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A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story Paperback – March 7, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Miller, the accidental memoirist who struck gold with the likable ramble Blue Like Jazz, writes about the challenges inherent in getting unstuck creatively and spiritually. After Jazz sold more than a million copies but his other books didn't follow suit, he had a classic case of writer's block. Two movie producers contacted him about creating a film out of his life, but Miller's initial enthusiasm was dampened when they concluded that his real life needed doctoring lest it be too directionless for the screen. Real stories, he learned, require characters who suffer and overcome. In desultory fashion, Miller sets out to change his own life—to be the kind of guy who seeks out his father, chases the girl and undertakes a quest. Along the way, he comes to understand God as a master storyteller who doesn't quite control where his characters are going. An unexpected bonus of this book is Miller's insights into the writing process. Readers who loved Blue Like Jazz will find here a somewhat more mature Miller, still funny as hell but more concerned about making a difference in the world than in merely commenting on it. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Donald Miller has helped more than 3,000 businesses clarify their marketing messages so their companies grow. He's the CEO of StoryBrand, the cohost of the Building a StoryBrand Podcast, and the author of several books, including the bestsellers Blue Like Jazz and A Million Miles in a Thousand Years. He lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with his wife, Betsy, and their dogs, Lucy and June Carter.
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I have hard cover and paperback version, with 2 different tagline, "What I learned while editing my life" and "How I learned to live a better life story". Story is the same in both.
It's undeniable that Miller believes in a higher power. It might not be obvious at first, but I think that's what makes this book great for believers and nonbelievers alike. Both can read this book and get something incredibly important out of it. It's like looking at your life through a window and seeing how God orchestrates each life like a movie, with a climax and a turning point and a conclusion. Reading this book has made me fall in love with God as a person, not as a religion. He truly captures the essence of God and leaves you thinking about the God that is here and now instead of some force outside the universe. He is a God we interact with on a daily basis, who has real feelings and emotions and longs for our lives to be rich.
Because He writes so honestly, Miller knows how to capture the reader's heart, not just their mind. His honesty brings us to look at our lives honestly. It's almost a little unsettling to read his story and the way he's made his life worth something because it provokes each person to ask the most important question of what each of us are doing with our lives. His story in this books begins with moviemakers ready to make a story of Don's life from his novel "Blue Like Jazz", however the more they talk and they more they edit Don's life to make it movie worthy, the more Don contemplates what he wants his life's story to be. The legacy his life will lead and in the end, wondering if his life will be the kind of story that is worth watching. The way he can be so real with the reader almost forces the reader to be more real with themselves and evaluate the meaning in their lives. It's something each of us struggle with- the question of what we're doing with our lives that makes them worth something.
As we struggle with Don through this crisis of life's meaning, we realize what it means to truly live and he inspires us to do so. I felt like I worked through this together with him and end inspired to do something. Don uses the phrase "I want to live a better story", which left me feeling like there is so much more I want to do and accomplish, and I finally feel like I can. Don sees life very clearly, and he helps the reader to step back from their own lives to see their clearly too. Usually when you do this, you realize how uninspired your life can seen and it makes you want to change. He makes you want to truly life for a bigger purpose than yourself, and when you do so you realize that living for someone other than yourself is what gives you life meaning. Don writes about his foundation called "the mentoring project" and describes that what really got him moving in life again was to work to make someone else's life better. Now through this initiative, fatherless kids around the world are being mentored and inspired, and their lives will be change; their stories will be changed.
"A million miles in a thousand years" is a must-read for anyone looking for meaning in life, and honestly, who isn't? He beautifully engrains the story with God, while being completely honest and open and inspiring each person to "live a better story."
The reason I love Donald Miller's writings so much, is that he brings a fresh perspective to the conversation. In this book, Miller walks us through the story making process. He chronicles his real life journey about his journey. A couple of movie producers come to him about making a film based on his bestselling book Blue Like Jazz. Miller jumps at the opportunity but quickly he discovers that creating a story and living a story are completely different.
In the midst of dreaming up the movie, Donald Miller discovers what a story really is: "A character who wants something and overcomes conflict to get it." This discovery leads Miller to live a better story - a story full of challenges, hope, despair, love, heartbreak, anger, happiness, etc.
Donald Miller puts his story into perspective of the everyday and how God has not promised us an easy story. In fact, He has promised us a really, really difficult story.
"It's hard to imagine how a religion steeped in so much pain and sacrifice turned into a promise for earthly euphoria."
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