Writing as a Practice

I make writing my spiritual practice. It takes practice.

Winding down my work days at my day job and gearing up for my new small biz, I have let my blogging slide. I want to get back into the practice.

Also, let’s face it, the Olympics are on. I watch these athletes every night. I see effortless skill and human perfection. It looks like magic. But to get into these games, they have spent at least ten thousand hours practicing.

Practice is such a boring word and is such a boring idea. It seems to bear no fruit. It reminds me of those few piano lessons I had in second grade, sitting there in our front room in Skokie, Illinois. No one to hear me or encourage me as I pounded out my drills and scales.

And it all amounted to nothing. I did not seem to get better. I still can’t play the piano. Truth be told, I spent way more time avoiding practice than practicing. I loved kickball better.

But wait, there were a few moments of fun. I remember goofing off on the piano by myself, figuring out how to play Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head, not by reading the music, but by hearing the tune I loved in my head and playing it. Just playing around.

I guess if practice requires some kind of play, some kind of goofing around, it is not deadly boring. Practice, then, becomes a discovery and not a rote memory.

Practice becomes a journey, a way to pole vault you from one side of the hurdle to another.

I may never make it to the Olympics of writing, but I will practice any way. For in the art of practice, there is gold.

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This was the back of a tee shirt at the United Methodist Ubuntu Day of Service, working at the Tierra Negra Farm in Durham, NC.

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Comment, Like, Cheer

I love to like. Do I over-like? I wish there was a love button. Then I could crank my love into overdrive.

I think everyone needs a boost; everyone wants their stuff to be liked. My friend Amy once told me everything we do or say is either one of two messages — “I love you,” or “Please love me.”

On Facebook , there’s the handy-dandy like button, a thumbs up. And on Twitter, you can retweet a tweet to show your favor. On a blog post, you can like or comment.

Best of all is the cheer button at 43 Things. Here areĀ my 43Things.

You get only 5 cheers a day. Once you start complimenting or cheering others, you don’t want to stop, so once you hit your 5 cheer limit, you have to stop cheering people online and start cheering them IRL (in real life). Being a positive person is contagious. And you’ get back as many cheers as you give.

I love making New Year’s resolutions at 43 Things and one of my resolutions will be to admire, to like, to comment, to praise, and to cheer more — online and IRL!