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“Is This Dylan Or Is This Donovan?”

At one point during my conversation with Mark Stevens, he mentioned one of his favorite scenes from Don’t Look Back, the D.A. Pennebaker documentary about Bob Dylan. It’s a moment when Donovan comes into the room, picks up a guitar, and plays a perfectly nice song, and then, as Stevens recalls it, “Dylan rips the guitar of his hands almost before he’s finished and plays ‘Baby Blue.’” It’s a powerful metaphor, he says, for the things we do in our daily business lives, and the difference between mediocrity and excellence. “It’s like, this is Donovan, and we need to get to Dylan… But it’s hard to be Dylan!”

So that’s something to think about in terms of the project you’re working on: “Ask yourself,” Stevens says, “is this Dylan or is this Donovan?” (But, before I get a ton of hate mail coming in, being Donovan can be a good thing! Especially around “Atlantis” time.)

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Novel Writing: Editing Your Draft

Novel Writing: Editing Your DraftStarting July 16, workshop your novel in-progress with a published author! Erika Mailman's course will function as a workshop, with the emphasis on sharing your work for review and providing critiques for your peers. By the end of this class you'll have up to 75 pages of you novel workshopped and developed patterns to improve your writing. Register now!