I was blessed to be born into a family of book lovers. “Books are our friends,” I was taught. And libraries and schools across the country are celebrating the love of books this week through the Read Across America program, initiated in honor of one of the best-loved authors who ever put pen to paper, Dr. Seuss.
On this Wednesday is Friends Day, let’s look at six lessons we bloggers can learn from our friend, Dr. Seuss:
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
Theodore Seuss Geisel took on the pen name after he was fired as editor-in-chief of the Dartmouth College humor magazine, The Jack-O-Lantern, for violating national prohibition laws. He converted this “can’t” situation into a “can” by brainstorming a way to solve his dilemma.
When things don’t go as we planned or when a project we’ve worked hard on is suddenly jerked out from under us, how do we react? It’s hard to smile because it happened and let it go, but that’s a motto we can all apply to not just our writing, but our lives.
“Kid, you’ll move mountains! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way!”
Another obstacle he turned to opportunity was the rejection of his manuscripts for children’s books. And To Think that I Saw It on Mulberry Street was rejected over two dozen times. Dr. Seuss spread his never-give-up attitude through the many notable quotes sprinkled throughout his works.
What’s holding you back in your blogging? Push that mountain out of your way and get on your way!
“So the writer who breeds more words than he needs, is making a chore for the reader who reads.”
(Excerpt from Wikipedia): “In May 1954, Life magazine published a report on illiteracy among school children, which concluded that children were not learning to read because their books were boring. Accordingly, William Ellsworth Spaulding, a textbook editor at Houghton Mifflin who later became its Chairman, compiled a list of 348 words he felt were important for first-graders to recognize and asked Geisel to cut the list to 250 words and write a book using only those words. Spaulding challenged Geisel to ‘bring back a book children can’t put down.’ Nine months later, Geisel, using 236 of the words given to him, completed The Cat in the Hat.”
Uh-oh. Readability is something most writers struggle with. No wonder The Cat in the Hat is the poster child for children’s literature. It was created specifically to entice young readers to enjoy reading. Use simple words and use them well. Wow — I have a lot to learn from Dr. Seuss!
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself, any direction you choose.”
Dr. Seuss wrote about many issues in his books, but he once stated he never began his children’s books with a moral. “Kids can see a moral coming a mile off,” he said. But those who read his writings can see him encouraging young readers to think for themselves and not get caught following the status quo. (Read The Sneetches and If I Ran the Zoo.)
“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You”
It’s easy to recognize a Dr. Seuss book. He had a distinctive voice. Some writers spin their wheels attempting to mimic the voice and style of other writers, yet when a group of blog readers was polled, the number one reason they gave for returning to their favorite blogs was this: They liked the blogger’s personality.
There’s no one youer than you. Be yourself.
“And will you succeed? Yes indeed, yes indeed! Ninety-eight and three-quarters percent guaranteed.
No matter what your personal goal in blogging is, the only thing that can prevent your success is quitting. That one and one-quarter percent risk margin of failure only comes if you quit. So, keep on blogging, and yes, you will succeed!
Until next time,