Every now and then, someone poses a question that stops me in my tracks and makes me really think.
Such was the case when my friend and writing mentor, Christine DeSmet—author of The Fudge Shop Mystery Series—posed this question on the Blackbird Writers website: “What skill shaped your life?”
After thinking about it, the answer is reading. It holds the number one spot in the list of skills that have shaped my life. Numbers two and three are observing details and listening between the lines.
What is the Blackbird Writers website?
I’m glad you asked!
If you’re a fan of thrillers, suspense, or mystery novels, you’ll want to hang out with the Blackbird Writers—a group for discerning readers, talented authors, and suspenseful books. Our nest is your nest!
Earlier this year, a group of writers in these genres, decided to collaborate and form the Blackbird Writers. Each week a different author offers new perspectives on the Blackbird blog. Check out our latest blog and subscribe to our quarterly newsletter HERE.
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What skill shaped your life?
Reading has had a huge influence on my life also, it’s one of the main sources of my knowledge. I think the lesson that shaped my life mostly though was taught to me by my parents. My parents were resilient, they always found the positive aspects of every challenge they met, and that is a skill they taught me through their example.
Joanne — Oh, I love the parental example of resilience that you shared! Thank you 🙂
The skill that shaped my life was taught by my parents and that is to work hard to get what you want in life. A boss once said to me, you work twice as hard as anyone else here without breaking a sweat, and you are twice as old as most of the staff! I was in my early 60s at the time.
Darlene — I love the compliment that your work manager gave you! That says a LOT! 🙂
It does. And I didn´t even think I was working that hard asI loved my job so much.
Hard to call it skill, and hard to define just one. I am autistic. Numbers come easy to me. Some things come easy to my memory.
I like reading, I like playing with things to work out how they work.
I like levels of pattern.
I like multidimensional systems, evolution, complex math and logics.
It seems both my hearing and my vision are also neuro-atypical.
Some combination of all those things, and the experiences of my life, and the choice I have made, have me be what I am.
I can only make the best guess I can with the best information I can get.
That seems to be about all any of us can do.
TED — I love the multi-layered list of things that you like. Wow! 🙂
I think reading must have been it for me as well. From my parents’ accounts, it seems that I was intrigued by the writing word even as a toddler and I always wanted to know what everything said before I could read. I’ve always preferred to listen rather than to talk, and I think that has helped me understand and take stock of many things. I’ll visit the Blackbird Writers as well. Thanks for the recommendation, Laurie.
Olga — We must be cut from the same bolt of cloth because in addition to reading, I, too, enjoy listening more than talking. I’m glad that you’ll visit the Black Writers. Thank you for letting me know 🙂
Thank you for telling us about Blackbird Writers.
“Looking around” has followed me always and helped me understand life better even if I could not do much about what I saw at times.
Roamer — “Looking around” is an EXCELLENT skillset to have (even when we can’t change what we see). 🙂
I love that graphic. Blackbird writers sounds like a great idea. I’m a member of a similar author group and it’s been wonderful.
Craig — It sounds like you know, experiencially, what I’m talking about. Good for us! 🙂
Reading has shaped my life too. I remember Bible stories and fairy tales. Oh, how I loved disappearing into the world of good and evil with Cinderella, Billy Goats Gruff, and Little Red Riding Hood.
I can tell you are totally immersed in the world of thrillers, suspense, and mystery. Roll on, Laurie!
Marian — Oh, my gosh, I’d completely forgotten about Billy Goats Gruff! Thank you so much for bringing back the fond memory of reading that! 🙂
I’d say reading is number one for me as well. followed by sports. I’ve been athletically oriented since I was about five and both the MN Twins and MN Vikings came to town the same year. My dad was a year-round athlete in high school and continued competing until recently when age finally caught up with him and limited his mobility. The pandemic hasn’t helped much either.
Reading is all about knowledge and seeing the world through different eyes. Sports is about striving for excellence that rubs off in all other aspects of life–plus the discipline, practice, and determination that’s needed to excel.
The pair make a nice combination for striving for a balanced life, i.m.o.
Chris — I hadn’t thought about sports, but you’re absolutely. And the combination of reading + sports makes for a dynamic one-two punch! 🙂
I agree Laurie, reading plays a significant role in shaping our lives. In my case it was perseverance combined with positivity.
Balroop — Reading. Perseverance. Positivity. That makes for one heckofa winning combination! 🙂
Interesting question. I guess reading is very high up there for me too, but I’d extend that to reading in several languages, i.e. Spanish, French and English. I got several jobs thanks to that.
Fatima — Holy Toledo! Your multi-lingual reading ability just blew me away! 🙂
Thank you. It’s my superpower! 😉
I think I would also have to say reading because it has been a large part of my life. Any new interest I develop, I plunge into it reading everything I can find out about it. I’ve always said you can tell what my current hobby is by the books and magazines I have in my house – nowadays, it’s the websites that are bookmarked as favorites in my browser.
Carol — Isn’t it wonderful how we can read about something and then go try it out. As you know, I follow your blog and have seen your artistic talents—from painting to weaving and everything in-between. I suspect you read about each field before diving in. No wonder everything you create is so beautiful!
Jill — How COOL is that?! 🙂
Reading as well because being an avid reader and having the privilege of being allowed to read whatever I wanted to early in life shaped the way I saw and understood the world around me.
Bespoke Traveler — Yaaaaaay for early reading. I suspect you have your parents (at least in part) to thank for that 🙂
Indeed I do. 🙂
A great question and a great response. I would have to say reading and imagination both influenced my being a fiction writer.
Marilyn — Ah, yes. Imagination! A vital ingredient for a fiction author. 🙂
I think I have skill in organizing things in the most efficient way. Maybe that’s why library work appeals? It’s also been helpful when completing school and work assignments.
Arlene — That’s a wonderful skill! A place for everything and everything in its place. 🙂
Same three as Laurie – reading at the top of the list, but also observing what goes around me and listening between the lines – but with an addition to the last one – listening between the words. These are all what got me into writing in the first place as a journalist. When I was a teenager m\y mother used to hide my library books – she wasn’t against me reading – her motto was a time and a place for everything and putting my nose in a mystery novel when I should be doing my homework was a big no-no. Mom also borrowed and read books from the library and so did Daddy. Daddy also used to bring the daily newspaper from Mom’s not-very-good hiding place on the steps to the basement and place it in the kitchen where I could read it.
Sharon — Oh, I just love what you shared here. Thank you! 🙂