Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Day 23: Community

One of the coolest things I ever did was ask my greeting-card-writing friend to speak to a developmental writing course about her creative process.

Chris Shea, Lifesighs

It was a great talk. She had to really struggle to get her business going. Not only was their a whole world of businessy stuff to navigate, but even those closest to her had their doubts about whether she could do it. But what stuck out the most to the class (and me) was when she described her process of trying to write a birthday card to her daughter.

Chris started by writing a letter describing how much she loved her daughter and how grateful she was to have her in her life. The letter ended up being pages long! How does one whittle something down to a message worthy of being on a greeting card--a tiny, concise greeting card, at that?

Well, she had to start with something all over the place and verbose to get to what she really meant. She then went line by line, eliminating all but the essence of the message. Eventually, the card looked like this:


and inside:                            "... to the very best thing I ever made..."

What a sweet message, right? And coming from someone who had not finished college, who had no business experience going into the field, this was meaningful to the students who were there.

I gotta find more ways to involve the community in my courses. There are so many resources walking around who probably wouldn't mind--who might even like--talking to a great group of students. 

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