Archives for November 2006

Why Danny DeVito’s Mouth was Trouble

Did you hear about the segment on the television show “The View” with Danny DeVito? It’s all the buzz in the news today. Guess Danny D. had a little too much to drink with his pal, Actor George Clooney the night before and was drunk when he was on the show as a guest in the morning. Seems he talked, and talked, and talked. Now he’s in the apologizing phase. The “talk too much now apologize” cycle is getting to be old hat with celebrities, elected officials and other public figures.

Why did Danny DeVito’s mouth get him into trouble? Well, simply, he talked too much. A great thing about being a writer is that you don’t have to talk so much. You can use your time putting your thoughts on paper. Then you have an opportunity to look at your writing and think about it before you let it go public. You even have the chance to erase (tear up, delete) all of the writing without letting anyone ever see it.

You can write anything you want in private as you practice your writing. Write about your thoughts on the President and the Iraq war. Write about why you’re angry with Congress or another politician. It’s all up to you.

I think you’ll find that you feel so much better afterwards. You get your opinion off your chest. Putting it on paper makes it real and alive so it doesn’t bother you as much anymore. Yet, after venting in written words, you probably won’t have to vent in spoken words.

Don’t do what Danny D. did. Instead of talking out loud, write in silence. Take 20 minutes and write about something you feel strongly about in the news today.

Some Can Be Seen, Some Cannot

How many times do you sit with a friend or family member and say “do you remember when —?” Remembering what has occurred in your life is an important thing to do. When you write or verbally recall the past, it preserve a foundation for the future. Memoirs are important to build a legacy, pass wisdom to others, and let others know you as a person.

As a writer, which you are, you have to find that memory that matters to you. Writing about your life helps to form the habit of writing more. You learn to write deeper when you remember the past in detailed ways. Writing a memoir gives you great flexibility. A memoir can be short. A phrase can comprise the memoir piece. Write the phrase and the thought can be over. You may not have anything else to say about that memory.

On the other hand, you might write a lengthy multiple page essay. A memory might come up that keeps you writing on and on. Words just keep flowing out of your mind, through your hand, and onto the paper or keyboard.

As with every memoir, some pieces of writing are so personal that you have to decide if they will go further than your personal journal. Writing is therapeutic. Some of what you write in an autobiography or memoir will never see the light of day. Will you want your favorite aunt to know that you hated her perfume that seemed to cling to you when she gave you a hug? Do you want to put in writing the actions you did when you were a teenager that until now, no one else knew about but you?

Take the responsibility of putting those memoirs in sections of your journal or computer file that are for you alone. When you do this, you can let the wings of your mind take off.

Your Business Legacy

Have you recorded the history of how you started your business, or how you got into your particular line of work? Business biographies are big. People love to read about how others got started in business, their techniques, successes, even the failures. For instance, it’s fascinating to hear how Bill Gates started Microsoft or how Donald Trump built his empire.

You might think your business story isn’t fascinating but I beg to differ. I worked with adult students for years who wrote about their busineses and did research on them for marketing purposes. The stories of these ordinary people were extraordinary. Hearing how someone who seems pretty much like a regular person has succeeded gives hope to others.

What is your story about your business or the profession you work in today? How did you choose this line of work? Why? What did you have to do to make it work for you? Write notes on this and share your story during a get together with family or friends over the upcoming holidays and ask to hear their stories too.

Thanksgiving Prompt

I’m trying to see if I can really get you to writing tonight. So I’m posting another prompt. What is the favorite memory of Thanksgiving? How do you keep that memory alive during the holidays?

A Political Day

Today is mid-term voting day in America. It’s a day to express your freedom by casting a vote. Voting was always important in our home. My mother marched wtih Martin Luther King, Jr. in Selma, Alabama back in the 60’s when the freedom to vote was not taken for granted. She risked her life to help gain a freedom that deserves full honor.

As I grew up, it was mandatory to show your voting stub in order to get dinner in our home on any voting day. Even the family dog growled at you if you didn’t have your stub (not really, but he probably would have — that’s how serious it was to us).

I remember taking my grandmother to the polls the last time she was able to vote. She could barely walk. But she wouldn’t rest until she got to the polls. I had to help her into the booth and even to press the hole into the ballot. She knew who she wanted to vote for and the issues she wanted to see passed. Then she sat up until late to see the results. I could go on and on about voting stories.

Did you vote today if you are in an area that’s voting?

What are you memories of voting through the years? Write about them so you will get excited about being able to freely go to the polls to vote.