School of Sharks vrs. Pod of Dolphins…

Steven Barnes
10 min readMar 14, 2023

So what I have to do is get back into my routine…but keep the knowledge that life will never really be “routine.” Life is chaotic, and you have to roll with it.

My body-mind now has understanding it has never had. The “Writer’s Room” as a model of individual creativity expanded to a group helps me to understand myself, and life, and things like the Mastermind much, much more deeply.

I need to do core dumps on this every day until I get sick of repeating myself — please bear with me. No, not “Cocaine Bear”. Coffee was the only drug in that room. No one even smoked outdoors that I could tell. High energy with mature modulation was CRITICAL in that room. I wanted to have very high energy…but then dial it way back. The pitching process was similar to playing Double Dutch, where you have to wait for the perfect moment to jump in. That means:

Right Idea

Right Timing

Right person pitching

In other words, if you have a minor (but still important) piece, you can just wait until the subject is up. But if you have a more complex idea (say, for a scene) it becomes 10X more important to get that timing right. There are times when a simple idea about ANY episode can be pitched at any time, if everyone is relaxed and chill. Say at the beginning or end of the day, or while we’re eating lunch.

But a MAJOR piece has to wait until that discussion is on the table. Write it down, and trust that it will come…



Steven Barnes

Steven Barnes is a NY Times bestselling author, ecstatic husband and father, and holder of black belts in three martial arts.