When you look in the mirror, who do you see?

One of the most uncomfortable consequences about being a writer or wanting to be a writer is that a writer must make herself vulnerable to the world. That’s right. Once the words spill out, they lie there naked, waiting to criticized.


If I have any advice to bequeath to a beginner, it is this:  Develop thick skin, rhino skin. That’s the area I’m working on. Oh, writing is great—when readers have positive things to say, but when the writer is misunderstood, well then, the rhino skin repels the fiery darts.

There is a fine line between confidence and bragging, another fine line between concern and whining. Writers should be “oh so careful” not to cross that line. I have the words “More of You, Less of Me” on a Post-It note on my computer. I have to remind myself that God allows me to write. I’m not entitled to this pleasure. It is a gift.

It’s better to take “me” out of the picture and to focus on the craft.

One of the best things I like about interviewing people and writing about their lives is that I can hide behind the story. There is a sense of satisfaction that comes with publication of any type of writing. But when I write about other people, I’m baring their souls, not my own. My byline gets lost below the headline and somewhere among the pictures. I kind of like that.

But writing fiction is another story. The writer is put in the limelight, ready to be torn apart or to be set upon a pedestal. Either situation can be dangerous.

A beginning writer like myself is too easily reminded of how far she is from perfection or publication. It’s too easy to become consumed with oneself.

So instead of talking about me, I would rather turn our attention to a special day, Make a Difference Day 2010, sponsored by USA Weekend and the Hands On Network. This year’s day falls on October 23, 2010.

As a teacher, I have encouraged my students to participate in Make a Difference Day for several years. My students have used their time and talents to sing at nursing homes, to read to people with vision problems, to clean up the park, to rake the yards of elderly neighbors, to visit nursing homes, etc. Some of my students have even made the day a family affair. That’s cool.

What I like about Make a Difference Day is that I can get over myself and can help others at the same time.

I challenge you to get involved in Make a Difference Day. If you can’t participate on October 23, choose another day leading up to that weekend and participate then. I will share some of ways my students are making a difference on October 23. Why don’t you join in?

I feel a contest coming on for October 23. More details will follow.

Make a Difference Day typically involves hands-on help, but we can make a difference just by extending gratitude or kindness through our words, not just our actions.

There are three types of people who take my heart:

  1. The person who helps me fit in even when I don’t
  2. The person who encourages me when I fail
  3. The person who says “thank you” (or shows it through actions) when I offer a gift—not so much a material gift, but the gift of my trust

Who has made a difference in your life?

Maybe in appreciation of Make a Difference Day you can honor your special people with a mention in your blog.

Make a difference.

Please take the time to click on the blogs below. In big or small ways, these writers have touched my heart or lifted my spirits. It’s my way of saying “thank you” for making a difference in my life.



6 thoughts on “Reflections

  1. The way I see it is if I will just focus on doing what He has called me to do, then I won’t worry about what will and will not happen. When I worry, I make me the focus. 🙂

  2. Tee~
    You made a difference in my life. I know I have told you this a thousand times over, but truly, it is you that inspired me not to give up on my dreams. Now that my kids are almost grown, I am trying to reach that finish line and obtain that degree I wanted 17 years ago when I graduated from CCCHS. It was you that believed in me, and all through the years, when that little dream was gnawing at the back of my head to go and finish school, I could hear you saying “Reach for the stars, Racheal. You are the master of your own fate. The rest is up to God”. It is what made me who I am today, and it is because one teacher believed in me enough to show me encouragement, love, and kindness at a time when I needed it most. YOU make a difference in my life, and you are one of my heroes. Thank you so much for doing that for me. It is because of you that I want to teach, and make the same impact on my future students. I will be making a difference this weekend by tutoring struggling english students towards their GED. I never thought I could do that, but a teacher once told me that I could do anything. I love you Tee, thank you for everything.

  3. I think that you are a wonderful writer in explaining the way things go with being a writer. You should feel very confident in your writings because I usually can’t get interested in reading a lot of people’s writings. You are a wonderful writer and I encourage you to continue your writings however you feel you want to write and be confident in everything you intend to write because i’m sure it will be wonderful. You will inspire many others to begin to write because of your work. Keep up with your post it reminder.. It will be what makes you the best. 🙂

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