Practice a kindness every single day. If you’re already doing this, consider being kind to – yes – a rude person, or someone you are not particularly fond of. It’s challenging, but it’s important, if we’re going to change the world.
In a few of these, I was afraid of too much space and added graphics. The result was a non-uniform crowding of images, which is not pleasing to the eye.
In relationships, space is even more critical. “Caring” and “parenting” are not about invading space, but respecting our teenagers as their own people. Crowding and controlling them is not pleasing to them!
This is the exact opposite of how I was raised.
But I can choose to question that thinking and do better.
I get this complaint from at least one student a day when we do our timed writing. I learned this exercise from Natalie Goldberg. Write for five (or ten or fifteen) minutes straight. The only rule is that you don’t ever let your pencil stop. Just write. No censorship.
In my classroom, students write to a prompt. For example, “What makes a good life?” And then they write. This develops a strong writing voice over time.
Of course, as with anything else in life, you must do it regularly and give it 100% each time. You will improve. Yes, you’ll write a lot of crap. But any successful person has created a lot of crap and then a few golden nuggets…
Natalie Goldberg suggests you hook up with a fellow (local) writer. Tell her/him that you’ll meet ’em at the local coffee shop at 3pm. When they say they can’t meet, stop them and say, “No, no. I don’t want to know whether you’ll be there or not. I will go and write whether you’re there or not.” You continue this way: email, text, call your friend and make a writing date and keep it no matter what.
You could also blog or publish your work every day and tell everyone you know that you’ll be publishing daily. Believe me, there’s nothing like being held publicly accountable!
Seth Godin has excellent tips on doing this. In fact, I started writing my blog again (following a long absence) after reading about his philosophy. Godin encourages you to write every day – even badly – because it will get your brain working to think crisply, analytically, every day. You notice things more. He’s right!
And if that monkey mind starts to chatter (“This isn’t good… people won’t like this, etc.”) tell that monkey that it is far easier to criticize than to create!