Writers have a never-ending bent toward curiosity. The most interesting part of writing is the research involved. Hours of digging, as though part of an anthropology excursion! By the time we’re finished, we hope we’ve made the world a better place and feel a sense of accomplishment.
Learning does not only happen within the walls of schools and universities. We all know you can’t believe every word you read on the internet, but if we use trusted sources, we can relay information that is usually spot-on.
If you have not darkened the door of a university for decades, that’s no excuse to stop learning. Life itself is all about learning, and to stop that process is to cause premature mental decline.
Only those who risk going too far will ever know how far they can go. – Unknown
What can we do to maintain mental sharpness? Keep learning!
- Learn a new word every day, then use it in three sentences. If you watch The O’Reily Factor on Fox, you know that at the end of his show, Bill shares a new word with his audience. I have a popular online dictionary in my favorites, along with a rhyming dictionary.
- Read something besides a magazine article once in a while. I’m not knocking Reader’s Digest, but once in a while you need to open a real book. I recently re-visited Henry David Thoreau’s writings. Walden holds a special place in my heart, as you know.
- Driving is time wasted unless you have something to engage your brain. I find audio books to be a good companion if I’m driving alone.
- We are a society of entertainment-seekers! What happened to watching informative television? Are we afraid we may learn something? Oh, that would be horrible! I like Fox News and Fox Business. I find those programs to be fair and balanced. Some consider them to be fake – not real news. Well, that’s what the left would have you believe. The truth hurts, as they say.
- Our local newspaper, The Wichita Eagle, has a section called The Opinion Line. I enjoy writing letters to them, just to see if anything gets published in the paper. It’s a good way to hone my writing skills and share my opinions on important issues. http://www.kansas.com/opinion/letters-to-the-editor/submit-letter/ If it was a phone number, it would be on speed-dial. Jus’ sayin’…
- I like to facebook or tweet with like-minded people about current events. It’s especially neat when I find famous people who think the same way I do. Hey, if you are famous and hold to a conservative, right-wing political view – like me on facebook https://www.facebook.com/linda.palmer.399041 or follow me on twitter https://twitter.com/makemelaughnow1 I look forward to chatting with you!
- The newsgroups I follow on twitter and facebook are right-leaning. It’s a quick and easy way to stay up to speed on what’s going on in the world and in the country.
- Since the 2016 election is around the corner (okay, we have a way to go yet), go to You Tube and find all of the Republican candidates’ speeches from the Iowa State Fair. They all spoke – and they are on You Tube. Listen closely to what each one says and let it sink in – and then pray about who you want to see as president.
- Sign up for a seminar or workshop. Make sure it’s something that interests you. If it isn’t, you’ll regret spending the time and the money on it.
- In the workplace, we sometimes get caught up in a routine. We enter the office building and walk straight to our little world – our safe little cubicle or office. Make a point to wander beyond your comfort zone. Go to another department and have a conversation with someone you’ve seen around but have never actually spoken with. It’s amazing what you may learn.
- Here’s a challenge for you: Take ten photographs that represent who you are. Take ten photographs that best symbolize your dreams for the future. Make an album of these photos on facebook and share with your friends!
- Remember back in school when we had to write essays? We chose one subject and just researched the heck out of it – then wrote an A+ paper? That was my favorite thing to do back then, and I still want to write those essays today!
- Choose two prominent figures – one living and one dead (for example, rapper Kanye West and Mozart). Find out as much as you can about their family lives and accomplishments. Write a paper comparing and contrasting the two.
- It’s easy to ignore the library because it seems easier to research everything from the comfort of my own home. This week I think I’ll venture out and go to the library and maybe a bookstore. I may go to a section I’ve not gone to before. Learning something new is the idea this week.
- Is there a lecture you could attend this week? If it is something that interests you, take advantage of the opportunity. If it’s not something that interests you, take a chance and go anyway because you might walk away surprised that you learned something new.
- The last movie I watched with subtitles was The Passion of the Christ. Funny story – I didn’t know I’d have to read subtitles, so walked into the movie theatre without my glasses. I often watch movies without them, and just assumed it would be fine. My friend was so kind to whisper the subtitles in my ear, with the occasional comment such as, “I can’t believe you didn’t know you’d have to read subtitles!”
- Go to Goodreads or a similar website and from there compile a list of books you will read during the harsh winter months.
- Make a list of the most inspiring books you’ve ever read, then share the list on facebook with your friends.
- Reread a book. You’ll find something you missed the first time.
- Is there a book club in your area? No? Start one.
- Nothing is more fun than ghost writing. Write an article for someone, using their name, for their company, institution or community organization. Post the article on ezine articles. Most people will pay for that kind of writing. There is minimal research (the one you’re writing for will fill you in on specs), and you will get paid for your writing. That’s something that blog writing does not do – pay. 😦
- Wichita has a wonderful art museum. If you have one near you, visit it and choose your favorite piece. Research it and write about how it makes you feel and why it is your favorite.
- Train or teach. A sure way to learn more about something is to teach it to someone else. Whether it’s Sunday School or piano – share your knowledge with someone. Most folks are willing to pay for that as well – so that’s a good thing. It may be time for you to learn how to play the piano. Hmm…
- As I get older, I tend to have a sort of “Who the heck moved my cheese?” mentality. I don’t adjust to change very well. This week, I’m determined to practice the tutorials for a new piece of computer software. May the force be with me…
- Part of the reason I write a blog is to document some of my precious memories. I don’t want to forget my past, my loving parents, my roots or my faith. Take a moment (okay it’ll take longer than that), to write a brief summary of your life. You may discover the inner blogger or book writer!
- Update your résumé. Even if you don’t think you’ll need it… keep it updated.
- Do a computer search on a subject that interests you. For example… PIANO, or MUSIC.
- I took a creative writing course in college and was challenged to write my obituary. Talk about a smack in the face! There’s nothing like that to make you reassess your life and how you’re living it. What goals do you want others to remember that you met? How do you want to be remembered?
- I wrote articles for the high school paper. Part of good journalism is asking the right questions. I decided to visit a local nursing home and ask some of the residents about the major lessons they have learned from life. We should listen to their answers – it could save us from learning lessons the hard way.
- Read important American documents with the anticipation of learning something new. The Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution still have much to teach America.
- Volunteer your time – somewhere – anywhere. Find an interesting person or persons to spark your imagination in writing.
- Turn off the television, radio and internet for an hour a day. Just think, journal, meditate and pray. Let God’s Holy Spirit speak to you and inspire your writing.
- Write about the greatest errors and accomplishments of the twentieth century. How can these lessons make life better in the twenty-first century?
- If you are in management, read a book about the health risks of your workers (carpal tunnel, obesity, etc.). If you are a worker, read about the challenges that those in management face. We need to understand one another.
- Memorize a piece of music, a poem or a passage of Scripture. Hide God’s Word in your heart – and other things too.
Learning can be FUN! The goal is to learn something new everyday! See you again on the 8th of September. 🙂