Homework for Life

I revisited my old fave podcast Inspire Nation today. Michael, who is very light on the woohoos these days but all the better for it and losing none of his energy, interviewed storyteller Matthew Dicks. I love a good story and oh boy, Matthew has the awards to prove that he’s a world-class talker, although he makes far more sense than your regular garden-variety bletherer.

Anyone who’s read a few of my blogs will know I am a huge advocate for journalling for personal growth and to keep writing. (I can’t stress this enough. For anyone on a personal growth journey or for anyone experiencing writer’s block, get into the daily journaling. It seems to quiet the mind and enliven the imagination. I don’t understand the science, but it just works for me so I’m going with it!) I was sitting in the car outside my Bowen Therapist’s office waiting for my appointment and my ears pricked up when Matthew started talking about his writing process called Homework for Life.

video – Matthew Dicks Homework for Life

In a nutshell, he recommends taking a few minutes at the end of the day to think about and commit to paper a story for the day. Matthew actually takes a very simple approach; Morning Pages it most certainly is not! His approach is an excel spreadsheet with a column for the date and a single line for a couple of sentences describing something that had happened that day.

Researching the practice, I read a few blogs and articles written by people who had tried it and they were all very positive. For anyone sceptical about the value of Morning Pages or those who are short of time, this very simple approach is a godsend.

Matthew got his start as a storyteller by attending a story-slam. I’ve just added this to my bucket list…


In the interview Matthew dissed journaling. It was a mild dissing, but it was a dissing all the same. Apparently, people who ‘journal’ are ‘butterflies’ who journal the heartache away when they go through a break-up, then put away the journal when they are happy. Rinse and Repeat.

Right, I thought, your opinion…

But, why is this annoying me?

He quickly recovered and Michael, also an advocate of journaling, steered the conversation back to safer topics, but it had me wondering why it had annoyed me. Of course, in the way I do these things now, I immediately started to unpack that shit. A couple of days ago, a Facebook friend who works on a cruise ship posted a meme that basically said: “If you don’t work on a cruise ship you don’t know shit”. Well, it didn’t say that but that was its message.

My first response: Fuck You. What the heck?? Why did this annoy me?

I don’t really think she intended to make anyone feel bad and I felt a bit pathetic for getting bent out of shape about it. Once I stopped feeling like a wally, it occurred to me that it was actually a mean thing to post. This friend isn’t a mean person, so I figured she wasn’t actually trying to offend anyone who didn’t work on a cruise ship, which is like, 99.9% of the population of the world.

I’m a big believer in kind, inclusive, and generosity. Virtue Signalling is mean and self-censoring is a great life skill to cultivate. It’s important to be able to express yourself and put forward your opinions without minimising someone else’s experience. And if you can’t say anything nice, don’t post on Facebook.

But it still annoys me that I got annoyed.




  1. melcat76

    I think it’s perfectly reasonable to be annoyed by someone else whose message is one that essentially claims their own superiority as in both examples in your post, either by the overt ‘I’m a Y, and the likes of you won’t get it – it’s a Y thing’, or the more covert ‘People who do X are Ys’ with the subtext being that Ys are crap in some way; you happen to do X, and therefore you are being told you’re Y-crap.

    When we listen to anyone, it’s usually because we valued them somehow, and when the message we receive in turn is that we are less valuable than they are, I think the most enlightened, emotionally stable guru in the world wouldn’t be immune to the cold, prickly feeling of being put down.

    Fair enough to examine why you became annoyed by something, powerful irritation is often a valuable signal of some self-realisation to be had. I guess the essential point is whether you experience a relatively fleeting, cold, prickly feeling, or a vicious, white-hot surge of fury 🙂

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