You’ve learned a thing or two in this lifetime. Maybe you know the secret to making the perfect souffle. Or how to be a stepparent to kids who refuse to say your name. Or maybe you want people to know how prayer has changed your life. Whatever it is, there is some message that you feel called to share in a blog.
Whew! What a roller coaster 2016 has been. From the World Series to the presidential election, I’ve had my share of late nights, nail biting, close calls, celebration, and despair.
During Game 7, in the bottom of the third inning, Carlos Santana crushed a curveball to right for a single, bringing Coco Crisp home and tying the game for the Cubs. And millions of hearts pounded.
I’ll never forget the day, many years ago, when I discovered the benefits of “scripting” life’s difficult moments. My kids went to school some distance away. A friend told me that one of our neighbors was going to ask me to carpool with her and I didn’t want to. I was worried about being steam-rolled into an arrangement that, in my gut, I knew would include a lot of drama. But what would I say? What reason could I give?
My friend fed me the perfect line. She told me to say, “I just can’t. I’ve got a lot on my plate right now.”
This week I’ve been preparing to talk to health care practitioners at a nursing event about the benefits of journaling. I wanted to share the same information here, most of which is gleaned from a wonderful book called “Writing Down Your Soul,” by Janet Conner.
Why is journaling such a valuable activity?
I wasn’t going to put it off anymore. For weeks, I’d told myself I would call in to Alan Cohen’s Hay House radio program, Get Real. He’s one of my favorite authors, and I wanted his advice on a rift that had occurred between me and a family member that was causing me a lot of sadness and confusion. So before I could chicken out, I dialed the number and within seconds was talking to the call screener.
Writing is hard. There’s no point softening that sentence with qualifiers. It’s just hard.
James Joyce said, “Writing in English is the most ingenious torture ever devised for sins committed in previous lives.” Elizabeth Gilbert says that 90% of her writing life consists of nothing more than unglamorous, disciplined labor. “I work like a farmer,” she says, “and that’s how it gets done.”
Take this quiz to discover how what your learning style is and how it affects your writing. Once you know your style, you can use it to your advantage to make writing easier.
Pssst. I’m going to urge you to steal the ideas in this blog. Because I did.
But before the blog police come busting in my door and drag me in front of the court of ideas where I’ll have my misused words thrown in my face and—
Wait, this is starting to sound like a dystopian novel when it’s supposed to be a blog.
Here’s the truth:
This week my client Katie and I had fun diving into this distinction and found that it’s not so easy to explain active vs. passive voice. To clarify, I turned to Grammar Girl, who says, “In an active sentence, the subject is doing the action. In passive voice, the target of the action gets promoted to the subject position.”
The first day of school holds a lot of significance– new friends, new experiences, new shoes (and new undies too!). Even if you don’t have kids, you probably feel that brisk energy and resolve to get ‘er done that comes back around each fall.
What you don’t need stuffed into that new backpack or purse is a sense of helplessness.
That’s what I felt when my oldest son told me about his first day as a high school junior.
I find this especially helpful when I’m suffering from blogger’s block. I take an old post and update information and images, add a new angle or opinion, and generally polish the post and republish it.