Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Reading and Writing

I'm fairly convinced that you must be reading. I don't mean Sports Illustrated either. Reading is the way we explore, learn, travel and test our worldviews. Sounds dumb, but it is true.

Here are some resources to read along these lines:
  1. 10 Benefits of Reading Every Day. OK, a bit extreme but good points. I can barely do anything every single day, but this is a good list to consider.
  2. Wrapped Up In A Book: The Role of Emotional Intelligence in a Book.  Stephen Bell pointed this out to me on twitter after I published the prior list on a tweet (@brewerma). Empathy can be developed from reading fiction.
  3. My Secret to Reading a Lot of Books on Lifehacker. This is an interesting list of ideas about managing a lot of books to read.
So there you go, a few thoughts from the internet. I keep my reading list on Goodreads where I try to keep my current reading list current. I'm generally reading a lot of books at the same time. I use a couple of widgets from Goodreads to show these books on the side of this blog. If you are into reading, you might consider tracking your books there. If you do, let me know as I'd like to follow you on Goodreads.

Related, I think you should consider writing a blog or journal. Blogs are easy because the tools are free. You can keep them private or make them public like this one or you can limit it to just friends. I try to follow anyone I know who is blogging. I used to use Google Reader for keeping up, but I've switched to Feedly which seems to work fine.

On blogging, in particular, I think students in college should do blogs. You should start thinking about post-college while in college and you can use a blog to build out a portfolio of your thinking and learning as you navigate through the college years. Keep the goofy stuff elsewhere and focus on your field of interest in the blog. When you go to search for a job, you've then got a long body of work to link to as part of that selling process and as part of your resume. There is so much being written now about your social profile is now your resume so start when in college and get it right. Craft the story before you need it.  Here are a couple of resources along those lines:
  1. 8 Reasons Why Students Should Blog and
  2. 5 More Reasons Why You Should Blog
If you are learning about photography, then blog about it. If you are writing, then blog about it. If you are in political science then blog about it, etc. There are numerous resources that say the traditional resume is dead and being replaced by your social presence. And here is an infographic that says similar.

Read things outside your area of interest. Read fiction and non-fiction. Ask your friends what they are reading and recommend good books to them. Give away books. 

Just don't sit there are watch TV every night.

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