What do you see?

My favorite book in high school—by far—was The Agony and the Ecstasy, the biographical novel by Irving Stone.

I’ve always been a fan of history and classical art. Irving brought the two together as he recounted the life of Michelangelo Buonarroti.

The sculpture of the David, painter of the Sistine Chapel ceiling, architect of the dome of St. Peter’s—Michelangelo may be history’s greatest artist.

But one line from the novel has haunted me since high school. I’ve quoted it dozens of times over the years in public addresses. Since the first time I read the quote, I assumed it was fictional.

But it wasn’t.

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Michelangelo believed that his figures were trapped inside the marble and that if he listened to the stone, he could chip away everything that wasn’t part of the figure, and the figure would be liberated.

The great 16th-century sculptor was once asked how he had sculpted such a magnificent statue of an angel. He reportedly said,

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.”

What’s Your Strategy To Free Your Masterpiece?

As a writer, whenever you sit down at your computer, you’re like Michelangelo, fixing your eyes on a block of granite. Every day, you listen and then chip away in the attempt to free the masterpiece.

That simple.

Not exactly.

To sculpt your masterpiece, you need:

  • A sculptor
  • A block of marble
  • Tools like chisels, hammers, rasps, grinders, et al

You are the sculptor.

The block of marble is your powerful message or story.

And what are your tools? They consist of writing resources like dictionaries, thesauruses, perhaps even a writing program like Scrivener.

But you still need one irreplaceable tool. The hammer helps the sculptor gently shape the block of marble into a transcendent work of art.

The Missing Piece to Your Masterpiece

At Illumify, we believe that a masterpiece resides hidden in the dreams of every author. Only when authors collaborate with a team of publishing professionals, will they be able to set the masterpiece free and release their transcendent book.

We are creating the blueprint for Collaborative Publishing.

The driving force behind it is what we call “catalytic conversations.” At the risk of changing metaphors, in chemistry, when you combine certain chemicals, a reaction takes place that changes the components into an entirely different composition at an accelerated pace.

Catalytic conversations between the author and publishing team produce ideas far better than the sum of their parts. A catalytic change is impossible when you’re on YOUR own or we’re on OUR own.

You’re never going to attain it when you talk to a different person each time you call your publisher.

The power of collaboration is that when you work with a community of guides who are committed to you and your message or story, something amazing happens.

Traditional publishing says, “You write your manuscript, and then we’ll do the rest.”

DIY publishing says, “You’re on your own, but we still want your money.”

Collaborative publishing says, “Let’s bring your transcendent book to life by working together.”

Do you have a powerful message or story? Let’s work together to make it transcendent.