My Father’s Lesson

Posted by on Nov 13, 2008 in Writing | 6 comments

cannonbeach11Yes, I’m procrastinating.

I submit a sunshine picture because two days of constant rain and gray ended — for now. Today brings blue — actual blue! — sky, sunlight reflecting through fluffed clouds, and aspen leaves lit-up gold. I’ll get the dog out for a real walk because her excess energy led her into the litter box — and out came the kitty rocas (crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside, as my friend Bruce likes to say) all over the carpet. Nice waking up to that. Gag. What is it with dogs and poop?

So.

I’m about to start the task I mentioned yesterday. I feel fine (not so sick). Why do I resist settling down to story-development work? It challenges me in a way I don’t like, perhaps because it’s such an organized act. First drafts, revisions: okay; but this? Anyone out there who can relate?

I’d let the task go except that the few times I’ve thought before writing (hehe) proved helpful. In the end, it’s a skill I need to practise. That’s what it comes down to…Have got to keep practising and improving on all writing fronts, even the fronts I don’t prefer (to put it nicely).

This reminds me of my father (and here I go, procrastinating further — what a shock). He owned restaurants. During college breaks I worked at one of them. It got so that he let me call in the payroll every other week, which was a heinous job. In fact, much of my father’s day was spent at tasks that appeared deathly dull, even painful at times.

So I asked him, “How can you stand doing all this stuff?”

He said, “Even the best jobs come with the parts we don’t like. We do them because there’s a bigger picture. That’s the way it is.”

(My father was a pragmatic man.)

That was a huge learning lesson for me. One of the best. In one casual moment, I learned that we gotta suck it up sometimes, even when we love what we do. I remember him when I’m trying to settle down to writing tasks that don’t thrill me. Like now!

6 Comments

  1. That’s sound advice from your dad. Good luck with the story development. (And thanks for the blog visit. Always good to meet interesting and creative bloggers.) Interested to hear more about your novel as it develops …

  2. Sounds like my dad who was always willing to suffer through the bad stuff (sometimes too much of it, if you ask me) to get to the good. Good for you for tackling it. I’m inspired.

  3. It’s the sitting down-to-do-it part that stinks. Once underway, you’ll be fine, tearing up the paper with ink and ideas.
    How cool is it that Dads know stuff? Amazing.

  4. Thanks for dropping in, couchtrip. Looking forward to more peeks into your world, too.

    tracer, I concur! Sometimes too much of it, for sure! My dad didn’t make it easy for himself (and maybe I’m following in his footsteps).

    oh, thanks. I like that: tearing up the paper. Go us!

  5. I’m late reading this post, but I think your father sounds very wise. I often forget that writing is just my job, and that I need to realize there are low points in it, just like with any job. So then I panic and think that I can’t possibly do it anymore, when really I need to just think like your father–there are some parts to it that are hard, and you just do them. Even if you love it, it’s still hard. Thank you for this reminder! I needed it tonight.

  6. Glad I could help, Sandi!

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