How to avoid the talent trap and level up

image by bridgesward via Pixabay

The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.
Alvin Toffler

What skill do you long to have? Do you harbour dreams of painting a landscape or hitting a great tee shot or cooking the perfect soufflé? And how many times have you told yourself that you can’t do it and you don’t have the talent?

The problem is not being able to learn. The problem is being willing to learn.

You’re a born learner

You’re reading this now using learned skills, just as you gained the ability to walk…


A woman in a kitchen with colourful equipment and a bowl of lemons
A woman in a kitchen with colourful equipment and a bowl of lemons
Photo by Jason Briscoe on Unsplash

Fiction Friday

I never could get my beef casserole to taste exactly like my mother-in-law Melanie’s version. My husband Todd declared her dish the tastiest, of course, and said he’d ask her for the recipe. My next two attempts still fell short of the mark.

“You tried your best,” he said with a kind smile. I seethed in silence.

When his sister Jane came to dinner and offered to help in the kitchen, I swallowed my pride. We’d always got on well so I asked her advice.

“I just can’t get it right,” I said.

Jane smiled. “You know what they say…


A Kilner jar filled with pickled red chillis
A Kilner jar filled with pickled red chillis
Photo by Daily Slowdown on Unsplash

Fiction Friday

That first winter in their new house, they pored over seed catalogues and vegetable garden blogs. She had long dreamed of growing her own food and he joined in with enthusiasm. Early the next spring, they donned boots and got their hands dirty. His stamina came in handy to double dig the new beds, and he built trellis and a small greenhouse where she nurtured her seedlings.

The days lengthened. She planted and dreamed of serried rows of preserve jars, like her grandma had in the old pantry. Each jar held jewelled treasures of garnet red beetroot, opalescent baby onions…


Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash

Poetry Sunday

Inspired by your greatness, loyalty assured
I nailed my colours to your standard, marched
towards the promise of much better times.
Long days and many miles went by
foot sore and weary, always hopeful
for the new dawn.
You strode ahead, eyes fixed on far horizons
I followed willingly
but while I watched my step
mended my boots
tightened my belt
held the line
a sea change was afoot.

Now I raise my head and look around
so far from home, no map or compass
this unfamiliar place, soot-dark and grim
not where I should be
and though my feet still move
I seek a…


White dresses on white hangers against a white background.
White dresses on white hangers against a white background.
Photo by Charisse Kenion on Unsplash

Fiction Friday

It’s always been considered bad luck to make your own wedding dress. It implies a life of want if you can’t outsource such an important task, or maybe a life of never-ending work. That means a steady procession of happy brides-to-be in my bridal shop. These days I leave the actual stitching to my dedicated and skilful seamstresses. I prefer to interact with my customers and bask in their excited energy, spilled without any thought to the cost.

Being married isn’t essential in this business, but it definitely helps. My engagement ring is not just a symbol of love, it’s…


Photo by Ken Wyatt on Unsplash

She’s always there, staring out of her front window. When I herd my children into the car for the school run or come home late from work, her gaze follows me. I’ve learned not to look because her answering smile is borderline creepy.

Sometimes her constant scrutiny angers me. I want to scream obscenities, smash the window, drag her outside. I want to get right in her face and tell her to get a life that’s not mine. However, polite society frowns on that kind of behaviour, not to mention it’s a bad example for the kids. …


Silhouette of woman and child flying a rainbow kite against golden sky
Silhouette of woman and child flying a rainbow kite against golden sky
Image by Shlomaster via pixabay

Poetry Sunday

Off we go to the beach with our boy, enduring sighs and cries and stops for water and wee-wee shortly after and kicking the back of my seat and then we arrive, unload the car, careful with that and don’t forget the sunscreen, before trudging down the path down the steps round to the left, find a place among the rocks and did you remember his hat,

let’s set up here and wait, you need sunscreen and okay off you go but stay where I can see you, the sun nicely warm but it still can burn even through clouds…


person’s hands removing paper from an orange typewriter on a white surface with a cup on left, phone and plant on right
person’s hands removing paper from an orange typewriter on a white surface with a cup on left, phone and plant on right
rawpixel vix pixabay.com

how to make every word count, no matter the total

Now that November’s half over, how is NaNoWriMo going for you? Are you basking in the glow of staying on track, are you falling behind, or are you sitting it out?

National Novel Writing Month, known as NaNoWriMo or NaNo for short, is an internet movement built on a simple premise: write a novel of at least 50,000 words during November. Writers of all kinds from all over the world attempt to write an average of 1667 words per day, every day. If you succeed, you get a winner’s badge, access to some cool prizes and discounts, and of course…


a man taking a selfie with three women
a man taking a selfie with three women
rawpixel via pixabay

easy ways to improve every interaction

I’ve trained myself to illuminate the things in my personality that are likable and to hide and protect the things that are less likable.
Will Smith

Whether you’re an introvert or extrovert, you’re a social creature.

You have to deal with other humans in groups or one-to-one whether you like it or not. You might be able to avoid parties and skip the small talk, but few of us live in total isolation from others.

When interacting with colleagues, employees, or new acquaintances in a group setting, you want to make a good impression and feel more comfortable with these…

Writer, physician, lifelong learner dedicated to telling the stories all around us. Free guide Unleash Your Creativity at 2squarewriting.com. Words are magic.

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