The Outline’s Awesome Power

The other day a friend called to ask if I could suggest an outline for a half day women’s event. The topic is around accessing the goddess archetype in the Aquarian age. This photo I took of barrels outside a whiskey distillery yesterday has nothing to do with that topic but it can serve to symbolize that early stage of organizing your content so delivery is optimal. So why not play with the stretch in imagination? Isn’t that a skill?

So if these barrels hold value as they are (and they do) plus they provide a static aesthetic just by being seen, they still need to be driven to a destination before others can tap into that value. Right? Certainly the distillery has those logistics planned. They must have an outline for delivery. Otherwise the whole operation is for naught.

Intellectual property is no different. We develop and convey our value to others with precise planning. The outline is the most basic form of structure. I’ve never planned this sort of event before, but I was honored to be asked to contribute a possible shape for it. The subject matter is of great interest to me and I’ve attended similar story circles. Here’s the backstory.

My friend has been on a spiritual path for a long time and holds the energy of a female shaman (or shamama as she calls it). She traveled back and forth to Peru to work in groups with an ancestral shaman (the wise old man archetype) for many years. I don’t know her specific content but I was able to coalesce an outline for its delivery.

Here’s how I put the outline for her event together. First, I took notes on a page in my journal during the call. Here’s a picture of it.

My outlines are rarely linear, like the ones they teach in writing 101. I use a technique taught by Betty Edwards (Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain) called clustering. It’s a real life saver strategy when you’re in a time crunch, BTW.

These pieces of info are the elements in need of structure – or the “casks” of value to be delivered (to extend the metaphor). Here they are, linearly:

Small women’s group

Dialogue based story circle

Two presenters

Duration of event

Subject matter

Backstory

What you don’t see on the journal page is an intangible element. Namely, my experience/memory of a similar type gathering. This is the resulting writing 101 outline for the event.

It only took me about 30 minutes after the call to create an outline. The event now has a shape for delivery. I don’t know if she’ll use it as is but building the structure makes the event possible. That’s pretty awesome if you ask me.

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