Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Word Painting with David McCullough

This is a post that appeared on my personal blog at one time but I wanted to share it with you here this week because I think the topic is so fascinating and because I'm a David McCullough fan.

Two time Pulitzer Prize winner David McCullough fascinates me both as a reader and a writer. One of my friends at work asked me if I'd watched the extra features at the end of the John Adams DVD. I typically do watch all the bonus material at the end of these movies but for some reason hadn't got around to it. I don't think I even realized it was on this particular DVD. If you get the chance you must watch it, he's so very personable and inspiring. I found the videos on YouTube and you can see them listed below. I wish I had a version of his world headquarters in my backyard. :) Painting With Words Part Four  This section is wonderful for writers but the entire thing is awesome!

Painting With Words Part One

Painting With Words Part Two

Painting With Words Part Three

A few things I've learned or been reminded of  by David McCullough.

1.)  Find your favorite work space. That may sound simple but it's not for some of us. I recently lost my workspace because we needed an extra bedroom at home so now my desk is in the dining room. Noise cancelling headphones and possibly a room screen will soon be part of my world headquarters.

2.) "You can only learn by doing it. You can't learn to write without writing."

3.) "History is about life, about change, about consequences, cause and effect . . . it's about music and poetry and drama and science and medicine and money and love . . "  This man knows how to make history fun.

4.) "Marinate your head in the time and culture you write in."

5.) Excel.

6.) "The work is the reward."

7.) Develop a list of ideas that you want to write about eventually.

8.) Sing a song even if it is off key. :)

9.) "Count your blessings."

10.) "The pen and the voice died on the same day. Jefferson and Adams died on the same day, July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence."

I think artists of all kinds will love his new book, The Greater Journey. You can see a video trailer here, and listen to him talk about the book.

In one section of the video McCullough talks about being a fly on the wall in one favorite place in history.  If you could choose only one place to be a fly on the wall in history what event would you choose? Is there something here that resonated with you?


Beth Shriver said...

If I could be a fly on the wall I'd like to find out the answers to some of the conspiracies, like who shot JFK!?!

Jillian Kent said...

I'm so bad. I thought for a second you were going to say, "Who shot JR?" :) With Dallas coming back to tv that's where my mind went.

Interesting choice, Beth. I think I'd love to be on a ship during the war of 1812. I might not get seasick if I were a fly on the wall.:)