Getting to know steven Yates
…writing it all down …
“We’re on a planet,” said Alice Yates to her son Steven, age 5. “There are eight other planets out there.”
Her son’s eyes were alive with interest.
The next day they went to the public library. She checked out a book entitled Exploring the Planets (he’d remember the title as an adult, decades later).
The boy devoured it.
His mom followed up with books on the moon, Mars, the sun, the stars, and so on.
Steven was hooked on science, and on reading … and on writing down all of what he was learning.
He wrote a series of little booklets summarizing what he knew about the planets, and then he went on to subjects like rocks and minerals, dinosaurs, major figures in the history of science, and several other topics that had drawn his attention.
…the day JFK was assassinated…
It’s often said that everyone then living, even children, remembered where they were and what they were doing when President John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963.
Steven was no exception, even though he was just six years old.
He was home, sick with a bad strep throat, and it was the first time he saw his mom cry.
“Why are you crying, mom?” he asked.
She gathered herself and told him, “Somebody shot the President of the United States.”
Steven’s 6-year-old mind subvocalized something like, Didn’t they know he was the President?
Steven had been aware of people shooting people. It didn’t make a lot of sense to him. Neither did war. Vietnam would be all over the news within a few years.
His reading later included history, and as he got older, to philosophy, as his quest for
“…you’re a writer now…”
Steven, now in college, looked with seeming amazement at what was sitting in front of him on the kitchen table.
For a book
The check wasn’t for a large amount. Just $50.
But it still counted!
He’d written the review in one burst of creativity, polished it the next day, and sent it off.
It was a review of Bret Easton Ellis’s Less Than Zero.
A disturbing novel, in any sense of the term, Steven said.
The book left the reader with a sense of queasiness, and a fear that civilization really was heading in a bad direction!
These characters needed professional help!
Steven was gradually rising to
His writing skills would be a way of doing that.
“Guess I’m on my way,” he commented to his dad.
“I don’t think there’s any doubt about it,” said Bill Yates Jr. “Except for one thing.”
“You’re a writer now. All you have to figure out how to do is use it to make people’s lives better, to make this world a better place.”
Steven later reflected: or at least, how to make a few people’s lives better …
… later, at the
Steven looked across the faces of the 80 or so assembled students from where he sat near the back of the auditorium and sensed confusion.
He was a grad assistant in a formal logic class. His job was mainly to lead small discussion groups and grade papers.
He wrote articles on the side.
There was a big test coming up in just three days. He stood up as the main professor dismissed the class and asked for everybody’s attention before they left. “This’ll only take a minute,” he said. “I promise. How many of you could use one more big session, to go over this material and do nothing except work problems?”
Nearly everybody’s hand went up.
“In that case,” he said, “I’ll be here at 7 pm. Come when you can, stay as long you want or leave when you’re satisfied you understand; I won’t be taking roll or anything.”
He was there, at the podium, the huge whiteboard behind him. He began working a problem in deductive
“Time out,” he finally said. “Let me see a show of hands. How many of
Again, nearly every hand went up.
Steven nodded. “That explains it. Okay. Let’s all stand up for just a minute and stretch and take a deep breath.”
They did. After the class resumed their seats Steven said, “Let’s take a fresh look at those rules and what’s involved in them. Before we do anything, tell yourself silently that you can get this. You’re not going to let these things–” he indicated the lines filled with symbols behind him “–get the best of you. Okay?”
Nods, many hesitant.
Steven went on to explain the ‘QN rules’ in detail. He watched the students closely. Lights seemed to go on behind a lot of eyes. Bafflement was dissipating. He felt energized by what he was seeing.
When the students left, many thanked Steven for explaining something more clearly than anything found in the textbook.
Three days later came the test.
Steven looked forward to grading this stack.
Most of the class had gotten it! He recognized what he had shown them on the whiteboard! Nearly every grade had gone up!
On the written evaluation at the end of the course, one student wrote, “Mr. Yates went the extra mile all semester, holding out-of-class sessions he didn’t need to hold, trying to make sure we understood the material. He personally got to know as many of us as would allow him to do so. He turned what would have been an all-time disaster class into a success. I think this instructor is a tremendous asset to this university.”
… finding a new passion …
“This works!” Steven told himself. He’d tried the techniques on himself, and satisfied himself that if a person followed them to the letter, they delivered the goods.
“This is a possible gold mine!” he added silently.
What he knew: he no longer misplaced his keys or other things. Because he’d followed the program.
What program had he followed.
It was called Self-Directed Behavior Change.
It was based on the idea that behaviors good or bad have causes, that we often don’t know what they are but can find out.
The way to find out is to observe.
Don’t change anything at first. Just observe.
You’ll see the causes.
And then you can change them.
The unwanted behaviors can be little things, like laying down your car keys just anywhere and then forgetting where you put them.
Pay attention, and you’ll see yourself doing it.
And then stop.
Designate a specific spot.
If necessary, go out and buy a key rack. Do something dramatic, to change the behavior.
Then label the key rack, “Keys go here!”
Or the unwanted behaviors can be bigger, like quitting smoking, or not drinking to excess.
Or gaining positive behaviors, like daily writing or communicating better with your spouse or calling potential clients.
You can create desired behaviors by design: sit down with pen and paper the night before and work out a process. Do it before you go to bed at night.
That way, your brain and your subconscious mind will still be working on that process.
You’ll awaken in the morning, and writing that next chapter or making that phone call will seem the most natural things in the world.
“I can help others,” Steven told himself, “as well as myself. People want writing that drives sales and helps them bring in revenue. Because people will buy if they are buying not a mere product but a dream, a lifestyle, an adventure.”
Such thinking eventually brought Steven into the AWAI fold.
He became an AWAI-Verified copywriter, emphasizing the personal development / self-help niche which, given his background, seemed natural.
This would be a stepping-stone, but an important one.
He had a vision. “I can help people transform their lives!”
Contact Steven Yates
If you have an immediate need you can call me right now at (864) 832-0445 or email me at Steven@CopywritingSolutions.net. There is, again, no charge for a
I Look forward to hearing from you soon.