The Write Practice

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Write About Yourself

We spent a lot of time talking about writing for others this week. On Monday, we talked about how writing for others can motivate you to finish your project. On Wednesday, we talked about how to get into the heads of others to create more interesting stories. Yesterday, we discussed a principle to always spend time writing for the people who are listening (even if it’s just your mom).

Today, is Saturday, though, and on Saturdays, we break rules, we violate principles, and we do the opposite of something we talked about during the week.

So today, just to keep things fresh, let’s write about ourselves.

I am (me)

Photo by Lali Masriera

PRACTICE

What’s your favorite quality about yourself? Write about it, and if you can, tell a story involving it.

Practice for fifteen minutes, and post it in the comments.

 

About Joe Bunting

Joe Bunting is a writer and entrepreneur. He is the author of the #1 Amazon Bestseller Let's Write a Short Story! and the co-founder of Story Cartel. You can follow him on Twitter (@joebunting).

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  • Introv

    This is an indredibly narcissistic exercise. After several minutes of contemplation, I couldn’t find anything I liked the most. And so I thought to myself, “What about me do I hate the least?”

    So, my ~favorite~ quality about myself is the way I am with people. Instead of a constant flow of energy and words and expressions, my interactions comes in short bursts. If something is tantalizing or clever, I’ll try to say it; it’s meticulous perfectionism even in the messiness of common speech.
    But I HATE this just as well. Because, while people may redouble over nearly everything I say, it’s still tortuous in those times when I don’t say anything at all. When I want to say something, I sometimes won’t, simply for repression’s sake. This repression acts like a dormant spring, all at once activating and accomplishing and then sitting and doing nothing. Some people have told me that they want me to talk more, but then I think, “Less is more.” And so I’m socially ****

    That adequate, Joe?

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      Very adequate, Introv. Isn’t it interesting how our favorite thing about ourselves can so easily become the thing we’re most ashamed about. I would love to see you write through a scene when you tell a joke, the reaction to it, and then transitioning to your quietness.

      • Introv

        I sit; it’s youth group, because church kids go to that on Friday nights. It’s a yellow gym.
        “Hey, you new here?” someone asks the shy kid.
        “Actually, my dad’s the pastor.” I answer.
        “Oh, really?” That familiar change of face, “Is what he said about dating true? That it’s unbiblical.”
        “Yeah it is.”
        I stand, saunter into the center of a group of people, try to find a place where the girls outnumber the guys, a social norm these days. Not far off. Alpha Male’s cool with the flicky hair, and I poof mine because it’s taboo to have an affro. They talk about Anatomy class, and allude to the recent coloring book pages.
        Mature topic, I think. Don’t say more than three words at one time. Someone with a contagious laugh adds to the Anatomy joke. A simple coloring page assignment will take teenagers so far.
        “What about them?” I challenge the group.
        I’ve tested people like this before. They know I’m getting to a punchline.
        “The pictures!” A slight red-haired girl replies.
        “Uh-huh. I saw.”
        Her lipsticky mouth smirks, “And what did you think?”
        “I don’t know.” I pause, too many words, “I don’t normally remember stuff like that to talk to my friends about it later.”
        The way I say it makes it sound like I’m mocking all of them. The red-haired girl laughs with her nose, which makes me smile.
        “Anatomy’s handy.”
        Half of them laugh to themselves, partly because they get it, partly because it’s funny that their neighbor laughs at it. The blondie doesn’t get puns. Somebody says “good one”, and I wait for another spark to come.

        • augustin.mamba

          My favorite dream is to do magic

          • augustin.mamba

            Last time I dreamed of being brutal

        • augustin.mamba

          I dream to be brutal

  • Introv

    This is an indredibly narcissistic exercise. After several minutes of contemplation, I couldn’t find anything I liked the most. And so I thought to myself, “What about me do I hate the least?”

    So, my ~favorite~ quality about myself is the way I am with people. Instead of a constant flow of energy and words and expressions, my interactions comes in short bursts. If something is tantalizing or clever, I’ll try to say it; it’s meticulous perfectionism even in the messiness of common speech.
    But I HATE this just as well. Because, while people may redouble over nearly everything I say, it’s still tortuous in those times when I don’t say anything at all. When I want to say something, I sometimes won’t, simply for repression’s sake. This repression acts like a dormant spring, all at once activating and accomplishing and then sitting and doing nothing. Some people have told me that they want me to talk more, but then I think, “Less is more.” And so I’m socially ****

    That adequate, Joe?

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      Very adequate, Introv. Isn’t it interesting how our favorite thing about ourselves can so easily become the thing we’re most ashamed about. I would love to see you write through a scene when you tell a joke, the reaction to it, and then transitioning to your quietness.

      • Introv

        I sit; it’s youth group, because church kids go to that on Friday nights. It’s a yellow gym.
        “Hey, you new here?” someone asks the shy kid.
        “Actually, my dad’s the pastor.” I answer.
        “Oh, really?” That familiar change of face, “Is what he said about dating true? That it’s unbiblical.”
        “Yeah it is.”
        I stand, saunter into the center of a group of people, try to find a place where the girls outnumber the guys, a social norm these days. Not far off. Alpha Male’s cool with the flicky hair, and I poof mine because it’s taboo to have an affro. They talk about Anatomy class, and allude to the recent coloring book pages.
        Mature topic, I think. Don’t say more than three words at one time. Someone with a contagious laugh adds to the Anatomy joke. A simple coloring page assignment will take teenagers so far.
        “What about them?” I challenge the group.
        I’ve tested people like this before. They know I’m getting to a punchline.
        “The pictures!” A slight red-haired girl replies.
        “Uh-huh. I saw.”
        Her lipsticky mouth smirks, “And what did you think?”
        “I don’t know.” I pause, too many words, “I don’t normally remember stuff like that to talk to my friends about it later.”
        The way I say it makes it sound like I’m mocking all of them. The red-haired girl laughs with her nose, which makes me smile.
        “Anatomy’s handy.”
        Half of them laugh to themselves, partly because they get it, partly because it’s funny that their neighbor laughs at it. The blondie doesn’t get puns. Somebody says “good one”, and I wait for another spark to come.

  • Adriana Willey

    lately, i have had a hard time seeing the good in me. tonight i told my husband i think i am going through maturation, seeing all my blind spots in one week. i felt very mature using that word. i had one moment that i liked myself today. it stuck out like a red umbrella on a gray day. we were in walmart picking out gifts for our nephews. late minute, of course, because that is one of my fatal flaws. i called my mother-in-law to get a list of ideas. my brother-in-law answered instead. he’s eighteen and a very cool dude. he just doesn’t it yet and his macho older brothers won’t tell him. so anyways, he answers the phone “hewwo”, thinking it’s my husband, his brother. this is how he talks to my son, his nephew. he loves that kid to pieces because – like i said – he’s one cool dude. when he finds out it is me he’s embarrassed because, really, who talks like that? we say a few sentences to get over the awkward bump and then, as if to start the conversation over, i say “hi tim” and he says, “hi”. and then i say “hewwo”. and then we are laughing at me instead of him and somehow we both know i think he’s one cool dude.

    i see people’s beauty and tell them about it. that’s one thing i like about me. i’m a beauty teller.

    • Adriana Willey

      sorry, i should have checked this for typos.

    • Margaret Terry

      I loved this piece and would have to pick up a book called “The Beauty Teller” to see what was inside…great imagery with red umbrella on a grey day.

  • Adriana Willey

    lately, i have had a hard time seeing the good in me. tonight i told my husband i think i am going through maturation, seeing all my blind spots in one week. i felt very mature using that word. i had one moment that i liked myself today. it stuck out like a red umbrella on a gray day. we were in walmart picking out gifts for our nephews. late minute, of course, because that is one of my fatal flaws. i called my mother-in-law to get a list of ideas. my brother-in-law answered instead. he’s eighteen and a very cool dude. he just doesn’t it yet and his macho older brothers won’t tell him. so anyways, he answers the phone “hewwo”, thinking it’s my husband, his brother. this is how he talks to my son, his nephew. he loves that kid to pieces because – like i said – he’s one cool dude. when he finds out it is me he’s embarrassed because, really, who talks like that? we say a few sentences to get over the awkward bump and then, as if to start the conversation over, i say “hi tim” and he says, “hi”. and then i say “hewwo”. and then we are laughing at me instead of him and somehow we both know i think he’s one cool dude.

    i see people’s beauty and tell them about it. that’s one thing i like about me. i’m a beauty teller.

    • Adriana Willey

      sorry, i should have checked this for typos.

    • Margaret Terry

      I loved this piece and would have to pick up a book called “The Beauty Teller” to see what was inside…great imagery with red umbrella on a grey day.

  • http://jimwoodswrites.com/ Jim Woods

    Wow, this is an amazing challenge. I feel like I have to participate.

    About six months ago, I was having a nervous breakdown or panic attacks. I was stuck in a job I hated, feeling trapped and just feeling really lousy. I didn’t really know why, but I felt more stressed everyday. One day I came across some children’s stories I had written a couple years ago. I was kind of surprised when I read what I had written. The stories made me realize I am a writer. It took a while for that to sink in. Then over the last few months, I have realized how creative I really can be.

    My creativity was always there; I just had to ignore the resistance (forces attacking anything you really want to do) and apply my creativity. Today I am working on various writing projects, but now I have been led into other areas I NEVER would have expected, such as photography and drawing.

    Embracing my creativity has given me a positive outlook toward life. It is something I try not to ever take for granted and my creativity is my favorite quality about myself. I hope to share my work with others and hopefully inspire others to find their creativity too.

    Just a side note to anyone who may read this- please don’t EVER discount what cumulative stress (which is really just another form of resistance) can do. I truly believe Steven Pressfield is right when he says “resistance is the most toxic force on the planet.”

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      That’s a powerful story, Jim. Stressed out guy has a breakdown and then discovers his dream to write and makes good. I’m glad you found those stories ;)

    • http://twitter.com/ryanjriehl Ryan J Riehl

      Jim, thanks for sharing. I’m at that point where I starting to win against the Resistance, but I don’t quite have the momentum yet.

      Finding those old stories as inspiration is amazing. I have friends who’ve kept writing over the years and bloggers like Joe and others who have inspired me.

      Those unexpected discoveries of our true selves are just golden. It’s like we are waiting to be found under all the stress and urgency.

      • http://jimwoodswrites.com/ Jim Woods

        Thanks Ryan, I really appreciate it. It is really amazing how much a difference embracing creativity can make. I am really greatful and excited that I could help inspire you in any way.

  • http://jguitarnash.com Jim Woods

    Wow, this is an amazing challenge. I feel like I have to participate.

    About six months ago, I was having a nervous breakdown or panic attacks. I was stuck in a job I hated, feeling trapped and just feeling really lousy. I didn’t really know why, but I felt more stressed everyday. One day I came across some children’s stories I had written a couple years ago. I was kind of surprised when I read what I had written. The stories made me realize I am a writer. It took a while for that to sink in. Then over the last few months, I have realized how creative I really can be.

    My creativity was always there; I just had to ignore the resistance (forces attacking anything you really want to do) and apply my creativity. Today I am working on various writing projects, but now I have been led into other areas I NEVER would have expected, such as photography and drawing.

    Embracing my creativity has given me a positive outlook toward life. It is something I try not to ever take for granted and my creativity is my favorite quality about myself. I hope to share my work with others and hopefully inspire others to find their creativity too.

    Just a side note to anyone who may read this- please don’t EVER discount what cumulative stress (which is really just another form of resistance) can do. I truly believe Steven Pressfield is right when he says “resistance is the most toxic force on the planet.”

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      That’s a powerful story, Jim. Stressed out guy has a breakdown and then discovers his dream to write and makes good. I’m glad you found those stories ;)

    • http://about.me/ryanjriehl Ryan J Riehl

      Jim, thanks for sharing. I’m at that point where I starting to win against the Resistance, but I don’t quite have the momentum yet.

      Finding those old stories as inspiration is amazing. I have friends who’ve kept writing over the years and bloggers like Joe and others who have inspired me.

      Those unexpected discoveries of our true selves are just golden. It’s like we are waiting to be found under all the stress and urgency.

      • http://jguitarnash.com Jim Woods

        Thanks Ryan, I really appreciate it. It is really amazing how much a difference embracing creativity can make. I am really greatful and excited that I could help inspire you in any way.

  • http://twitter.com/ryanjriehl Ryan J Riehl

    I love to learn. If you knew my Myers-Briggs, this would make complete sense (can you guess?). I pick up new facts and knowledge and put them into my ever growing understanding to the world. Few activities excite me more.

    About a year ago, I started a journey to turn my life around. I was floundering in a non-scholastic setting. So I started reading. I read books and I read blogs. I followed every fad and dug into many classics. I kept reading until I could distinguish the fads from the classics. Then, I began to dream. I realized that I could build a life worth living. But what would it look like? How could I make sure to get it right?

    I wrung my hands for months. Reading and dreaming; thinking and planning. While out walking one day, I got it. Life isn’t about what we think. Whether in the beginning, middle, or end, I realized that living is action. Beliefs and aspirations are good and necessary for our minds, but our lives crave action. I learned one big lesson this past year. To steal from Jeff Goins (who stole from someone else I believe), stop saying “What if…” to yourself. Start saying”Let’s.”

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      INTP or INFP is my guess (I’m INXP).

      I love that action comes out of dreaming which comes out of learning. I went through all of those seasons, and right now I’m in a season of action (more action than I’ve ever had in my life). It’s difficult and exhilarating.

      • http://twitter.com/ryanjriehl Ryan J Riehl

        Nice guess! I’m a T for sure, but it’s the P/J that sometimes switches on me.

        I think we all have to go through those seasons to get where we’re going. I’m on the threshold between gearing up for action and actually doing. It’s invigorating.

        • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

          So INTX… I could see that.

          I’m excited to see where your “doing” takes you, Ryan :)

  • http://about.me/ryanjriehl Ryan J Riehl

    I love to learn. If you knew my Myers-Briggs, this would make complete sense (can you guess?). I pick up new facts and knowledge and put them into my ever growing understanding to the world. Few activities excite me more.

    About a year ago, I started a journey to turn my life around. I was floundering in a non-scholastic setting. So I started reading. I read books and I read blogs. I followed every fad and dug into many classics. I kept reading until I could distinguish the fads from the classics. Then, I began to dream. I realized that I could build a life worth living. But what would it look like? How could I make sure to get it right?

    I wrung my hands for months. Reading and dreaming; thinking and planning. While out walking one day, I got it. Life isn’t about what we think. Whether in the beginning, middle, or end, I realized that living is action. Beliefs and aspirations are good and necessary for our minds, but our lives crave action. I learned one big lesson this past year. To steal from Jeff Goins (who stole from someone else I believe), stop saying “What if…” to yourself. Start saying”Let’s.”

    • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

      INTP or INFP is my guess (I’m INXP).

      I love that action comes out of dreaming which comes out of learning. I went through all of those seasons, and right now I’m in a season of action (more action than I’ve ever had in my life). It’s difficult and exhilarating.

      • http://about.me/ryanjriehl Ryan J Riehl

        Nice guess! I’m a T for sure, but it’s the P/J that sometimes switches on me.

        I think we all have to go through those seasons to get where we’re going. I’m on the threshold between gearing up for action and actually doing. It’s invigorating.

        • http://joebunting.com Joe Bunting

          So INTX… I could see that.

          I’m excited to see where your “doing” takes you, Ryan :)

  • Aaron

    I am in love with the most beautiful, warm hearted person i have ever met. Her name is Vanessa… just the sound of her name gives me tingles. I honestly don’t want any other person other than her. We are not together at the moment, but we were in the past. Which I’ve messed up because i was a dumb kid. No cheating or anything of that nature just stupidity. I’m sure she doesn’t know how i truly feel about her, how she has not left my mind for a day for the past 6 years when we met in my last period on the first day of 7th grade. She had this glow about her that i can’t explain. She knocked me right off my feet. From that moment on shes had a big effect in my life weather she knows it or not. When i messed up for the last time i thought i screwed things up forever and that there was no going back. I was so depressed trying to find my way back, but i realize now maybe there is hope… Why would i ever give up on the one i love?

    • VM

      This struck a heart string.

  • Aaron

    I am in love with the most beautiful, warm hearted person i have ever met. Her name is Vanessa… just the sound of her name gives me tingles. I honestly don’t want any other person other than her. We are not together at the moment, but we were in the past. Which I’ve messed up because i was a dumb kid. No cheating or anything of that nature just stupidity. I’m sure she doesn’t know how i truly feel about her, how she has not left my mind for a day for the past 6 years when we met in my last period on the first day of 7th grade. She had this glow about her that i can’t explain. She knocked me right off my feet. From that moment on shes had a big effect in my life weather she knows it or not. When i messed up for the last time i thought i screwed things up forever and that there was no going back. I was so depressed trying to find my way back, but i realize now maybe there is hope… Why would i ever give up on the one i love?

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