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Your oldest friend

Phil and Stan, Tutto’s deli, 2022

Your oldest friend

It’s been a topsy-turvy week, which makes for a slightly scattered newsletter…

I had fabulously useful feedback from the early readers of the new book (a big thank you if you were one of those). It was so fabulously useful that I have pulled the whole thing apart  and am now rebuilding it, paragraph by paragraph.

It’s disheartening and at the same time thrilling to start again when you thought you had a solid draft.

Disheartening because … well, I thought I knew how to write a book. Disheartening because now the timelines are very squeaky indeed. My editor is looking at me with a raised eyebrow.

Thrilling because the emerging clarity of the, I think fifth, outline reminds me of the rewrites I had to do for The Coaching Habit, and how those rewrites were the secret to it  becoming such a well structured book.

Three things have helped me get through it. First, a fair amount of chocolate and espresso. I’m not going to lie, this has not been a weight-losing exercise.

Second, working next to art that inspires me. This is my set-up in the National Library, I’m listening to Bob Dylan, and I’m working at the feet of Yab-yab-gnerni-gnim (Sugarbag Dreaming) by Minnie Lumai.

Finally, having a good friend by my side. I’ve known Phil since we were both four, so that’s fifty good years. I’m celebrating having someone like him at my back and at my side.

Phil and Stan, Canberra Girls Grammar School, 1985

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Michael Bungay Stanier

Michael Bungay Stanier

I'm the author of five books that have collectively sold more than a million copies. I'm the founder of Box of Crayons, a learning and development company that helps organizations move from advice-driven to curiosity-led. I'm the host of the *2 Pages with MBS* podcast.