If you spend any time on Facebook, you’ve probably seen the book and gratitude memes. You might have even participated in some.
But on the way-off chance that you’re not on the book-o-face, here’s how those memes go (i’ll start with the book version) …
Someone lists 10 or 15 books that were most influential to them – as an adult, kid and/or teen. Sometimes they go into detail about why this book was so important to them, sometimes not. Then they tag friends to do the same. Suddenly, your newsfeed is awash with books to put on your must-read list, and reminders of great books past.
With something like the gratitude challenge, if you get tagged, you’re charged with writing three things you’re grateful for each day, over the course of a week. You’re also supposed to tag three of your own peeps to do it each day – spreading the good vibes of happeez and gratitude all over the interwebs.
Then there are music memes, and best-places-you’ve-ever-vacationed memes, among skillions of others. They seem to come in waves, and I’m always surprised to see how many people jump on board – including some of my less engaged FB friends: gushing with gratitude, and stories of the books, music or vacation spots that changed their lives.
Here’s what I make up about this:
People participate in these things because they want to learn more about themselves, and they also want get beyond cat videos and depressing political news/arguments to connect about things that are truly important to them.
Being given the chance to think about things that matter the most — whether that’s the books that changed their lives, or the moments in a week that got them to slow down, notice, and say: thank you, more please — these things matter. And we don’t take nearly enough time to do them.
But deep down we CRAVE this. Big time.
That’s why your news feed is full of gratitude for a cup of coffee in the morning, the phone call from an old friend, and lists that include books like Harry Potter, Bird by Bird, and The Little Prince.
We all have stories to tell…things we are aching to share. We want to be seen and heard and gotten.
In a world gone mad with information, we just want to connect – to ourselves and to each other. And we don’t often give ourselves the time to slow down, simmer and tell our stories.
And so a Facebook meme creates that invitation to explore ourselves and all that we’re aching to unearth.
So, of course, do my writing workshops. (you kinda knew i’d say that, didn’t you?)
There’s a difference between the two, I know: on Facebook you’re just tossing off a few thoughts to your friends on the interwebs; not that much to fear, right? But in a workshop – a “writing” workshop? … it might just be too much; there will be writers there. You might not be “good enough” … you won’t know what to say. You might look foolish.
But I promise you: if you can list three things that you’re grateful for today, or list a handful of books that have made a difference in your life, you’ll be able to write at a Living Out Loud writing workshop. I promise. And you’ll have a blast doing it.
Come check out one of the upcoming workshops: there are session in New Jersey on July 30th, and August 27th, and there’s one in Denver, CO on August 4th. More info on the workshops are available here. (including early bird discounts; snag ’em!)
Loaded with invitations to write — just like the memes you’re used to — but with a twist. All in a room full of like-minded women who crave the time and space to get their stories out.
Snag your early-bird spot now – deets here.
Oh, and here’s my book list. I’d love to hear yours.
- Bird by Bird – Anne Lamott (of course that would be there.)
- I Like You – Sandol Stoddard Wargurb and Jacqueline Chwast
- The Age of Innocence – Edith Wharton
- Walden – Henry David Thoreau
- Are You There God; It’s Me, Margaret – Judy Blume
- Writing Alone and With Others – Patricia Schneider
- Real Gorgeous – Kaz Cooke
- Rules for the Unruly – Marion Winik
- Let Your Life Speak – Parker Palmer
- Long Quiet Highway – Natalie Goldberg
- The Princess Bride – William Goldman
- The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
- On Writing – Stephen King
- Ordinary People – Judith Guest
- The Cheerleader – Ruth Doan MacDougall (don’t judge)