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Motivational Mondays: Shake That Tree!

I’m still floating on puffy clouds of post Desert Dreams conference wonder and I promise I’ll put all the latest developments in a nice, tidy post on Update Humpday. Today, rather than completing the final installments on book parenting, I want to share an epiphany I had after our Sunday workshop with Brad Schreiber.

First, let me say, what a wonderful and entertaining workshop! (I can’t wait for his book, Becoming Jimi Hendrix, this fall.) Next, a small backstory to tie in:

As part of the hosting chapter, I volunteered to moderate three workshops including Kate Herbert’s “XYZ’s of Scriptwriting”. In her workshop she related the Hollywood saying “First, you put your hero in a tree, then you throw rocks at him, then you get him down” to illustrate the Three Act structure of a screenplay and/or novel.

In Brad’s workshop discussing Chris Vogler’s book The Writer’s Journey, which breaks down the hero’s journey story structure, he suggested we as authors are the hero of our own journey and that our journey also mirror’s this story template that has been followed throughout written history. Even oral traditions follow the Hero’s Journey.

After the workshop, I bravely approached Brad, shared the tree example from Kate’s workshop and asked him, “should we as writers then embrace those rocks being thrown at us?”

Paraphrased, he said, “Or, rather than rocks, perhaps shake the tree. As in shake things up. As in shaking money from a tree. Ideas.”

I love it!

So, I’ve gotten myself into this gorgeous dream of a tree. And now, I’m shaking it. I’m submitting my work, promoting my work, networking, blogging, all of it. And you know what? Sometimes, it feels like I’m about to fall out and come crashing down face first. So, I just hang on tighter, and try to remember to enjoy the view.

I hope you will, too.

:}Amber Scott



About Amber Scott Project

Amber Scott writes romance across time and genre with three things in common: fate, love and complications. You can find her erotica titles at

7 responses »

  1. Great takeaway, Amber! The conference was awesome, wasn’t it?

  2. I have to say that this has been the best conference I’ve attended in many years. Not just because I was a part of the planning, but I think I got more out of this conference than I expected. My heart soared at the many times I asked for help and attendees jumped in. My heart soared when I heard from someone that the agent or editor they pitched to asked for chapters, pages or fulls. Brad came up to me and told me that this was the most phenomenal conference he has ever attended. There was such a “community” he said and it was something he hadn’t expected. He connected with so many of us, I know it was instant the moment I met himand watching him in action I know there were many of you that felt the same way. He was like an old friend that you hadn’t seen in a long time and there just wasn’t enough time to visit. I am hoping we invite him again.

    All of our editors, agents and speakers gave more than 100% to all of us and it was great to see so many of them in the hospitality room just taking a breather to meet new people and listen to new stories. Then again there was the chair massage and an intuitive reading, not to mention the great food and wine.

    One thing I thought about while “doing my thing” was the balance it takes to follow that journey so hard-core inside of our soul. My husband and kids were at home while I was having the time of my life with friends, business professionals and possibilities of finding a home for my story. I knew I’d come home to dishes, laundry and a disconnect (I don’t know how else to share that feeling) that would put me off balance. I would have to get back to making dinner, grocery shopping, watering plants, reminding my husband that I was still his wife, and all the things that grab time away from my writing and I wasn’t ready yet. I wanted to come home to a clean house and everyone saying – go in there and write. We can order dinner. Like Amber, when I got home I was still up there on the puffy cloud, I wasn’t ready for my family to “shake me out of the tree”. So, for the next few days I’m going to think real hard about balance. As a woman I’m used to multi-tasking, but some how I’m going to have to re-train my brain to balance out my own needs. I am a writer. It’s what I want, it’s where I’m going and who I am. Don’t get me wrong. I love my family, I give them 110% of my time and energy, I’m just going to have to figure out how to deduct that 10% for me. Happy writing to all of you and thank you from my heart for all you did for me at the conference.

    • amberscottproject

      So well said, Patti! I know exactly what you mean. I had so many kismet moments, I’ve lost count. I am so grateful to be a part of this amazing, generous, talented and fun group of writers.

  3. Amber, I loved getting little play-by-plays of the conference. It sounds like you all had an incredible time, and I can’t wait to hear more as things keep rolling in from you.

    I really like the image of shaking the tree. It keeps you trying new things to hold on, and experimenting with ideas. I’m up in the tree with you, so let the shaking begin!

    Great post!
    Ann Charles


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