This essay is about why creative dumb crazy writing is good for leaders and why and how to use it every day.
It clears your mind.
You find out what you have to say while you write with abandon not particularly trying to make sense. Just write keep your hand moving. Even in 3” you will come up with something amazing. Start with a line from a poem or novel and get going.
It gets you ready for a presentation or speech. Write the crazy speech you aren’t going to give first as your warm-up and you will find some things to say you would have never found if you were trying to get it right the first time. Space to make mistakes.
The drill of creative free writing is good practice for apology and for giving praise to your team. Most leaders are not brilliant at this. Or embarrassed and shy or give a quick touch. What would the workplace be with generous creative authentic apology and praise as two frequent moves made by the leader?
I recently asked an outside provider for an apology as a matter of fact for a big mistake she made. She kept explaining and defending and finally I let it go, well not really. I still have a bee in my bonnet about it. I am sorry. Three words. Vs. let me explain my thinking and all the reasons I did it this way. About 50 words.
The creative writing is where she could write and write and write all her reasons and such until she could ultimately simply say, I am sorry. When your brain is filled up with defensiveness, there is no more room.
Same for appreciation, presentations. Worry and nervousness displace clarity and focus and knowing what you really want to say.
The last point maybe next to last and I will give the last in another essay… is once leaders get the hang of this, they can do their 3” writes as a team building exercise and after 3 writings of 3” each, pick one to read aloud to each other. The result is over the top in terms of inspiration, hilarity and getting to know each other. A great foundation to build for the work to be done together making the product, the sales, and making the great place to work.
Samples from the week.. that ultimately turned into a birthday greeting for my brother
The clock ticking
The icemaker working
The cicadas waking up
The teapot lightly whistling
The hammering about to begin next door
On the big house, though now silence
In and out
My daddy in my mind clearing his throat
Rustling the Sunday paper
Back to breathing
Listening to “The Hours” based Virginia Woolf’s “Mrs. Dalloway”
While Michael Cohen on TV
And waiting for more denials from our president
Then back to listening and wondering at being alive at this moment going down
Going down In History
And doing my best to pay attention to my breathing
And only one round of the news cycle
And read my book about Louis Till, Emmett’s father, and watch James Baldwin’s “I am not your Negro” and read
Annie Proulx’s Wyoming stories
And wait 6 weeks to get over hernia surgery
And spend the day with my dear friend and former business partner and take good paper and paints and paint with her, now 4 years old in her dementia
And go to Italian Fiamma with her and husband and old friend.
Happy birthday big boy
I love you and I like you
You make the world brighter and funnier
I like thinking of you surrounded by all those dear little ones there
Not going too crazy
Cold beer, very cold just out of the cooler
Hot boiled peanuts just after an hour on top of the stove
A good long story told by my brother
Looking at the ocean and kids digging in the sand
Enbrel for joint pain just saw that ad
Will that help my hurt places?
Then the “calm” app ad with nothing but 30 seconds of rain, no narration
Juxtaposed with talking and interrupting on “Morning Joe” posing different scenarios about what is going to happen next in this situation with a crooked, evil lying President.
“Trump laid down with dogs and got up with fleas”. Washington Examiner
Kelly Ann Conway
Keith Haring and his cartoons/ graffiti/pop art painted in the parking lot
Radiant baby and dogs got his start on subway art
And the new people in the elevator speaking Spanish
We are the minority now, time to learn Spanish
New refrigerator for the office
Art hung by Paul referred by Christie, meeting me at 3
John bringing boxes to the attic
Making a video about writing