Benefits of Review

Katie Corbett headshot

By Katie Corbett

There is value in going back and reviewing things you have made earlier in your life. I have had a novel in the works since 2009. Yesterday, I took some time between doing a load of dishes and preparing for Thanksgiving to read over that very first draft ever. Needless to say, my writing has improved a lot since then. But I did learn several valuable lessons from that experience.


I learned that reading my old writing could be enjoyable. I compared it to looking at baby pictures: sort of cute, slightly embarrassing, and I’m definitely grateful no one else will read that book.


It was fun to see how much my writing has improved since then. I have gotten much better at dialogue, more readily able to show instead of tell, and my plot points have gotten tighter.


Even though that first draft is basically garbage, I know that my novel wouldn’t be what it is today without that writing. I needed to write to figure out who my characters are, what kinds of things they would do, and how they would interact with each other. That first draft definitely helped me flesh out a lot of those points.


Have you taken the time to go back and look at previous work? What insights did you gain from the experience? Can you think of ways in which that previous work has impacted you now? I would love to know, so feel free to leave me a comment.


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What I Learned by Improving My Self-Awareness and Self-Management Skills

Katie Corbett holds the book "Emotional Intelligence 2.0"

By Katie Corbett


Self-awareness and self-management are both aspects of emotional intelligence, also known as EQ. They entail recognizing and appropriately responding to your emotions. This is an important skill to have, especially in professional settings.


I first became aware of these aspects of EQ when I read “Emotional Intelligence 2.0,” by Travis Bradberry. As I went through the book, I put an action plan into place to grow and improve in these skills.


I grew up in a family where all of us wore emotions on our sleeves. While that resulted in love, affection, and encouragement being expressed, it was also regular for people to fly off the handle when they became upset or life got stressful. As an adult, I noticed these behaviors in myself and wanted to make a change. I decided that improving my EQ would be a great place to start.


While I was working at a nonprofit as a writer, my boss told me I needed to rewrite a piece of content. My stomach clenched and I could feel my body getting warm. I was frustrated. By paying attention to the signals my body was sending me, I was able to realize that I was experiencing negative emotions.


We were heading to an event in a few minutes, so I couldn’t do anything right then to resolve the situation. I took time in my office to cool down. Unfortunately, I did express some frustration to my boss before that cool-down period, but once I realized what I was doing, I put a lid on it for the event and apologized to her afterward.


My emotions still blind-side me at times. Knowing the signals my body is sending me has helped me get control of myself before I show my frustration to the world.


Have self-awareness and self-management kept you from saying or doing something you’d have regretted later? Feel free to leave a comment and share your story.


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What My Tendency Taught Me About Myself

Katie Corbett holds the book "The Four Tendencies"

By Katie Corbett


One of my favorite aspects of personality tests is their ability to teach us about ourselves. I have found great strength in knowing myself, and learning what I bring to the world when I’m being authentically me. I’m always interested in taking more personality tests, because each test provides different insights and perspectives into who we are as humans.


In the book, “The Four Tendencies,” by Gretchen Rubin, I took her test to learn my tendency. It turns out I’m an Upholder. This means I follow through on expectations I set for myself, as well as those set for me by others. This knowledge deepened what I know about myself in various ways. I learned that:


  • I want to do what others expect of me, and also to do what I expect of myself.
  • Since I respond to both inner and outer expectations and view them as equally important, it is critical not to overwhelm myself with too many expectations.
  • It is easier for me to form habits, and setting schedules and to-do lists for myself is satisfying.
  • Since inner and outer expectations can sometimes clash or interfere with one another, I have learned to give myself grace when this happens.
  • I have learned that since I have this characteristic of setting and following expectations, I might be more readily suited to taking on leadership roles.


If you would like to learn more about yourself, I recommend this book. You might be an Upholder, or you might have the personality of one of the other three tendencies. Grab the book, take the quiz, and start the discovery process about yourself.


Did you learn something that surprised you through a personality test? Do you have a favorite personality test? Let me know in the comments.


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Keep Feeding Your Curiosity

Katie Corbett holds the book "The Productivity Project."

By Katie Corbett


It can be easy to look at everything you are accomplishing in life and feel like you are doing things well enough. If something is working, after all, why change it? I have found it helpful to think of exploring new ideas before making a change, to see if an idea resonates with me before trying it.


I love getting new ideas of how to do things better and more efficiently. That’s why I recently read “The Productivity Project”, by Chris Bailey. When it comes to productivity, here is a list of reasons why I’m productive, and why I learn new things.


  1. I like exploring new ideas.
  2. I like seeing how others live their lives.
  3. I enjoy experimenting to see what works and what doesn’t.
  4. I want to see what I can accomplish and how far I can push myself.
  5. I love to learn.
  6. I think ideas are some of the most powerful forces in the world.
  7. Exploring ideas and greater efficiency gives me something to talk about with others.
  8. Gathering new ideas reminds me that there is always another way of handling something or of looking at a situation.
  9. Being productive reminds me that I can contribute to the world.
  10. Seeking ways to be more productive gives me a reason to keep learning, growing, and exploring.


Greater productivity might not be what motivates you to keep being curious. Here are some questions to ask yourself about why you want to keep using your noodle.


  • What do you want to know more about?
  • What benefits would this bring you?
  • What could you do to feed your curiosity that is manageable, given your current level of responsibility?
  • What is one thing you can do each day to grow your knowledge?
  • How will continuing to ask, and find the answers to, questions help you now and in the future?


I hope this list of questions motivates you to keep expanding your horizons. I would love to know where your curiosity is taking you. Feel free to leave a comment.


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