The Space

eighth & ninth day of the week

Jan 13, 2024

I was speaking with a client mid week and said 'Happy New Year... is it still ok to say that?' 

I learned something... In German etiquette it is ok to say until the end of the second week of January - googled it to see if I could find a reference... I got stuck in a google mind trap for 20 minutes and then left it. What I did discover is there is a range of customs around 'Happy New Year' and there is no clear cut answer. My mind is now going to Chinese New Year which is coming up in February... and that is where I will stop this thought! 


In another conversation a friend reminded me of the notion of 'read like a writer.' It reminded me of how much I read, how much I love reading, and how much I collect books  yes, I have what I call I library at home! 

I'm with Lena Dunham when she said "Let’s be reasonable and add an eighth day to the week that is devoted exclusively to reading."

Part me of also would like an ninth day for writing! 

"Writing and reading decrease

our sense of isolation.

They deepen and widen

and expand our sense of life:

They feed the soul.

When writers make us shake

our heads with the exactness

of their prose and their truths,

and even make us laugh

about ourselves or life,

our buoyancy is restored.

We are given a shot at dancing with,

or at least clapping along with,

the absurdity of life,

instead of being squashed by it

over and over again.

It's like singing on a boat

during a terrible storm at sea.

You can't stop the raging storm,

but singing can change the hearts

and spirits of the people who are together

on that ship."

 Anne Lamott, Bird by Bird 

I love the idea that writing can change the hearts and spirits of people on the ship  thanks Anne! 

I wonder how can I read like a writer... like the writer whose piece I am reading... It got me thinking because today I have read the weekend section of the Financial Times, a chapter from Anatomy of Peace, a journal article. I also heard the belonging chapter from 'The Book You Want Everyone You Love To Read (and maybe a few you don't)' by Phillippa Perry as I was out and about. 

I did spend some time thinking about the writers decisions and how I might read like a writer. I found this article which suggests:

  1. Choosing a story to re-read
  2. Annotate
  3. Think BIG by examining the story's overall structure
  4. Think smaller by breaking down the story scene by scene
  5. Look closer at the story's climax
  6. Identify how the protagonist is different as a result of the events in the story

Looking at this list again, and knowing that many of you reading this are writers and coaches and leaders, I wondered how can we apply the list above to a range of different situations and scenarios. I reflected back on a coaching conversation I did last week and going through this list I discovered some new insights, especially with the idea of 'thinking smaller by breaking down the story scene by scene.' 

I know that that reflection made me a better coach and human being! 

If I added an eight and ninth day of the week I might want to add a tenth just for reflection! What do you think?

Have a great week,


PS - Next week I'm going to write about 'why the washing up matters.' 

Ah the suspense... :-) 


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