Introducing Black Irish JABs
For those who can’t wait, here’s the link to get the full story.
(Oh, and before I forget, there’s a great Black Irish baseball cap that comes along with the JABs.)
But let’s back up first to say what Black Irish JABs are, and how you can use them.
How do you learn to write?
I mean really.
How does an aspiring artist of any kind (or even an accomplished pro) get her ideas onto paper? How does she tell her stories? How does she make it all work?
The standard prescription is read read read and write write write. And that’s a good answer and true.
But you and I can immerse ourselves in Shakespeare and Tolstoy and Toni Morrison . . . we can bang out novel after novel and screenplay after screenplay (I know because I did) . . . and still not grasp the basics of storytelling or of artistic professionalism.
Someone has to teach us.
A mentor, a professor, a workshop leader. Our peers. Our bosses. Our brothers and sisters in the trenches.
We have to learn in the real world.
We have to read books on craft. We have to take courses. We have to apprentice ourselves to accomplished artists, even if only by watching them in documentaries or listening to them on podcasts.
What “craft” am I talking about that isn’t apparent in real life or in the experience of the creative endeavor itself?
I mean stuff like three act structure, like the difference between setup and inciting incident, like the characteristics of the midpoint of Act Two, the mechanics of the All Is Lost Moment, the difference between stakes and jeopardy.
I mean the qualities of a great villain (and the necessity of having one, even in nonfiction), the distinction between tragedy and comedy, the conventions of genres (Western, film-noir, thriller, love story, etc.) and how to use and apply them in our own work.
I mean artistic professionalism.
I mean learning how to manage our emotions, to take criticism, to withstand rejection.
I mean learning how to say no, how to overcome Resistance in all its manifold and diabolical forms. How to pick one project over another. How to dial back perfectionism. How to deal with self-sabotage and sabotage by others.
I mean how to handle success.
This stuff is not self-evident.
These answers don’t grow on trees.
Somebody has to show us.
Somebody had to show me.
Over the years, I’ve choked down a lot of bad cheeseburgers, worked for a lot of crazy bosses, woke up in bed with a lot of people I shouldn’t have—all in pursuit of these answers.
They come slowly and they come hard.
They come at a price.
That’s what Black Irish JABs are about.
Here’s the link again for the full story.
We’ve got twelve JABs ready right now and another arsenal in the works.
Each one is my version of the answers cited above.
The stuff that nobody teaches you.
The skills you can’t learn on your own.
The bottom line is Black Irish JABs are bullets. I hope they’re magic. But for sure they’re real.
Each JAB is a one-shot at the heart of a specific issue or dilemma that you and I as writers and artists and entrepreneurs struggle with every day.
I’m trying to save you from downing all those bad cheeseburgers.
I hope you’ll join us on this adventure, this artist’s journey.