I subscribe to a newsletter by Daphne Gray Grant, The Publication Coach. Daphne helps people write better, faster. I know Daphne through a small business marketing forum called 5000bc, which proved to be an invaluable resource to me.
One of Daphne’s newsletters in November said that she was sick and unable to post her regular newsletter. A subsequent newsletter explained that Daphne had suffered a stroke. It was the second she had in six years.
The newsletter had three incredible lessons that are worth sharing:
1) When you have words, use them. I’m a gabber. I usually talk a lot. I write a lot. And I read a lot. But I seldom see words as precious. They are. Write and speak as if you might never be given the chance again. Don’t waste time; don’t waste your words. Really communicate.
2) Plan your time so you use each minute in the way you most want to. Sometimes you might need to be walking or running. Or other times, you might need to abandon making dinner so you can write a sonnet. (OK, I just made that up.) But do whatever it is you most need to do. Don’t compromise; don’t take second place. Think hard and act harder.
3) Never forget every day is a gift. I’m grateful to be alive and I’m spectacularly grateful to my patient and thoughtful husband, Eric, and my wonderful kids, Claire, Duncan and Alison. They make my life interesting and challenging and engaging. I’m also grateful to you, all the readers of Power Writing — some of whom I know well enough to visit or chat with — others of whom I know only by their email name in my database.
Life is a gift. Use it. Write with it.
These words by Daphne came to mind earlier this week when I received an email via the Talk to le craic page. The sender of the email took time out to comment on a post about Dublin port advertising. Here’s an extract of the email from “Arthur” (verbatim) :
“Viv a vis your opservations on port Ad if you read anything other than ads you would know that there is a plan to move dublin port out of dublin to a yet to be decided venue at a yet to be decided cost to the tax payers ( not sure you qualify probably spend your worthless life on line looking for a life)”
What “Arthur” fails to understand is that this blog, in common with the many others out there, is not about someone “looking for a life” – it’s all about communicating. The communication can be words, pictures, video, music or a combination of all of those. It’s what our ancestors have done throughout the ages. From drawing on walls to drawing on blogs – the medium has changed but the basic need to communicate hasn’t. It’s a need that is hard wired into our systems and I think it’s great to have a blog as one way to fulfil that need.
So, “Arthur”, why not join the conversation and enter into real meaningful dialogue via your own blog, rather than hiding behind an anonymous email address.
As Daphne says : “Life is a gift. Use it. Write with it.”
Thanks to Daphne for permission to use the newsletter extract. You can sign up for it on the Publication Coach website.