work with a client during a workshop

Cl: I came with a real clear agenda today. But With N and then with M, .. the self image thing. Let me give you my agenda. the agenda is. . .I have a long history of talking to myself about writing. That I'm going to create some wonderful works of fiction, or drama or something like that. And I have not done that. Ah, and I'm feeling more of an impulse to do it now than I ever have before. Ah, I'm still not doing it. The thing that, you know with N's story is, I've been extremely scattered. I'm like a kid in a candy store. I'm a master at self distraction. That of course in itself, I'll never become the reigning literary talent of our time. That issue right there. And I guess the other is you're talking about inviting everybody to look at their self image. I think I'm carrying an image that that's what I'm supposed to be, but I never do it. And what I'd really like to see happen, I'd like to see myself evolve in the months ahead, would be finally moving towards that. An image there is kind of finally standing on account of the holy of holies, and seeing what the hell happens. Instead of, you know, my ego's never going to let it down. My image is never going to let it down. I sense there's something else that wants to do whatever it is.

Dick: I've have some interesting things working with writers. I don't know, did I tell you that that novel is dedicated to me? Yeah, it's called Practice to Deceive by A. It's her first book. She wrote it under a pseudonym, however. She's a psychoanalysis in New York City, who seven or eight years ago wanted to write a novel because she said she had come out of a nine year relationship with a man which was very destructive and she still felt bound and she wanted to clear herself. And she thought she could do this if she could turn it into a novel, but she couldn't. She said the same thing. So I started to work with her and about five years ago, I think she published the first novel, Practice to Deceive and it was dedicated to me. Dedicated to Richard Olney, my teacher. And then she wrote a second novel which was published called Christ of the Butterflies and then she has published the third novel called, In the Country of the Great Kings, in which the central character is modeled on me, complete with his necklace with this little stone, and I mean it's a little hard job recognizing myself, but she told me, I hope you don't mind. So In the Country of the Great Kings in dedicated to me. She's now completing her fourth novel . She has completed turning the first novel into a screen play. And I talked to a woman who called me from New York who is an actress and is a close friend to the writer and this woman called me and I talked to her only yesterday. She told me that A. has now just completed the play. So this is the way she's going. So and there are some other people too. At Marquette University, here a little nun, call her little nun. She's a DD, Doctor of Dentistry who is employed on the teaching faculty at Marquette University, in the Dental Department. And of course like most universities for their faculty, they have their own publish or perish. And she was suffering and she just couldn't write. So I worked with her. About a year and a half later, she sent me a reprint of an article she had written that had appeared in a Dental Journal. I tried to read it, but it was way over my head. But she was tremendously pleased. So this can be done. I would say N, that you need to change your intention. Your intention is to write a really serious book, isn't it?

Cl: Well, something like that, or maybe something humorous.

Dick: I don't mean serious in the sense of that. I mean something that is an accomplishment. I would say give up on it. And instead make it your intention to write every day, but never more than one hour. It's all right if you write for fifteen minutes, but don't write for an hour and fifteen minutes at one time. You have to stop and take at least a half hour break if you feel like going on. Then you can start over again. You only have to do this once a day.

Cl: Do I have to do it every day?

Dick: Yeah. That's your intention. Your intention is to do this writing every day. But if you only do it for five minutes, that's all right, that's OK. But then you have to do it for five minutes tomorrow. But some days you really get going. But you have to stop at the end of the hour. You may not do it longer. So, you have to take some kind of break if you feel like you want to write some more. And if you write, you have to stop at the second hour, you can never write more than an hour at a time. But you must write every day for at least five minutes.

Cl: I'll do that. And just to let you know, there's a part of me that says that I will do that, and there's another part that doesn't believe it.

Dick: OK. So make it your intention. And I'll give you an affirmation that you can use. Yeah, you better write it down. You say, I enjoy the feeling of mastery that comes every time I complete my daily minimal stint of writing. Now you can think about that and you can think about that feeling of mastery. How that feels, that feeling of mastery, because you have completed this five minutes. That's all you have to do. If it stretches out to an hour that's all right. But that's not what you're feeling the mastery about. It's your minimum stint every day. And you say that to yourself. You think about that. And you let yourself feel that and then at some point today, you do your minimal stint. I don't know where or when you'll do it. But it may only be five minutes and of course the point is simply to do that stint. And some of it will turn out fine. You may want to keep those pages. And others may not have been a waste of time because they are giving you this feeling of mastery, but in as far as they concern themselves, throw them away. You're not trying to accumulate a big novel or whatever it is. You're just trying to do this minimal stint every day to give yourself that feeling of mastery. See it's very important to....there's a saying somewhere ..ah....you get what you get. And I guess that applied with runners first, I think, when running was such a wild thing. Someone who goes out and tries to run just as far as they can run comfortably. And does that everyday, gets an immediate satisfaction. And they may find that they started out running at five yards at a jog and then they find they're now running the mile in five minutes or something like that. Running incredibly. But if you're trying to do some big thing, like if you're trying to run a four minute mile and you go out ... that's your goal. You're going to work at it too hard, you're just going to beat yourself up. And what you're getting out of it is a lot of sore muscles and a lot of realization of how far short you are and a lot of realization of how hard this is . That's the reward you're getting. Unless you're a real masochist you won't keep that up very long. And every masochist is finding that I have to give in.

Cl: OK. What I get is, what I get is, I reinforce the opposite in sense of frustration, sense of lack of mastery, sense of ........

Dick: Right, all that. But if you merely have to do this daily stint of writing without any regard to how it turns out, you're free to keep it if you want to, you can throw it away too 'cause there's always tomorrow.

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