Carl Hiassen, Drama, and Data Governance

March 17, 2011
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Just finished listening to an interview with the great writer Carl Hiassen, a fellow Floridian and chronicler of crazy. (It was on Public Radio, BTW – go Public Radio!)  The part of the interview I caught was on superstitions by writers – how when you’re on a streak, you don’t stop what you’re doing, even if part of you knows it’s silly.

Just finished listening to an interview with the great writer Carl Hiassen, a fellow Floridian and chronicler of crazy. (It was on Public Radio, BTW – go Public Radio!)  The part of the interview I caught was on superstitions by writers – how when you’re on a streak, you don’t stop what you’re doing, even if part of you knows it’s silly. Made me laugh, because I was on my way home from the same booth in the same IHOP with the same type of notebook I’ve been using the last several months as I’ve been writing “the next chapter” in Data Governance. (Yep, spoiler alert.)

Had to smile because this is twenty-five years and a few careers that I’ve been inspired by Hiassen. In the eighties – before I became a consultant and then founded the Data Governance Institute – I edited a literary magazine, worked in marketing/pr, taught college English, and wrote a novel. Hiassen was a constant voice… crazy characters, crazy situations, wonderful plots, to-die-for language. I loved how he wrote a good story that mixed ethics, ethos and empathy in with morality plays and outlandish mysteries. And Skink’s house-of-books. Wow.

Those early days, I couldn’t imagine leaving the world of “the arts” to work within corporate America (much less in the world arena). I couldn’t imagine work that didn’t involve high drama, big characters, mission-based activities, important stories.  Yeah, yeah, yeah… let’s all take a moment now to smile at the younger-me who thought that working in cubeville equalled lack of drama.

So here’s Hiassen, still writing fantastic books, still chronicling crazy, still speaking at events around the world and giving interviews where he provides transparency into the creative processes of fiction writers and poets. And here’s me,  living in a working world that is not so different after all.  Preparing for upcoming conference trips to London and Chicago, where I’ll be telling stories, building plots, creating character arcs, and sharing success stories about epic journeys made by execs, data managers, and others as they work with information to meet their missions.

But still a “creative type” at heart, somehow comforted that I’m in good company with my writing quirks about the right pens, the right shoes, the right type of paper to catch the new idea. Thanks, Carl.