Ruth Ayres hosts the Celebrate Link-Up every weekend on her blog, Ruth Ayres Writes. I’m joining in.
When I think about some of the articles I wrote in my last newspaper job, I feel privately embarrassed. I considered myself a good writer at the time, but if I re-read those stories now, I’d see many ways to do them differently.
Instead of focusing on past flaws, today I’m thinking about the other spin on this: celebrating growth.
The reason I’d do those articles differently is because I’ve learned a lot in the last two years about writing and reporting. And that is, after all, why I left the previous job. I wanted to be in a place where I’d have more coaching and be surrounded by examples of quality journalism. I’m glad to have had that opportunity. Some of the areas in which I’ve improved include writing strong ledes, incorporating data and research, finding multiple voices and selecting the best elements to tell a story (rather than info dumping). I’ve also focused more intentionally in recent months on developing various types of sources. For example, my network of teacher contacts has widened greatly this summer, and I’m proud of that. But there’s still more work to do in that area!
A totally different area of my life in which growth is very evident is running. This morning I ran 8 miles. At mile marker 2, I thought “I’m a quarter done.” And then I thought about how when I lived in Perry County, 2 miles was the complete length I ran every other day. I don’t run 8 miles every day now, but I do run 4-5 miles several throughout the week, and this month I’ve started longer weekend runs to prepare for a half marathon, which will be the longest distance I’ve ever run.
This summer I’ve been listening to the podcast “Happier with Gretchen Rubin,” as well as two of Gretchen Rubin’s audio books. I love them because they’re focused on actions and habits to be a better you, i.e. growth. That may sound super self-help-y, and technically they probably fall in that category, but Gretchen is a relatable person whose advice stems from a lot of nerdy research and trying things out herself. If you’re into personal development, I recommend giving the podcast a listen!
Have you been thinking about the ways you’ve grown in recent months or years? I’d love to hear about it!