I’ve spent the past month browsing coaches and marketing folks on line and in books – a lot of Seth Godin because he often seems to make lots of sense to me in his daily blogs.
But with Seth it seems a little (quotes as opposed to text) is better than a lot.
When you read him in depth, you discover he is really introducing old concepts with new names.
Dreaming the Dark : Magic, Sex, and Politics, Starhawk’s writing on how activist units (including covens) are formed and spread (1997).
Check out Christina Baldwin who’s been writing about the power of circles since 1998: Calling the Circle: The First and Future Culture
Patrick Baker: Chaos, Order and Sociological Theory (1993)
Jurassic Park (the book) (1991) to see Chaos theory in action.
Seth states that there is no map for “artists” – a word he uses broadly for anyone who is innovative (I applaud that use, by the way. Perhaps visual and fine artists can now see themselves as movers and shakers and not wait around for a patron or gallery to “make” them.).
Anyways, I beg to differ about there being no map. So I did some research to see what the mood is out there about maps:
IttyBiz: [f-word alert]: Of course there’s a fucking map. It might be a stupid map and you might realize, having followed the map, that it would have been more fulfilling to figure out the way on your own. But don’t tell me there’s no map. [Love this woman’s writing. I think the cussing is a bit faux edgy- and not because I can’t match her. In person I can and often do. I just don’t think it’s necessary on the written page. But hey – it’s a niche. Don’t let her language scare you off from her very real and very good insights and advice].
Dan Miller suggests that a compass is more useful than a map (and one might argue Seth is a compass, to give Seth his due), and Mark Jones Jr, commenting, says: A map is not a purple line between point A and point B. A map has much, much, more information than that. It has information that we will never use, but someone may. A map has many of the details about what we DO know about the world, about what lies on our journey.
Tamsen S. McMahon: Art isn’t navigating without a map. That would suggest that art is serendipitous, a product of accident. But art has intention. “Art” is about navigating a map in a new way. Your way.
We need maps. Maps give us context. They show us the options, and the obstacles (“Here there be monsters…”). They help us find where we are. They help us understand what lies between where we are and where we’re going. But there’s no shortage of maps out there. Indeed, Linchpin is a map. What it isn’t is a route.
All of which is saying that I’m not the only one who disagrees with “there is no map.” (There are more who agree but I’m not writing about them).
There most assuredly is a map.
Mostly we’re ignoring it because we’re afraid of picking the wrong direction or creating a new route (where we might run into monsters). We might be wrong. We might get laughed at. Or we could be Chris Columbus and discover that the world is round and there is no edge to fall off of.
Okay – Seth would argue here that those who are afraid aren’t artists (linchpins). That it is the artists/linchpins who would sail off the edge of the world only to find it is round.
I would argue that, with the right map anyone can be an artist (and you can define that any way you want…I still mean anyone). Being an artist (whatever your definition) is so not an elitist thing! It can be taught. There are maps.
We are all traversing topography that has been traversed before. And it has all been mapped.
Why Seth doesn’t know there’s a map:
Seth is defining “linchpin” as leader. He’s wrong. A Linchpin is an organizer. There’s a difference. Do you know the difference? I do.
More on thursday – this discussion is longer than one post.
Want to know how to sell your art? There’s a map for that too. Here. But that’s about to disappear as soon as we fill up the last slots on on May 21, whichever comes first.
Wylde Women’s Wisdom
I hate decision. Oh, and sweet mother of prairie dogs, I hate being wrong…When I was deciding what career direction to move in, I was terrified of making a mistake. I didn’t want to waste my time, so of course I wasted my time by obstinately not doing anything. I didn’t want to go forward in the wrong direction. But the problem was – I wasn’t going forward in any direction. Tama Kieves