Day Five at eQuinoxe

Alpine Lake near Schloss Elmau

Alpine Lake near Schloss Elmau

We’ve finished up with all the writer’s meeting.  Each writer met with five advisors over three days.  They each had a session in the morning and one in the afternoon.  One session was free time to think, wander and explore.

One of the writers who had a free afternoon accompanied me on an alpine hike to a small lake in the mountains.  On the way back we somehow took a wrong turn and the 45 minute hike back turned into two and a half hours of an upward climb on trails not so clearly marked.

We finally made our way on switch back trails that often seemed to lead in the wrong direction.  But followed to the end the trails reversed themselves and got us exactly where we needed to go.

It’s not a bad metaphor for a workshop process like eQuinoxe.  Working on a script with a group of advisors is never a linear process.  You have to be willing to endure the reversals and switch-backs that eventually bring you where you need to go.  Even a suggestion that takes you in a seemingly wrong direction can be crucial to finding the key to making the script work.

When an advisor (or a producer) makes a suggestion, get to the bottom of what is missing that prompted the suggestion.  Ask, “What would adding (or subtracting or changing) this address?”

Don’t fixate on the literal detail the advisor is questioning.  A literal suggestion is a symptom of a larger underlying problem.  It’s your job to discover what is really at issue and fix that.

Be open.  Listen.  Try to follow problem to the heart of what is causing the emotional disconnect.  Solve the underlying problem in the way that is most authentic to you.  Don’t fight the specific suggestion.  Follow it up and around to the real problem.

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