One of the scenes in Arthurian legend I love the most is when Arthur first declares peace in a unified Britain.
He’s standing on a hilltop with all of his knights, battered and exhausted, but elated. The battles have been won, the last unruly lords brought into the fold, and the promise is fulfilled: One Land, One King, and Peace.
It’s beautifully described in Sir Thomas Mallory’s Le Morte D’Arthur (which is consider to be the definitive work) and presented quite well in Boorman’s 1981 classic, Excalibur.
On this hilltop, surrounded by his friends and comrades, Arthur first unveils his plan for Camelot. He says,
Hereafter, so that we remember our bonds, we shall always come together in a circle to hear and tell of deeds good and brave.
I will build a round table where this fellowship shall meet.
And a hall about the table.
And a castle about the hall.
Arthur doesn’t say, “I’ll build a huge castle with thick stone walls.” Because Camelot isn’t about being afraid of attack.
The essence of Camelot is equality. There is no head of the table. Only companions gathered to talk like peers.
Because that is encapsulated by the Round Table, it is the very first thing Arthur build. It sits at the center of the castle, which is literally built AROUND the table.
So Camelot, the castle, the kingdom, is built on the principle of equality, made manifest by the table.
Arthur builds the table first because it is the most important thing. And, more practically, because it was so big that if they built the hall first, they wouldn’t be able to get the table in there.
But that actually relates to my point about writing.
With any project, whether it’s an article, a book, some type of marketing, there are various pieces of the writing.
Introduction. Body. Conclusion. Supporting paragraphs. And so on.
But in the middle is the actually heart of it. The point you’re trying to make. The real thing you’re trying to say, NEED to say.
And if you want your writing to flow crisply and cleanly—and, most importantly, to completely support the central idea—write the Round Table first. Don’t worry about trying to grab the reader with your introduction. Write the heart of the piece and the rest will come. If you get stuck, write another part and then come back to it.
The middle is the most important part: make it perfect—but also, don’t skimp on the introduction or conclusion. Like, the walls of the castle, they’re the first thing that people see while they’re galloping by. Make it so enticing that they have to stop to read it.
PS – writing is my foremost passion. I love writing. But I also love reading about writing. And writing about writing.
While I’m certainly no Hemingway, my ability to write well and tell stories effectively is one of the key factors in my success—especially when it comes to my online business.
This is one reason we focus on it so heavily in the business coaching group I run, the RFSMastermind.
That group teaches a score of other things, from marketing to networking, but I believe writing is the core of it all.
If you’re interested in improving your business through writing and storytelling, or learning more about the Mastermind in general, check it out here, and take a moment to apply.