Writing Wisdom Life Lessons From Departed Friend Barb Scafferi

Have a great day !!!!

Have a great day !!!!

That was the last Facebook post ever made from our friend Barb Scafferi, who passed away Sunday.

How old was she? How did she leave us?

The “how they died” is for the ordinary. I’ll stick to how she lived. Barb was extraordinary!

For years, published in the equivalent of an alternative newsweekly, she wrote a blog before the format was invented. She captured Marshalltown (Iowa) history through lively reporting and by encouraging others to share their memories. Readers would write (or call) Barb. She’d weave all the tidbits into a lively tapestry. Barb understood that feelings mattered. She wasn’t writing a term paper, but more of a love letter to bygone beloved places and events.

Best of all, everyone who’d contribute a sentence would feel like a vital co-star in her latest column. This grateful lady would make sure even the smallest assistance was saluted.

When she re-retired to Northern Iowa, Barb surprised again. She made Facebook her own. Wielding an iPad and endless daily joy, she’d commentate on what made her happy — and why. From Dancing With the Stars to awards shows, Non-computery Barb would offer live “as it happens” posts with her reactions.

Here are three lessons I learned from Barb. Writers (and anyone else) would benefit.

1. Say WHY. On Facebook, she could top off any post with a single “fun!” or “beautiful!!!” When she was praising someone’s creation or achievement, she’d add how it made her feel.

2. Say ‘WHY NOT?’ Barb produced stories. She was always adding a thought to the mix. She knew that quantity is quality. Fearful prisoners of perfection who are never ready could be inspired by Barb’s willingness to share.

3. Say it NOW. She didn’t wait. She wanted to connect. She wanted to uplift. She made the most of what she had in the time she had. Conquering an iPad and Facebook at her age?

I said a Muhammad Ali quote today:

“Impossible isn’t a fact. It’s an opinion.”

I saw one champ’s face and heard another’s voice.

Thank you, Barb. Well done, good friend.

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