Listen. Think. Speak. Write.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Everyone's a critic. Be more responsive to it.

Everyone faces criticism; it’s one of life’s inevitabilities. School, work, relationships, and of course, fellow drivers all like to let us know we’re doing something wrong. Not all criticism is the same.  Sometimes, it feels more personal, but other times, you simply care less about the message being given. When teaching complaint behavior in Interpersonal Communication, we note that complaints regarding one’s performance and personal characteristics are harder to accept.  For example, if I say, “You didn’t do the dishes,” that’s less problematic than “You suck at doing the dishes” or “You’re a messy person.”

I find that once I’ve proven myself in an area, I’m less apt to be ruffled by negative comments.  I’ve been teaching a long time.  That does not mean I’m a perfect teacher, but by and large I know my strengths and weaknesses.  I don’t worry that negative feedback there will throw me off balance or call into question my choice of profession.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Parenting and Writing, Birds of a Feather

Today is my daughter’s tenth birthday. I’ll spare you the complete emotional melt down, but please allow me one moment of freakout.  HOW IN THE HECK CAN SHE BE TEN? SHE WAS JUST BORN YESTERDAY! Whew, okay, I feel better, now. Here we both a decade ago--ah youth. 

Everyone either knows or has read about how motherhood changes a person—how much your life revolves around that little dependent being.  How your self-esteem suddenly deflates when a baby doesn’t sleep or swells when she can write her name.  

This week, a friend reminded me of a book I’ve been meaning to read for a while, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. I’ve only had a brief chance to peruse it, but I was struck by how her writing lessons mirrored parenting lessons—perhaps some lessons are just generally important in life.

She writes, “Very few writers really know what they are doing until they’ve done it.”  I laughed a little at this one.  I’ve written plenty of things that turned out to be pure crap, but I didn’t know that at the time.  Likewise, a select few things haven’t been all bad, but I didn’t realize it in the process, either.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

My Favorite Books So Far This Year

As crazy as it sounds, we’re half way through the year.  Do you need a second to process that?  A good time to assess progress in various areas.  Since I’m smack dab in the middle of what I’ve deemed “the best summer ever” I’m staying light this week. 
I glanced at my list of books read so far in 2011, and I decided to share my top three. By walking through why I enjoyed these novels, it gave me a chance to reflect on some things in my current works in progress that may need tweaking. Heck, it might also add to your summer reading list.  It probably won’t surprise you that they are all YA.  I’ve listed the books in the order I read them. Now, of course, I'm behind in reading and writing, and I'm anxious to put these lessons to work for me.
Tricia’s Top Teen Picks