Day Five at eQuinoxe
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, ‚ÄúWhat would adding (or subtracting or changing) this address?‚ÄĚ
Don‚Äôt fixate on the literal detail the advisor is questioning. ¬†A literal suggestion is a symptom of a larger underlying problem. ¬†It‚Äôs 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.