Monday, June 14, 2010

Reunited: It should feel good.

"Don't edit your soul according to fashion."

Franz Kafka

I recently taught one of my friends a secret trick I learned a long time ago from a magazine. When you feel like a giant failure (my friend is particularly vulnerable to people who make her feel this way), imagine yourself when you were 10 years old. Envision 10-year-old you meeting now-you. What does she think of you? Would she want to grow up to be like you?

That's how you measure success.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Why Being Told You Suck is a Good Thing

Let me tell you something true about me:

I HATE disappointing people. Yet, sometimes at work, I screw up. People come down hard on me, but no one comes down on me harder than I do. Because I hate to hear people point out things I did wrong--especially when they are choices I stopped and questioned, and then did anyway.

Maybe that's why this section of The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch is loitering in my mind:

"Coach Graham rode you pretty hard, didn't he?" he said.

I could barely muster a "yeah."

"That's a good thing," the assistant told me.

"When you're screwing up and nobody says anything to you anymore, that means they've given up on you."


You may not want to hear it, but your critics are often the ones telling you they still love you and care about you and want to make you better.

Remember, bloggees. People tell you your writing sucks because they believe you have the potential to do better. Prove 'em right.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Your Freudian Slip is Showing

I keep typing "write" when I mean "right." I imagine this is my creative brain giving me subtle hints. It reminds me of Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within, a lovely writing book that talks about a Zen approach to writing. One thing the author, Natalie Goldberg, suggests is being aware of your typos--don't just fix them; let them teach you first.

She's full of all kinds of good advice:

"Continue under all circumstances. Don't be rigid, though. If one day you have to take your kid to the dentist when it is your time to write, write in the dentist's office or don't write. Just stay in touch underneath with your commitment to this wild, silly, and wonderful writing practice. Always stay friendly toward it. It's easier to come back to a good friend than an enemy."

Are you fighting with writing? Make up. Try to remember why you two hooked up in the first place.

Friday, June 4, 2010

From: The Secret Year

"I want to call you. I just looked up your family's number. I'm pretty sure it's yours because the address is on the flats, near the Higgins Farm Bridge. Would you want me to call you? I feel so cut off from you. It seems crazy that I don't even know how you are. Sometimes I love the fact that nobody knows about us. We have this secret, so juicy I can feel my mouth dripping. Other times, like now, it seems stupid to hide this way.

It's later. I just talked to you. You didn't sound mad. Your voice felt good in my ear."

Jennifer R. Hubbard