If you care to share, either post a link to your story in the comments, or post the whole story.
I can’t wait to see what you write!
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Here are 5 more places online worth checking out:
My wife and I just got home from a trip to Chicago. As part of our 10 year anniversary celebration, we went to Chicago for a day of museums, cheesecake, and Lego fun. And before you think that we only did the things that I wanted to do, let me assure you that we did. I’m terribly selfish that way.
Believe it or not, I had never been to the Lego Store. Sure, I’ve loitered in the Lego aisle of every store that has a selection of toys, but being in the Lego store was different. For one thing, there were giant Lego statues.
For another, there were mini-figure building stations where you could assemble your own custom Lego mini-figures to take home (for the low price of $10 for 3 mini-figures). So that is exactly what I did.
My wife helped me pick out the best configurations for some unique characters. You’ll see them individually in the days to come (as Lego Story Prompts which pop up on my blog every Saturday), but here they are in the package: Judy the Queasy Nurse, Stubby the Pirate with his pet seagull, and Old-Timey Ninja Policeman.
If you are a Lego fan, you should consider making the trip yourself. It was more fun thank you can shake a brick at.
My well of ideas runs dry more often than I’d like. If I had my druthers, it would never run dry at all. But it does. I’ll wake up one day, and I’m all drained of creative energy. I can’t think of what to write.
If your well also runs dry, here are a few tricks for refilling it:
My hope is that, if you’re struggling through a dry spell, trying one or more of these tips will help restore your well and revive your joy.
Go forth and create!
“The story that I’m telling myself is…”
There is power in the story. Our brains reward us when we fill in the information gaps in order to make sense of the data. But often, the stories that we tell ourselves are far from true.
If someone is giving me the stink eye, I tell myself that person is mad at me. Perhaps they even hate me. Probably, I said or did something to them that they took issue with. Maybe they are even plotting my downfall in some way. In reality, they may just have their contact lenses in backwards and the stink eye is a physical response to a foreign object being stuck in their eye.
The real problem with stories isn’t that they are powerful, it is that we usually tell the worst stories possible. There’s a term for a person who regularly fills in the information gaps with bits of story to make sense of the data; we call that person “paranoid.”
To combat this, we need to be aware of the stories that we tell ourselves. Are they really true? Are they tainted by past experiences? Are we really trying to get as much information as possible?
Here’s how our storytelling ability relates to leadership. There’s a typical format to stories: The hero is faces with a challenge. The hero tries all of the easy ways to overcome the challenge, but fails. The hero realizes that the thing to fix the problem is going to be extremely uncomfortable, but they do it anyway. The challenge is overcome.
Leaders today are faced with stories all of the time. Often, leaders find that they face uncomfortable challenges and they can respond by either denying the story (ignore it and it may go away) or they can embrace the story and write the ending. Leaders can choose courage or comfort, but they can’t choose both.
I was trying to think of some things that famous people did at age 33, so I could know what to expect, but aside from Jesus being crucified, I didn’t come up with much. I really hope I don’t get crucified this year.
So I did a bit of research on the number 33 itself. There’s a fair amount of mathematical mumbo jumbo associated with it:
33 is the smallest sum of two different positive numbers, each of which raised to the fifth power: 1^5 + 2^5 = 33.
But that isn’t all that interesting (really, I just don’t understand any of it and at 33, I’m not going to start learning it now).
33 is the atomic number for arsenic, which is poison, which is probably a better thing to die from than crucifixion, but still not the happiest thought in the world.
On the upside, according to one Yahoo news article, 33 is the happiest age. I don’t know how to feel about that. I guess that means that I’ve peaked and everything else will be worse than it is this year. I suppose I should just enjoy it and not consider that I’m about to embark on a downward spiral toward death.
To be honest, I think I’m going to like being 33. I’m within a few days of having 10 amazing years of marriage under my belt to a beautiful woman. My kids are great fun and aren’t too cool for me yet. And I have a grown-up job, drive a grown-up car, and do grown-up things. It’s a good time to be alive.
Here’s hoping that this is my best year so far!