Think about what the world needs written, not so much what the writer needs to write.Steve Pavlina
What do you need to hear tonight dear reader? Before I read this quote from Steve Pavlina’s newsletter I was thinking about what I wanted to write about. Maybe a post about my internal feelings or reactions to today’s gray wet day and how I pulled myself out of a funk by reading a poem (and that is something I like to do and actually works), but you might only find it momentarily interesting and maybe it’s not what you really need to read. I think there is a saying that goes something like, “If you want to be entertaining, talk about you; if you want to be charming, get people to talk about themselves.” Dear reader, in this communication format I am not allowing you to talk about yourself, so I can only guess what you might say or need. I’ll try to be charming and pretend you have been talking about yourself.
For the most part my readers are teachers, so I will project that you reader are in need of a break from this new remote learning format. You need relief from not knowing what August will bring. Let’s pretend you said that. What can I write that could help you feel less overwhelmed and take away some anxiety? If I could write like Louisa May Alcott, I would write about how a teacher hero led her colleagues to sanity through some cool work/life balance options. Teachers with little kids get to partner up with a teacher who doesn’t have little kids and they work as one teacher and get paid as two. I know, Alcott did not write science fiction. Of course this teacher hero would also have awesome friends like Kelly Gallagher and Penny Kittle. They would produce and act in Kwanzaa plays (instead of Christmas plays like in Little Women) over Zoom.
What else might you say? Maybe you have anxiety on how to do a lockdown and then exit the lockdown in a socially accepted way. Another woman writer I might try to replicate from the past to help guide you could be Laura Ingalls Wilder. (I picked her because just like the previous author I mentioned she also has three names which provides consistency and routine. You like that, right?) If I wrote like Wilder, the teacher/hero would be brave and overcome a constant barrage of political poison much like Wilder surviving the long winter’s unrelenting sequence of blizzards. As Wilder constantly twisted hay into small logs to feed the fire so her family wouldn’t freeze to death, my teacher hero would refuse to ogle the constant feed of negativity coming from social media.
I must admit I had planned on writing about me in this post. That it was a gray day and I was in a funk, except I hadn’t read a poem yet. I did read Steve Pavlina’s post though, and I took his suggestion and stepped away from my self-absorbtion and focused on you dear reader. Thank you for bringing me out of my funk and I hope you found me charming.