Thursday, November 14, 2019

Introduction to "Postcards ...

This is a mini intro to the third Drive Time book, occasioned by the meeting of customers, as a driver of a courtesy car at a Toyota dealer. The first book: Drive Time: Real People Stories. The second: Drive Time: Homeward Bound. And now, Drive Time: Postcards from the Beautiful Route.

Generally speaking I am honored and privileged to meet the people that I do as a courtesy shuttle driver at a Toyota dealer. I am also honored and privileged to have that kind of time on my hands. It is a luxury afforded to few.

The first book was primarily vignettes about the people. I called them stories, but as we will remember stories have a beginning, middle, and end. Maybe there’s a moral, punchline or cliffhanger. These are not really stories. While characters are involved their development is curtailed by our short time together. This book also includes things I think about on the way back to the base.

And, this book was not going to be a book. The 'stories' beg for release. I wanted to show process over product. I want to connect via audio. I realized that I had to write the content or I would wander away with the microphone. It seemed as though I needed to write the script in order to read it in the first place. So? Another book and possibly a podcast.

I have met, in the metro Milwaukee area, people representing 85 nations. Here. They own Toyotas, need service, come through our dealership and sit in the seat next to me. I feel as though I am traveling without leaving home. I want to share this because you also may find a benefit in allowing the size of your world to grow.

Originally I thought that the dealer would be interested in short human interest pieces that could organically offset negative feedback online. The idea is to simply bury the negative with positive stories. It turns out that the dealer doesn’t care that much.

The second book, Homeward Bound, also has real people stories as well as short auto-biographical bits as I responded to customer questions. Many think I am retired. They as what I did before, etc.

This book has real people stories and some of the things I think about on the trail. The dealer will take customers 20 miles out. I might have 10, 20, or 30 minutes to think about things on my way back.

I did not think I was going to write another book. The part that hooked me in is to make it more about the process (writing) than the product (book).

Samuel Johnson wrote something to the effect that “The writer merely starts the book, the reader finishes it.”

Soon I realized that model works for artists, entertainers, creators of all sorts. I rewrote the quote to read:

A creator merely starts a project or product, the consumer consumes it.

The next thing I felt is a boot in the butt to perfectionism

Further … books require readers. More people are listeners. Why do I not provide readings?

Away we go. Audiobooks require a word for word replication of the written word. That will not work for me. Youtube? Is a movie really required? Podcasting? What does that mean? We’ll see.

The title, The Beautiful Route, has to do with me choosing to uplevel my intake and experience, choosing to see beauty.

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