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Poor Steve Jobs (both the late Apple visionary and the character played by Ashton Kutcher). The JOBS movie has already taken plenty of hits in the press before it even came out. I suspect that many of the opinions depend on whether the person loves or hates Apple, Steve Jobs, Ashton Kutcher, or any combination of them.
The real problem is that biographies are hard to write. Here are the reasons why (and things to avoid if you’re writing a biography).
Happiness becomes a problem when you’re expected to be happy all the time. That’s not possible. Even Disneyland, “The Happiest Place on Earth,” isn’t happy all the time. Driving for 20 minutes to find a parking space isn’t happy. Waiting an hour and a half for a ride isn’t happy. Paying $7 for a Diet Coke isn’t happy. Listening to “It’s a Small World” for the 15th time isn’t happy.
Yet, people are happy at Disneyland. Why? And why should you be happy when there is no reason to be?
As President Reagan said, facts are stubborn things. This is especially true when you’re trying to tell a story.
When I started my new novel, The Ghosts of Reseda High, I based my story on school starting in mid-September as it has in Los Angeles since probably the beginning of public education. This year, the Los Angeles Unified School District moved up the first day of school to August 13. (Let’s hope LAUSD also upgraded the air conditioning in all those schools.)
The change in start dates posed a problem for me (not to mention all those students who lost a month of vacation). Do I rewrite my story so it starts a month earlier, which could throw off the narrative flow I have so far? Or do I leave the story as it is? Does fiction have to stick with the facts?
As a speaker, you need to give the appropriate amount of eye contact to your listeners. But you also need to get eye contact from your audience. Their eye contact provides valuable information that can help you give your speech.
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