A No-Fail Method for Beating Writer’s Block

Fake it ’til you make it. ~Anonymous 

On New Year’s Eve, I met a woman who had wanted to write a book all her life but could never get past a certain point. She hadn’t written for years because she was so frustrated by her failed attempts.

Blank Word document.   I told her I could help her, but only if she followed my instructions exactly. She did, and 30 days later she had written 120 pages.

How to Make a Criticism Sandwich

If we had no faults we should not take so much pleasure in noting those of others.” ~François de La Rochefoucauld

When I was handed my first course to review for The Teaching Company, I got out my red pen and bled it dry.

What a mess that professor was, and I let him know it by rewriting, reorganizing, and reinventing every paragraph. I felt very impressed with myself for being so much smarter and such a better writer than this award-winning (ha!) professor.

criticismSandwich   Since it was my first course for the company, I handed my notes to the person training me.

She said something like, “You clearly have a strong background in editing. This professor won’t have time to make all these changes, so it will be more effective to tell him the 2 or 3 things that will have the biggest impact on how well this teaches, and delete the rest of your notes. I really appreciate how hard you worked on this.”

I just got handed my first criticism sandwich.

When Life Brings You Coyotes: 3 Things To Do When Things Go Wrong

Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” ~Booker T. Washington

“Bad luck comes in threes,” or so they say. I certainly hope so, because that means I’m done for now. In less than a week, our family ranch has seen:

  1. A windstorm that knocked literally 1000s of avocados off the trees.
  2. A rare freeze that killed all our specialty potatoes.
  3. A coyote in broad daylight attacking our free range chickens.

Coyote howling.   Although these events are particular to farming, everyone faces days or weeks when things go awry. It might be a disaster or it might just be something that thwarts your expectations.