Friday, February 28, 2014

How Do You Encourage Others?

A Little Spring.
I find that I need consistent encouragement or I just want to give up.
Since I am aware of my need for this, I try to uplift others whenever I can.

I went away to college to be a writer. There were times when I became discouraged and wanted to give up. One of the first uplifting comments I received was after we turned in our first stories to the student newspaper. As I walked across campus feeling a little low, I saw the editor of the paper, who threw her arms in the air, walked toward me, and said, “Tammie Edington. Our copy editor just read your story and he said, ‘this girl knows how to write!’ ” My dejected spirit was lifted and left me walking with a new step.

I still remember that comment from over thirty years ago, so I realize how important words of encouragement can be. I have tried to do that for others:

       Whenever I read an article or devotional by a close or Facebook friend, I post it on Facebook and praise them.

      When I teach my “Getting the Most Out of the Conference” class at Write-to-Publish, I try to share some encouraging stories. I also share some discouraging things I have experienced to let them know they are not alone in their quest.

       I try to leave comments on a colleague’s blog to encourage them to keep posting their blog, which can become discouraging.

How about you? 
How have you been encouraged? 
How do you try to encourage others? 

Friday, February 21, 2014

To Remember

Many years ago I read the book, Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott. She mentioned the importance of recording the events in your life. So, almost twenty years ago, I began to do that.

I wrote them in a large spiral bound journal. They are diary-like entries, recording how old I was, where I was and what I experienced or did. The earliest entries are when I was in first grade, because that is the farthest back I can remember. Over the past twenty years, with many stops and starts, I have recorded these vignettes. When I thought of something I wanted to record and didn’t have time to, I listed the topic on a page in the journal so I could return to it later.

I pulled the journal out a few months ago to see where I had left off and realized some of the ink I used had bleed through the pages. I then decided to begin using notebooks with acid-free paper. Eventually, I’ll transfer the entries from the original journal.

I don’t look at these as ever being published, but to be passed on to family or friends. I have loved getting the many handwritten letters my grandparents have received throughout the years and put together segments of their lives I didn’t know much about.

How about you? 
Have you recorded the events in your life?  
Any suggestions or tips?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Do You Have Too Many Books?

When I worked at a public library, I was asked by a coworker if I liked to read. Which you might think an odd question, if one worked at a library, but it isn’t, many people just consider it a place of employment.

In response to her question, I said, “Yes," then ashamedly, "but I am a slow reader.” 

She said to me, “That’s okay. It doesn't matter."

Her short reply affirmed me. I did not grow up in a home of readers and did not read the classic children and early reader books that many young people have, as I started reading later in life. I watch people devour books while it takes me twice as long to complete one.

So, I was thinking about that conversation this week as I tried to organize the books in my office and home and and feel a little overwhelmed. I was too ashamed to include a picture. How will a slow reader get through all these?

I see books in bookstores, at conferences and in catalogs and I know they would be so interesting to read. I buy them and then things happen, and we forget what we bought, and as I have said, I'm a slow reader, etc., etc.

I will never be able to read all the books I have on my shelves and some I will give away to friends and donate. But, slowly, I will read through what I can and be blessed.

What about you? Do you have too many books? And how do you organize and prioritize them? I need your advice.