Wednesday Wonders: How to Get Yourself to Write

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How to get yourself to write in nine easy steps:

  1. Tell yourself to take the week off.
  2. Give yourself some terrible, awful, no good house chore that you think will be fun like painting your front door. (Simple laundry or bathroom cleaning chores won’t work. It must be something dreadful.)
  3. Ask at least three cranky over-worked and underpaid home improvement store workers how to paint over a (maybe) oil-based stain.
  4. Take the cranky advice and buy super toxic striper that has dire warnings on the can.
  5. Follow all the advice about cleaning and wearing chemical proof gloves. (Here you will begin to wish you were writing already. I swear. It’s like magic.)
  6. Attempt to strip the door. Despair quickly at the 2 hours it takes to remove stain from a 4 X 12 inch section.
  7. Wait two days and try not to hate yourself for the terrible, awful, no good idea to paint that raser-fracking door with the impossible lion carving, of all the ridiculous things. You know you will never get that lion striped. Never.  (Here you will sneak in some research and a coffee shop write. No joke.) 
  8. Whine to your sympathetic, wise, and not-at-all cranky mother.
  9. Take her advice and do it ANOTHER WAY. While you are sanding those snarling lions, you will mentally compose a blog post about the whole adventure and look forward fondly to the time when you will go back to teaching and writing as usual.

In all honesty, those steps are about as easy as pulling your toenails off with the screwdrivers you used to loosen the second door. But they work.

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Hope: Five Slices of Internet Goodness Pie (Plus One)

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One of my amazing cousins has been giving me jobs to do lately for his Happiness Project. I get points for completing his tasks and, if I win, he’ll donate a hundred dollars to the charity of my choice. Because I’ve enjoyed his latest assignment so much, I thought I’d share it here.

Here’s the assignment: “Hope: Post an article that gives you hope for the future each day for five (5) days and what it is about the article that gives you hope.”

Day 1

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The secret lives of happy looking teachers following their artistic dreams give me hope that I can have a profession and a vocation just for the joy of it.

Day 2

This video give me hope because the people in it are making beautiful things out of something I had only thought of as a blight. People are so amazing. A sea chair! And it’s open sourced so I could join.

Plus…the fisherman remind me of my grandpa the Swede. I can almost taste his smoked salmon and smell the salt sea air.

Day 3

This video gives me hope along with Zamperini’s story by Laura Hillenbrand. I am in awe of how much Zamperini endured and not only survived but thrived afterward. I am filled with hope at the thought of all the others contributing their stories to this project. (Even though I know Universal Pictures is probably thinking at least a little about their bottom line as a motivation.) 

And, as a writer, I feel a glimmer of hope that I could write a story that meant as much as Hillenbrand’s did to me.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8mBzKLhL0U

Day 4

This article on dailygood.com gives me hope because I’ve been swimming in writing procrastination. Judging myself is not working out all that well for me. I think I’ll give the self-compassion a whirl instead.

(This one got many cracks in comments about putting things off. It seems to me that we all put things off to some degree or other. Laughing at ourselves about it may be a form of self-compassion the article hadn’t considered.)

Day 5

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I met my professor from Western Washington University last weekend. It was wonderful to see the person who taught me to teach. This last article for Wayne’s project fills me with hope for all the teachers out there who get to hear how great they are. I’m also intrigued about the questions about what makes great teaching and how to get there.

Bonus Hope

As  a bonus, I’m adding this voting video by Hank Green. It gives me tremendous hope to think that people of all ages might listen to him and choose to participate. And he’s also hilarious. Something about hilarious people gives me hope, too.