Hey You! No More Excuses!
Do you know what the #1 desire employers have for any employee is at most companies?
- It’s not technical competence!
- It’s not years of experience!!
- It’s not people who prefer short lunch breaks!!!
The number one desire for any employee at almost every company on earth is: communication skills. (Not all companies know this explicitly but they inherently understand it every time they seek new employees.)
But the vast majority of companies want employees who can communicate. Typically, a good communicator is a good learner also. Skills can be taught; communication isn’t so easy.
Communication Means Reading
To be a good writer, you must read a lot. Audiobooks, while vital to a busy person, won’t replace all the abilities and knowledge we actually gain while physically reading!
Writing is the cornerstone of long-term communication. Speaking skills are vital for many jobs such as product presentations, board meetings, and client acquisition. But to the extent that you can communicate in writing, you are more valuable to yourself and to others.
In a way, writing makes you immortal. What you write can stick around far longer than you ever will.
Just ask Shakespeare.
You should be reading. This means non-fiction and fiction.
Fiction teaches you valuable skills. The primary one is communication! Fiction can teach you all about people and how they interact. Obviously, not every book is as good as demonstrating this skill as others. Still, the great classics certainly were good at getting their point across to their target audience or we wouldn’t know about those classics still today.
I wrote a report about writing fiction here.
Many busy people say, “I have no time for fiction.”
For Those Who Say, “I Have No Time for Fiction”
Oh contraire mon frere! (I think that’s Mexican for Yes you do, Bro.)
Note: I lied. Don’t run or walk there, click there, but only after you finish reading the rest of this.
At Daily Lit:
- You initially sign up.
- You never pay a cent. Ever.
- You add titles from the hundreds (thousands?) of books to your queue.
- You click to begin a title and choose the Small, Medium, or Long option.
For the next ## days, Daily Lit sends to your Inbox a very short, a little longer, or slightly longer than that serial excerpt from your book. The length obviously depends on your selected length when you choose a book.
I’m currently reading A Study in Scarlet. That was the very first Sherlock Holmes story every published. It’s his “origin” story in a way. (Certainly it was Watson’s.) I read A Study in Scarlet and many other Holmes titles in high school.
Note: The only thing I did not ever do in High School was learn or listen to anything they had to say. (Since I went to a government school, they had very little to say.)
I would always have a book at my desk reading, whether it be Sherlock Holmes or a Psychology textbook or book about healthy eating. (I was a weird kid. I got hooked on healthy eating books when I read Adelle Davis’s classic Let’s Eat Right to Get Fit in about the third grade. I didn’t eat any better, after all I was only like 8 years old. I couldn’t control what my parents brought home. Still, my mother read the book and we started drinking Davis’s acclaimed Tiger’s Milk for a while. Tiger’s Milk didn’t taste as bad as everybody said.)
The only Psychology books I could get my hands on were my mother’s old college textbooks from the 1950s. She had two or three and I read every single word of those texts. At least thrice.
In High School, I voluntarily signed up for summer school English. I figured all the stoners and flunkies went to summer school and I was correct. I was able to go every morning for two months, do absolutely nothing along with the stoners and flunkies all around me, and get an A. This meant I didn’t have to sit through English during the 9 months of the following school year and read or write.
Every day in summer school, I’d bring all sorts of projects for me to do. I recall sitting in my 11th grade English summer school class where I specifically taught myself these skills one week:
- Morse Code
- The Greek alphabet
- The resistor’s color-coding scheme and Ohm’s Law from an electronics text I found at a used bookstore.
The Greek alphabet was the only thing that later became useful. It was when I began studying Biblical Greek a few years ago.
As I said, I was a weird kid.
I made the mistake a mistake the summer before my Senior Year. I wanted to own and run my own fireworks stand so I only took one month, half a year, of Senior English that summer. That meant I had to take a full semester of English my Senior year. They stuck me in Writing and Composition. My grade was a D.
I wonder if my English Teacher, Mrs. McDougal, the one who gave me that D, has written more than 85 titles, published by major publishers, and translated into every modern language on earth as I have? I would love to ask her.
Now Where Were We?
Oh yeah, I haven’t forgotten: Daily Lit.
You thought I’d forgotten where I was.
Once you take the 3 minutes or so to sign up and choose your first book or two at Daily Lit, every single day after that, you’ll receive an email that has 4-5 paragraphs, 10-12 paragraphs, or 15-16 paragraphs of the book you chose. The length you get daily is based on your chosen option which you can change any time.
Who doesn’t have time to read 4 to 16 paragraphs every day???
I figured I wasn’t reading enough fiction lately. I listen to a lot of podcasts as you know but they’re productivity and Bible podcasts so I can’t find time to fit fiction in even when I play everything at 2.0x.
But I have time for 4 to 16 paragraphs daily! So do you.
I’m well into my old fav, A Study in Scarlet, and soon I’ll be on the next one. For the next several books, I’ll certainly choose titles I’ve never read before. A Study in Scarlet has been one of the few on my re-read list for years. In a few weeks, I will have re-read it without ever once feeling as though fiction has slowed down my day in any way.
It’s true that most of Daily Lit titles are classics. But aren’t those the very books you’ve always told yourself you need to read… “some day.”
Some day is now. You have absolutely no excuse.
My Closing Argument
In three years, you will be three years older. There’s little you can do to change that.
So you’re going to be three years older anyway.
You have two options as to who you will be at the end of the next three years:
- You can be three years older and also have read 12-15 books you always wanted to read but never had the time.
- You can be three years older and have not read 12-15 of those great books you’ll still promise yourself that you’ll read Real Soon Now.
The choice was easy for me. Right now join Daily Lit and we’ll both be able to wow everybody at the next cocktail party we go to with our new literature acumen.