With everything on my agenda for the week, I never expected to find myself listening to an interview show that wasn’t a drama segmented clip about cheating husbands for a quick mockery in between my study break, let alone a 50-minute interview talk between interviewer, Krista Tippett and best selling author, Josh Godin. (Link to interview: Link To Radio Talk)
Without realizing, I was sucked into Godin’s train of thoughts and I became intrigued by the many relatable ideas he shared. With every concept I sought significant, I reflected on my own actions, not only as a person, but also as a student. I listened as if everything he said had become a jackpot of wisdom no one else knew about. After various topics explored I realized I was committing to complete opposite actions in contrast to all of Godin’s ideas that I wanted to strongly follow in my life.
I related most of these ideas to my English class, because it is the class where I get the opportunity to be creative through my writing and speech. It is where I accomplish the most innovation. One idea Godin shared resonated so well to one of the struggles I face each day.
“If I sit down with a bunch of seventh graders or first graders and ask them to brainstorm or raise their hand or innovate… they find it way easier than when I sit down with a bunch of college students… College students are afraid of being wrong.”
I don’t agree with Godin, because this is something that goes as far as high school students included in this statement. We are absolutely afraid to be wrong. This is something I know I need to improve upon especially in my writing. In a recent a blog post I had written on my publishing house blog (Aticstateofmind), I wrote a bit on this same idea. I’ve gone back to look at my work from my previous years of school and found essays that surprised me. The punctuation and sentences weren’t formulated quite correctly, but some of the ideas and creativity stand out without question. I can reminisce on all the notebooks I had written or drawn in. I used to have a notebook where I wrote all my favorite song lyrics and drew pictures. I can’t tell you the last time I wrote or drew a picture, that wasn’t going to be an assignment that I needed to turn in. I don’t think anyone has lost any creativity, I just think i’ve pushed it down far away where no one can see. I think it can easily be recovered if I focus on my ideas. Start with an idea and just keep on going, see where it takes me. Which is something I do in class called “Zero drafting” where you take an idea and just write. More of that writing needs to be done without question. On my recent essay “Perfect Problems” I frequently found myself trying to impress an imaginary person I have created in my own mind. Don’t write that sentence, because it doesn’t sound smart or stick to the ideas that you know others agree on, because that’s what everyone is doing. It has even become a struggle in class, As Godin pointed out “The idea that we have been training people for the past fifteen years to be afraid of being wrong.” We have had a strict obedience on our learning being told exactly what is right and wrong. I find it harder to raise my hand during discussions, because we’ve always been taught to “raise our hands if we have the answer.” I have become conscience that I have to think like others in the class, and formulate based on the same ideas as everyone else. It has nothing to do with anyone else but my own mind creating that bridge that distancing my “wrong” thoughts from the rest of the class. We all want to have the right answer, where everyone can easily agree. Godin brought up a brilliant point when he said people ask questions because they think they have a question that everyone wants to hear. We don’t want to be wrong so we reiterate an idea that everyone can see is right. To fix this problem, I would like to take more risks in my writing. Break out of the expected ideas and go beyond in all aspects.
Godin talks about how we are all marketers. I found it interesting that Godin pointed out we do things to be picked. We like to get mentioned for the things we do, and it’s not a band thing. At what point do we stop doing things for ourselves just to get the attentions of others?
“You will not get as many views as the Jersey Shore”
It’s interesting because Godin made such a good point. It’s quite ironic that some people slave away doing things only to be recognized by others, but for the most part fail to ever be recognized at all. That’s the thing about being an artist. We have to forget everybody else and just go. You’re doing it for the sole purpose to impress yourself, to improve upon and to be proud of your own ideas. I loved the advice that Godin gave, ‘Share your ideas with ten people, and if they like it they’ll share it with ten other people and that’s how ideas spread.”
I have an adequate understanding in my work for “That’s not a now, It’s a no for now.” I would say that’s my biggest strength in class and in my writing. Every two weeks in English we have an essay prompt to complete, but first we start of by peer editing a couple of drafts. I learned the importance of sharing your ideas first and then building upon them. During the first draft’s of my essay “Universal message” An essay about how music has affected my thinking and how it is a big part of my life. I got suggestions I would have never thought of including and from there it’s an attempt to make each draft better than expected. It’s a question of Okay, that didn’t work, so what do I need to do to make it work? I think I’ve become better at the concept that there is always something to improve upon. I’ve gone back to previous essays from this year and have picked spots that still had more room for improvement. There has to be failure and I understand it. If nobody like what you write, “It’s probably because you failed,” As Godin said. So go back and work at it and I think that’s it’s something that I have improved immensely upon even in my free responses for homework. I have rewritten my thesis for an analysis essay until I felt the feeling of self-accomplishment. Godin also points out the importance of a community. In English class we have also talked abut community and how we are creating something, not only for us, but the bigger picture. We have formed (publishing houses.) Our essays that we write will put together to form beautiful pieces of literature. This is easily my favorite part of English class because we rely on each other to make our writing’s better. We’re not trying to be nice, but to give learning criticism to take and improve our writing. This is for the benefit of all of us and that idea excites me.
In the future I would like to explore the idea of making an impact on a few. Godin explains that, “It is impossible to reach everybody” And I personally want to start incorporating the idea of small sharing because some people I know will listen. Be vulnerable and express. Maybe someone you never expected will listen.