Bill Duncan


First Draft


As I put pen to paper to script the Second Act of my life, my muse remains eerily silent.  Or maybe she’s kicking it somewhere else at the moment.  Whatever the reason, I am not suddenly charged with inspiration.

So, in an effort to build some momentum towards a first draft I have been exploring ways of kickstarting the process.  The resource I found that resonated most strongly with me was Scott Dinsmore’s ‘Live Your Legend’ and his commitment to helping people “… find and do work they love.”

Since this sounds like a pretty good approach for one of the most important elements of my under-construction new life, I dived right in, signing up for his The 2015 Start-A-Blog Dream Job Challenge.  This very blog is one of the first tangible outcomes from following this exercise, and today I’m charged with the next step – to answer the following question:

What do people thank me for?

I find myself thinking of answers, and then immediately slipping into a routine of comparing these (against some shadowy criteria) to determine their value before they can be considered ‘good enough’ responses.  So, in the spirit of good writing, I will endeavour to let things flow, put down a rough list of answers and then set about polishing them up later.

So here goes.  People thank me for:

Designing a great space for them to live in.

Being prompt and open with communication.

Going out of my way to make sure they can get to a football match on time.

Sharing a fun evening of food, drinks and laughter.

Accepting them as they are.

Seeing them.

Helping them with their problems, especially when I go out of my way to do so.

Assisting with chores.




My honesty and candour.

Making a positive impact on their children.

Assisting with the organisation of my son’s football team.

Being my true self.

Being their Dad (not too hard to guess who these people are!)

Another view of this question could be, What do I love helping people with?”

Again, I will attempt to answer without self-censoring.  I love helping people with:

Doing their best work.

Solving their problems.

Being their best.

Breaking through barriers.

Making them laugh, smile, forget about their worries and be happy.

Succeeding – to be who they truly are.

Learning and expanding themselves.

Seeing the beauty, majesty and wonder of the world.

Getting excited.

Putting a lid on negative self-talk and feeling good about themselves

Well, there’s the start of my first draft.  The characters are only just starting to appear, the stage directions are still non-existent and the dialogue is a long way off, but I think I’m getting a feel for the underlying theme.

Can’t wait to see how it develops from here.


[image source: Generalitto –]


  1. Thank you for sharing your process. 🙂

    When I think of my own responses to the questions, two things come to mind. First, I’m only now learning to distinguish between things I love helping people with and things I believe I *should* help people with.

    Second, I visualize a Venn diagram with the two sets – Things People Thank Me For and Things I Love Helping People With. As I refine the items that belong in the second set from *shoulds* to *loves*, the items in the intersection appear so much more precious to me – those are my “heart sing” things.

    • Bill

      March 19, 2015 at 5:58 am

      Hey Kel!
      I think I’ve finally got the comments ‘thingy’ (technical term) working here so your comments should be coming up now.
      It’s my pleasure to put all this out there, though I can’t take credit for the process. Check out Scott Dinsmore from Live Your Legend ( I’ve been using his stuff as thought starters and it’s really good. I know you’re further down the track than I am, so it might not be as relevant to you, but I need to give credit where credit is due.
      That Venn diagram imagery is awesome – really beautiful!

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