|
Enter Brett. Entrepreneur, philanthropist, former Dragon (CBC TV Show Dragon's Den), and author of Redefining Success. . . in a room full of romance writers. How is this going to go?
Brett told his stories, shared insights, lessons learned, wisdom culled, listened to our questions, answered thoughtfully, and through the evening, quietly took us for a walk along on his journey. It was a thoughtful, inspiring, and a rather awesome night.
A few highlights stick out for me and inspired my own self-reflection. . .
Priorities was a big one. Getting them in order, straight in our head, so to speak, and having our actions match our priorities. I've been asking myself this same question, too. What are your priorities? Are they in line with how you want to live your life? Are you rocking it or blowing it? What are you spending your time on? Mindfully prioritize, live, adjust as necessary, repeat.
The Power of a Word
The importance of word choice was another. Although the context was in labels (e.g. corporate social opportunity instead of corporate social responsibility), he spoke of the importance of using the right word. Writers practice that, but for me, it goes farther. Words have power. They are energy. Take care to use the word you really want to use so you communicate exactly what you want, not what you don't.
Words have Power and Energy
There are numerous books and authors that address this concept. I'll mention one here, Masaru Emoto. His books on water crystal healing speaks to the impact energy, in the form of thoughts and words, have on water, on us, and the world around us. Emoto's books ask we take care in what we are communicating, what energy we are sending out with our words and thoughts. Makes sense to me. Send out love and up the frequency of all around, send out grump and tank the vibe of what's around you. To be clear, I have no idea Brett's take on water crystals and happy thoughts, he did not go there. My brain did.
What is Your Frame of Reference?
It was interesting to hear an entrepreneur's angle, side to some of the topics. It reminded me when I was working on an interdisciplinary academic grant project years ago that included archaeologists, geo-archaeologists and geographers. Several profs, with like a million years of higher learning among them, all from different backgrounds, stared at a single soil stain and gave their theory on what it was from. Each one explained the anomaly with theories from their chosen field. Makes sense, you explain with your frame of reference. But for a bystander it was a fascinating anthropological study. And quite a show. Our history, our background, frames our experiences, gives us lenses from which we view the world around us. Of course we can choose to broaden our views and maximize our possibilities. But it helps to remember if we are looking at a soil stain as a physical geographer, it might not dawn on us the stain could be from, say, a boil pit.
How are you viewing the world?
When We are Lucky, Books Help Us on Our Own Journey
He mentioned people have resonated with the book, some a bit surprised about it. Nicely done. A sneak attack of resonance is fun.
This might be cheesy to pull one of my own quotes, but I'm going to because it fits. "The written word, like all forms of art, has the ability to move people, take them to a place they couldn't or wouldn't get on their own. Good books take our hand and lead us on an incredible journey. When we are lucky, they help us on our journey."
I have no idea if this one is going to do that for you or me, but it sounds like it certainly has for some.
Overall, great night of reflection, sharing, and inspiration. Am I looking forward to reading the book, yes. Am I looking forward to redefining my success, oh yeah.
Thanks Brett and thanks ARWA. ;)
PS, I dig hyphens, too.
PPS, Honor your writing process. Whatever it is, whatever path it leads you on, it is perfect. Sometimes writing a book is as much about the journey and getting there, as it is about your end product. Honor that. Some chapters are 900 drafts of journey. Some fly out of us and we nail it the first round. Books are teachers for the reader and writer, when we let them be.
Happy Reading, Happy Writing!