PROMPT: What’s a secret skill or ability you have or wish you had?


A secret skill that I wished I had, as well as always wanted to have, is the ability to speed read. I love to read for pleasure, many times read to learn, and read for motivation for my job. As a child, I always said that my goal was to read every book in the library. A co-worker of my father’s, that was eating dinner with my family one night, nodded and said, “That’s a lofty goal. Maybe try speed reading?” My then-eight-year-old-brain was boggled!

And yet, I am nearly fifty years old and have never gotten around to learning how to speed read. This goal might have helped me in high school and college, as well in many of my jobs and my writing. I am currently skeptical, only because I now am much older AND have a traumatic brain injury that has made it harder for me to absorb things. However, I am still wanting to pursue this skill. I just wished I had not put this off!

I really liked this YouTuber’s experiment of different methodologies. I wanted to establish a baseline, so I used the website to see what my average reading amount is. After 1 minute, it reported: “You read between 300 – 350 words per minute. Above-average reading level. (The average rate is between 200 – 250 words per minute.) It is assumed that you did not skim the words nor fail to understand the meaning of what was read.” It is nice to know that I am “above average” to begin with! I have not had time to do a combination speed test/comprehension test. I want to see if the 300 to 350 is the true baseline. I will keep you all posted!

Here are different free speed reading tests:

Another skill, I wished I had, was the ability to speak Spanish. I started this journey in high school, continuing into college. I then had a child and stopped studying Spanish. When ‘they’ say, “If you don’t use it, you will use it,” they are spouting the absolute truth! I work in social services and I cannot count the numerous times that this skill would have come in handy!

Recently, I found a complete set of the Rosetta Stone Spanish Program at Goodwill. I was delighted, naturally, but then worried it would be more than I wanted to pay. When I turned it over, the colored sticker showed that it was $1.99. I scooped it up to purchase it right away after looking through it and making sure that everything was there! I am planning on listening to it on the 25 minute commute to and from work every day! I will keep you all posted on that also!

I think my current super power is writing. I love it. I cannot get enough of it. For fun, here’s a random Super Hero power generator: Just in case you might like to write a story about fictional super heroes with obscure super powers!