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Comparative Virus

Things I’ve Learned

Today, June 19th, I am 79 years old and that means that I am starting my 80th year. I’ve been mulling over for a few weeks what I’ve learned—so far. And I decided to add this category to my blog and to write something every day (well, almost every day) about these things I’ve learned—a different subject each day. Some may be serious, some may be silly, some are just what they are. They’re not in any order of importance—just as I think of them and get them written.

Everyone would have different things that they’ve learned. Some of mine you may relate to—some not. It’s been interesting just to gather them and I’m not done with that yet. But anyway, here’s the first one:

1. Comparative Virus

I have led writing groups for about 15 years. Some people wanted to write their life story. And one of the men who got caught up in that project went ahead and self published what he wrote. One woman wrote children’s stories. Some just wanted to try their hand at writing.

One of the things I always told the people in these groups was not to catch the comparative virus. Because I certainly have caught the virus myself from time to time. I read something by someone else and think—oh that’s wonderful. And often it would stop me—just stop me from writing more.

Because I think “Oh I can never write like that.” And that’s right—you can’t. Because you are you and that person is that person. You write like yourself and you don’t let the virus stop you from writing.

The comparative virus can be alive and well in other parts of my life too and I just need to be vigilant.

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