Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Hard to Systematize

Working on outlining/writing two projects now.
One is the Big Book of Everything, my personal notebook on everything that I think works and matters for self protection.  The stuff I trust and the teaching methods that I believe work best.
The other is "Awareness" coming off of the recent post.

Both are kicking my ass.

The hardest thing about writing "Meditations on Violence" was trying to find a logical order.  Violence is big, probably as big as communication.  And it is complicated.  And every little detail affects many things. In a way, it is four dimensional.  You have to start somewhere and build up to levels of understanding, but each thing you learn changes you understanding of the things you thought you already had.

For Awareness, my gut is to break it into the Four Factors:
The Threat(s)
The Environment

Can't start with 'You' though because until people understand and trust the way I analyze it can be very off-putting to have some unknown schmoe say in a book, "Y'all probably don't know yourself that well or have any idea of who you truly are under stress."  Get a little exposure to the method, and the readers will try some of the drills.

So start with the threat, right?
So violence motivations and how goals and parameters drive the crime. (And that's another issue in that I don't want to repeat stuff I've put in other books, since I hate reading that...but I also don't want readers to feel they are being tricked or pressured into buying a second book.  Yeah.  My integrity issues.) Logic of Violence stuff.
And within that we'll talk about drugs.  All the drugs?  Or general types, stimulants and depressants and hallucinogens?  What phase of the cycle?  Early withdrawals, late withdrawals, high as a kite and steady?  How to tell and what it indicates and how to use the information...
Individual and group dynamics...

And you have to know what to look for (observe) know what it means (orient) and what you can and can't do with the information (decide/options).

So motivations are a part of it, as are thought processes.  As are physicality, from weapons to positioning to reading feet.

And all of this is interactive.  The Threat is continuously interacting with the environment and on some level with you and in many situations with other people-- confederates or bystanders or witnesses.

You and the environment are just as complicated.

The information isn't that hard.  Organizing it is.


Scott said...

You can make 3D mindmaps with piles of index cards, or do online mindmaps; see http://www.lifehack.org/articles/technology/11-free-mind-mapping-applications-web-services.html

I prefer stacks of index cards, but I'm old. ;-) Easiest way I know to get it all in order for a first draft.

Maija said...

Seems like writing it in story form would enable you to circle through the different areas quite elegantly ...
"It was a dark and stormy night ..." ;-)

Kai Jones said...

In my head I'm walking up a spiral staircase, learning a bit of each and then building on that knowledge as I walk up.

Andi said...

In Meditations and Facing Violence you did a lot of telling people that they may not be who they think they are under stress.

This is one of the best things about the books.

I think you need to start with you because if people can't understand that, then how can we understand the rest of it?
You are the key thing in the situtaion, take you away and there is no situation, so you need to understand you may not be you!

As a lot of readers will buy this due to your other books I think that you are safe to go this way

Also surely some information must be a copy of other books if you are putting everyting important in (as the other books had important stuff right?)

Just some thoughts!

nry said...

I think you sometimes have to understand the rest of it to start understanding you...

Adam said...

Sounds like some interesting projects.

Personally, I'd start broad with the environment. This affects the threat and you. Then move on to the threat. Then lastly once people understand the environment and the threat, move onto you last.

My two pesos.


Chester said...

I don't think you should worry too much about some repetition of material found in your other books. It's all quality stuff, and is worth the refresher, especially in that it's being brought back to the forefront of the mind within the context of the current book. And it saves we, your avid readers , the need to go back and cross reference the older book while reading the current one.

Jim said...

It's a spiral process, I think. You'll have to introduce some things, then go to something else, only to return to the original, with new perspective. (Which, incidentally, is probably how it really went for you. I know a lot of things went that way for me... Lots of lessons in life, work, or MA that I have to revisit with better understanding...)

As to repetition -- it's not. It's a different angle or aspect of the issue.

Mike said...

Rory, first I wanted to thank you for all the material you've put out there for us. It's always very high-quality information, it's smart, and it's tremendously enlightening. Please keep up the awesome work!

I agree with Chester: it's ok, perhaps even desirable, to have repetition of material from your previous books. I think it would stunt the expression of your current work to intentionally leave out material that would/should naturally go with it or that would otherwise make it clearer, more complete, or easier to understand.

Also, you may want to consider simply writing things down first and only then organizing it and teasing it into a linear form.

I have doubts, though, that a linear form is best for the type of information you're providing, but I also understand that publishers (and others?) might demand such a form. The right-brain enjoys flying through topics-interwoven-with-topics. Cycles, repetition, refrains, (seeming) disorganization, etc. are cool with the right-brain, as with me. Sometimes, in fact, it's the linear format that I find uninviting (or at least dry) for some topics.

Jake said...

A spiral method could work.

Repetition is okay, to a point. I just finished reading "Easy Strength", which is a quality S&C read. There's some repetition of previous material. Some of it was nice. In a couple of places, it seemed excessive. In general, I'd rather have it than have to shill out for another book. If the info needs to be in there, put it in.

Starting with "you" could just mean starting with "what kind of violence are you really at risk for"? As I write that, I wonder how many awareness problems could be solved by people just honestly figuring out the answer to that question...

Maybe get the info on paper and then play with the ordering.

Josh Kruschke said...

You shouldn't worry (my opinion) about restating the important stuff, the more we hear/read it the more likely it will stick.

Also reading/hearing it in a new contects might shead or bring new light to it, the ah ha that now makes sense.

Unless you're cutting & pasting, which I doubt, anything you write now on an old subject will be from a new persoective.