Listen. Think. Speak. Write.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Choose active over passive

The other day my four year old asked my husband, “What do you live for?” I heard him answer, “I never expected that question from you so soon.” Then he called out for me, “How would you answer?” I’m not sure it was truly a deep existential question from her perspective, but of course, we answered as if it were.  I provided a laundry list of beautiful things I’d experienced that morning. He talked about joy and family.

In the past few weeks, I’ve been questioning whether my time spent writing/querying/etc. is worth it. It’s a hobby, right? I even wondered about reading. Why do I love getting caught up in other people’s stories? Why spend hours living through someone else? 

The short answer is I learn from reading. Writing teaches me, too.

This morning I wrote a letter to Grace—I keep a file for each kid on my hard drive filled with life lessons and observations.  I closed the letter with this:

Try new things. Love some; hate some. Laugh a lot. Cry when you need to, and even if you just want to. Run, walk, dance, sing, read, write, watch, listen, smile, yell. Fill your life with verbs. Make them active verbs.

Ah yes, writing teaches me how to live. And living teaches me how to write.  If you need a little inspiration, here's a list of active verbs. They might come in handy for writing ... or living.

For fun, what's your favorite verb?


  1. Love, love, love this post! Such good thoughts! Favorite verb.....singing :)

  2. Do now--act, behave, perform--how you'd wish to reflect & write about later. That's what I'll take from a very fitting 9/11 passage. Thanks, Tricia.

  3. Wonderful post - writing teaches us so many lessons about how to live. And I think that for many of us, the act of writing is an act of living - of embracing our inner selves and using those moments that others waste in front of a mindless box to share something of ourselves.

    That's my favorite verb: live. In every moment, in every place, truly be alive. Fill the moments and the places of your life with the essence of you. Throw yourself into every experience. This is what it is to actively live.