Most peoples' inaugural post in 2010 looks something like this: I want to do this. Or: Last year I did this. Not many of the blogs I have read this year have inspired me or interested me much. Except for one. By one of my favorite authors. Yes. You're right. Donald Miller. I got his newest book for Christmas, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. He's more mature and thoughtful than before, and his life is so much more interesting. The main point of his new book is to do things that create a good story, or a great one. Before two moviemakers approached him about making Blue Like Jazz into a movie, Miller's life was boring and uneventful. He sat around, was fat and lazy, and wrote because he needed money. After meeting with the filmmakers and being told his life was too boring for a movie, his life changed. He hiked the Incan trail in Peru, biked across America, fell in love, and basically transformed his life by thinking about how he wanted his life to be a good story, or, essentially, living a good story.
"Scenes in coffee shops are boring. Movies should be memorable, visual, exciting and different. Now I see it in movies all the time. Writers place characters on top of buildings, in beautiful parks, on busses that bend like an accordions in the middle and so on. Anything to make the scene more memorable, and thus the dialogue more meaningful.
The same principle is true in life. Many of the scenes in your life you remember best were the times you jumped off bridges or smoked a pipe on the roof. "
Miller then went on to give four pointers on how to create memorable scenes. Really, this is just a plug for him, I guess, but this is what resonated with me.
- Say yes to awkwardness.
- Take the conversation to a different place.
- Don't be embarrassed.
- Don't be afraid to get wet, cold, dirty, or hot.