by Karen Daniels
A couple of weeks ago, after watching my kids in Karate class, we drove through a local restaurant to get something to drink. My daughter asked for hot chocolate. She wanted to warm her hands by holding the cup and to avoid her disappointment, I gave in.
Against my better judgment.
Sure enough, some spilled, and she was burned on her leg.
How often, we must ask, do we override our better judgment because we don’t want to disappoint someone, or because it’s the path of least resistance?
And how often, does someone get burned because of it?
As writers, we want to make the world a better place. Yet, for the sake of another subscriber, or another sale, another Facebook thumbs up, or our ego, it’s entirely possible that we often take the easy route – we don’t say what we really want, or need to say, to make the wise impact we could. Instead, we take the path of least resistance, the one that leads to more sales or more ego stroking, or more…fill in the blank.
And when it comes to the world and global warming, it’s no different. The world is getting hotter because too many people are taking the path of least resistance. We want to drive, we want our toys, and we want what we want when we want it. Going against that, or, god forbid, depriving yourself and not doing what everyone else is doing, is, well, hard. At least we’ve convinced ourselves it is. Bottom line, we don’t like to change.
And the result? The world is getting burned.
The solution, to both global warming and more impactful writing, is this:
use your better judgment and take the road you need to take, rather than the road most easily traveled.
With that in mind,
Here are some tips to start you on the path from today, to a wiser tomorrow:
1. Turn your blog post upside down
I often find that the real meat in a blog post comes at the very end, as if the author’s better sense came through despite their fear. So next time you write a blog post, complete it, then take the last few sentences and write a new post with those as your leading ideas.
2. Go bold, go strong
Go through your writing and take out the qualifiers that weaken your writing. Once you’ve completed a writing task, whether it’s a post, an article, an ebook or novel, go through and take out all those little words such as “might,” “could,” “maybe,” “a little,” “perhaps,” and so on.
3. Write from your heart, not your stats
I’m a stat person so I know what a tall task this is. But however often you look at your subscriber count, or google analytics, or other measuring devices, challenge yourself to go for an extra hour, or day, or week, in between checking your numbers. This will help you write what you need to write, to go a little further out on the limb, rather than writing to the numbers.
4. Challenge your fear
What are you really afraid of? Go there, write about it, and share it.
5. New Year, new habit
We’re only weeks away from 2011 so it’s the perfect time to make change. One tiny change. In your heart of hearts, what lies there that you always have to work around? What habit do you have that is part of you, but you know is holding you back? Pick just one, then make a decision that you’re going to stop writing around, or living around, that personal weakness. It’s okay to have weaknesses, we all do (remember, I’m the one who allowed my daughter to burn herself), but what you don’t want is to let that weakness hold you back.
But rather than continue to give in and lesser ourselves, and the world, let’s all challenge ourselves, for the New Year and beyond, to break our personal mold and go for wise impact, rather than popularity.
Let’s become better, more authentic writers.
And solve global warming at the same time.
“Hot” photo by Olivander
global warming photo by alandberning
trail photo by Himalayan Trails