How to write. The Rise of the Arrogant Artist

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The image for How to write David Baboulene
Have you noticed that a lot of the most successful people seem self-centred? A little arrogant, perhaps? Obnoxious, even. Is there something we humble, peaceful, generous, gentle arty types can learn from this..?

'I know how to write!' When I meet successful writers, they often seem to have an unshakeable belief that they are right. ‘Here’s my art,’ they say. ‘That’s what you’re getting, World, and I couldn’t care less what you think about it.’

That’s not true, of course. The artist cares deeply about what people think, and often they are, underneath it all, humble, peaceful people like the rest of us.

Table of contents
  • Self-centered
  • Publish and be damned!
  • What’s the point in learning stuff?
  • What do I think?
  • Don't be scared
  • You ARE the God of your story
  • What is Story? FAQs

They appear to have an arrogance.

However, they appear to have an arrogance because their art is pushed out by a passionate, blinkered drive that makes it what it is and, for that artist, the product cannot possibly be any other way. It’s not arrogance, it’s ownership. It’s taking responsibility. And that’s exactly the way it should be. For art to satisfy, it must first satisfy the vision and inspiration of the artist. The seeds of creativity that drove the artist to devote blood, sweat, tears and years must be realised with integrity for there to be any point in doing it.

Publish and be damned!

If you think about it, once the artwork is available to appreciate, the artist shouldn’t really have any say in what people think. It is what it is. The wise and productive artist puts it out there – publish and be damned! – gives himself or herself a quiet hug for keeping that integrity, then moves on to the next one. ‘Fire and forget’ is my motto. If your artwork happens to resonate with a proportion of the population, great! You will make some money. If it doesn’t, you’ve satisfied your soul… and that is the only audience that matters.

Success is not measured in money. It’s measured in fulfilment. And what you should aim for, in an ideal world… is both.

So what’s the point in learning stuff about my art if I must simply satisfy my heart?

Good question. The problem with the above is that most writers are not able to bring their story to life in a way that satisfies their inspiration. Once it’s done and they read it back, it doesn’t quite deliver what they felt inside. And that is really frustrating. So they rewrite. Then re-read. And it kinda works. So they rewrite. And re-read. And rewriting is fine. Essential. Unavoidable. But it isn’t a very good ‘method’ for problem solving. Three or four rewrites and six months later, you’ve forgotten what the hell gave the thing a beating heart in the first place, and it starts to go cold and become really hard work. Until it dies on a shelf as you put it down to experience and move on to something new and exciting.

What do I think?

When a writer asks me to read their story and tell them what I think, I refuse. I won’t do it. I ask them what they think, because that’s what’s important. It must stay in their ownership. I get them to pitch a short version of the story. I ask them questions about the characters and motivations and, bit by bit, I try to get them excited again by connecting them back up with the original inspiration. I then talk to them about specific areas of story power and story theory that will help them understand where the core power is. That way they can find out what is bugging them, understand how that might be addressed and then stay on the spine of their inspiration. And that can be learned. Like a painter can understand the limits and potential of different paper, brushes, colours and media, and a composer can learn the limits of an instrument or an orchestra, so a writer can learn where the power of a story lies and can use that knowledge to to remain faithful to the inspiration across the long haul of writing it down.

Don't be scared

And you mustn’t be scared to put it out there! So many of my clients are really just after reassurance. They want to rewrite forever rather than face the judgement that surely follows completion. Rejection… terrifying. Best just never finish, right…?!

If you want success (whatever success means to you) you MUST have the courage of your artistic convictions. There’s only one person who can tell your story and that is YOU. There’s only one person who can decide if your story is right or not and that is YOU. If you love it, then it’s right.

You ARE the God of your story

So be arrogant. Be superior. You ARE the God of your story, and you mustn’t be ashamed of that. Be the God. This is your art and you must guard its integrity because You Know Best. In fact, ONLY you know the definitive truth of your story, so it’s not arrogance, it’s standing up for what you know to be right.

Yes, learn the craft of story, because that will help you to identify the inspiration in your story and keep true to it through the long haul of writing it down. But remember this:

Nobody can give you advice on how your story should go. the moment they do, it is no longer your story.

  • 'I know how to write!'

‘Here’s my art,’ they say. ‘That’s what you’re getting.'

  • Publish and be damned!

If you think about it, once the artwork is available to appreciate, the artist shouldn’t really have any say in what people think.

  • You ARE the God of your story

So be arrogant. Be superior and you mustn’t be ashamed of that. Be the God.

The Offer of a Lifetime

You love writing… and you have a sneaking suspicion you might even be quite good.

You'd LOVE to make money from writing, and if someone, somewhere gave you a chance, you'd put the work in, that's for sure.

The StoryPower Masterclasses

What Writers say about David

"David Baboulene’s insights into storytelling have been hugely helpful to our production. His in-depth understanding of plot, character motivation, and his theory of the ‘knowledge gap’ are both illuminating and valuable."
Gillan Williams Producer: Hosts (2020), Exit Plan (2016), Feed Me (2022)
"David has a unique approach to writing that includes the vital ingredient – marketing. Gone is the traditional do-it-yourself attitude. David shows you how to be complete, step-by-step, from the outset. I now have a contract for my thriller trilogy. Success is unlocked when David turns the key."
Ray C. Doyle Author: Lara's Secret
"We cannot recommend David Baboulene highly enough. His insights and expertise on story creation have been invaluable, helping us get the script of Hallo Joe to the point where we’ve sold the option and look forward to full production”
Mark Halliley Scriptwriter: Hello Joe
"David's research can benefit every writer on the planet. Once you have learnt David's revolutionary approach, you will find the proof of it in every single story you ever hear, read or watch, ever again, and you will never write in quite the same way again. David’s discoveries are a game changer for writers."
Kris Mole Author : Gatecrashing Europe
David’s love and understanding of story has elevated many of my scripts which have subsequently gone on to be produced and win awards. He’s a fantastic story consultant – encouraging and full of good ideas. I can’t imagine ever writing a script without asking David to read it."
Carolyn Goodyear: Multi-Award Winning Scriptwriter
"David has been invaluable in my story development. He has improved my screenwriting immensely, and has given me the tools I need to write the best possible stories."
Cheryl Neve: Writer/Director
"Meeting David was an epiphany for me. It did take me a month or two to fully grasp his advice, but when it did sink in and I started to write again, I just felt so much freer and infinitely more creative. My book is now complete, and I am so, so proud of it. I am now sitting here looking at two contracts to publish."
Steve Askham: Author: Life's a Peach! (2022)
"Uncertain Kingdom (2020) The insight that David brought to our project was invaluable. David was able to turn our script that was a compelling story attracting initial interest into a page turner of a screenplay. He is creatively inspiring while maintaining a kind, collaborative humility that should not be underestimated. Thank you so much David."
Hannah Stevenson Producer - Eaten by Lions (2019)
"Writer Story is based on the psychology in the conversation between an author and an audience. David brings the world genuinely new tools and methods that give you an objective and measurable understanding of how good your story is and clarity in how to improve it. Highly recommended."
Alex Marx:
"Author Every session provided another ‘eureka moment’ for me; another sudden insight into ways to improve my stories and find direction for me as a writer."
Lauraine Faulkner
"David's work can benefit every writer on the planet. A game changer for writers."
Kris Mole: Author Gatecrashing Europe
"Everyone who works in story industries needs to know what David Baboulene knows."
Alex Marx: Actor/Writer

What Writers say about David

"David Baboulene’s insights into storytelling have been hugely helpful to our production. His in-depth understanding of plot, character motivation, and his theory of the ‘knowledge gap’ are both illuminating and valuable."
Gillan Williams Producer: Hosts (2020), Exit Plan (2016), Feed Me (2022)
"David has a unique approach to writing that includes the vital ingredient – marketing. Gone is the traditional do-it-yourself attitude. David shows you how to be complete, step-by-step, from the outset. I now have a contract for my thriller trilogy. Success is unlocked when David turns the key."
Ray C. Doyle Author: Lara's Secret
"We cannot recommend David Baboulene highly enough. His insights and expertise on story creation have been invaluable, helping us get the script of Hallo Joe to the point where we’ve sold the option and look forward to full production”
Mark Halliley Scriptwriter: Hello Joe
"David's research can benefit every writer on the planet. Once you have learnt David's revolutionary approach, you will find the proof of it in every single story you ever hear, read or watch, ever again, and you will never write in quite the same way again. David’s discoveries are a game changer for writers."
Kris Mole Author : Gatecrashing Europe
David’s love and understanding of story has elevated many of my scripts which have subsequently gone on to be produced and win awards. He’s a fantastic story consultant – encouraging and full of good ideas. I can’t imagine ever writing a script without asking David to read it."
Carolyn Goodyear: Multi-Award Winning Scriptwriter
"Meeting David was an epiphany for me. It did take me a month or two to fully grasp his advice, but when it did sink in and I started to write again, I just felt so much freer and infinitely more creative. My book is now complete, and I am so, so proud of it. I am now sitting here looking at two contracts to publish."
Steve Askham: Author: Life's a Peach! (2022)

What Writers say about David

"David is truly a master when it comes to the science behind storytelling."
Craig Hinde: Producer/Director
"David is truly a master when it comes to the science behind storytelling."
Craig Hinde: Producer/Director
"Everyone who works in story industries needs to know what David Baboulene knows."
Alex Marx: Actor/Writer
"David's work can benefit every writer on the planet. A game changer for writers."
Kris Mole: Author Gatecrashing Europe
"Author Every session provided another ‘eureka moment’ for me; another sudden insight into ways to improve my stories and find direction for me as a writer."
Lauraine Faulkner
"Receiving a publishing deal was a dream turned reality. In my acknowledgement page is written: David Baboulene: I did it, and you are a heck of a teacher!"
Kerri Cuevas Author

"David Baboulene is a genius!"

Marc Zammit: Writer/Producer/Director

"David is The Story Ninja!"

Nick Wild: Writer/Producer/Director

"David is The New Aristotle."

Craig Hinde: Writer/Producer/Director

What is Story? FAQs

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