After observing that throughout history all the cool kids seemed to know each other, musician Brian Eno coined the term "scenius" to describe the kind of peer support group that every artist needs and deserves. Recently I had two experiences that drove home to me the value of sharing your ideas and your work with your scenius.
I'm working on two books at the moment, Lichtenbergianism for Kids and a book on cocktails. Both are at the moment incredible ABORTIVE ATTEMPTS, just lying there mocking me as random notes in my WASTE BOOKS.
Last week, I posted about my roadblocks with Kids, and within a couple of hours one of my readers told me that she was delighted that I was writing the book because she had been trying to simplify the Precepts for her 10-year-old son. Aha! Would he be interested in being my Kid Reader? I asked, and he said yes.
So yesterday I cobbled together the first 400 words or so of Kids and sent it to my Kid Reader for testing. Woot!
(Would you like to try it? Here.)
The second example of why having a scenius is important is kind of the obverse of the first scenario. Rather than help coming from someone else, it came from me.
I love writing letters, and at the moment I have two regular pen pals: fellow Lichtenbergian Mike Funt, and my painting teacher from GHP nearly 50 years ago, Dianne Mize. Dianne is an author and online educator, and I was writing her the other day, describing a central problem with my cocktails book, and lo! the solution popped into my head through the very act of describing the problem.
(The bizarre thing is that it involves a piece of software that I recently upgraded despite not having used it for any real project for nearly ten years.)
So... stuck? Get thee to thy scenius and share!