I know how it is. You start out caressing every syllable as you craft each sentence or stanza or bullet point. But after a while you just don’t pay as much attention. Pretty soon, writing starts to feel like a chore. The thrill is gone.
It’s time to get your groove back. First of all, step away from the business books. I know you’re still trying to finish The Challenger Sale, but trust me, you don’t have to. Try any or all of these ways to fall in love with language all over again:
- Pick up some fiction and remind yourself what it’s like to read words that were never meant to fit on a PowerPoint slide. The novel I hope to read soon is Nicholas Christopher’s Tiger Rag. But any fiction will help you get your mojo back. Go to a bookstore and pick up a mystery. Agatha Christie is still in print for a bunch of reasons, including the simple fact that she could craft a story like nobody’s business. If mystery isn’t your thing, download a romance. 50 shades of whatever? Sure. Then read some Jane Austen from the library and compare and contrast just for your own amusement.
- Do you prefer non-fiction? The biography Cleopatra: A Life by Stacy Schiff is as engaging as good fiction, and it will inspire you to lead more than any motivational tome.
- Read your kids a book that will actually keep you awake with its humor and wit, like the Chet Gecko series by Bruce Hale. The first one is called The Chameleon Wore Chartreuse.
- Read some poetry. Intimidated by poetry? Try some Ogden Nash or Dorothy Parker for a verse and a chuckle.
- And there’s always Shakespeare. It all goes back to him. Try just one sonnet. Break it down line by line, like you would some mysterious directive from corporate headquarters, or your mother. Unlike those, the sonnet will enrich your mind and heart for days.
By the way, if you recite Shakespeare to your sweetheart, you are guaranteed a very happy Valentine’s Day.
- Tina Karelson, President, Risdall Creative