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Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Agony and The Ecstasy

of watching your six-year-old play baseball. Three weeks ago, my son made his first (and to this date only) run at his little league game. He came running over to the chain-link fence after it, his face bright and hopeful. He grasped the fence and yelled to me.

"I did it, Mom. Did you see?" His joy became complete when I assured him how wonderful he'd done. I also know, as his parent, I could have beaten his joy down. Words are powerful which is why so many of us love to write.

 I don't know how many of you saw the Mel Gibson movie Forever Young but in it, there is a line where he says about his girlfriend, who has gone into a coma, that nothing is real until he tells her about it. I think that is why I miss my mom so much. Tomorrow, she will have been gone eight months. She was the person who made things real for me. Sometimes a little too real like when she would read a story of mine and then say, "it's not my favorite," without ever sharing what that favorite might be. But also letting it be okay that if I take the time to write and parent then my house will never be without toys, backpacks, or dog bones that must be stepped around to traverse most rooms.

I know I write my stories because I like to take the ideas that are running around in my head and see if I can make them coherent on paper but I also crave that external validation. I also wonder if that is why many writers seek publication. Too few authors make a living at it for it to be for the money. Maybe I need someone else's approval to make me a "real" writer.

Speaking of which, ideas are percolating about that contest I mentioned yesterday, details to come soon.


  1. I'm always looking for validation. To have some established 'arbiter of good taste' to think my writing so good that they want to pass it along to the rest of the world is a big deal.

    Good luck with your contest.

  2. I haven't shown anyone my work yet, but I would love for someone to say 'this is good'. I don't know if it's the only reason I write. Would I stop if everybody told me it was terrible? I don't think so, but I hope I never have to find out.

  3. Rusty, I always want to pass along your work. Unfortuneatly for you, I have no power or prestige.
    Sarah, that first read is a giddy and nerve wracking time. Choose carefully, not because your work wouldn't be good but because sometimes even good friends have a hard time letting those they love step out of their box.

  4. Hi, I stopped by to visit because your blog is being promoted over at the pay it forward blogfest.

    Nice to meet you & to be following you.

  5. Hey Melissa,
    Thanks for following. Very kind words were written about this blog that I hope I deserve. The great thing too is I get to go and visit all the people who visit here. I'm still trying to find my way through the blogosphere.

  6. I like to know that people are reading what I'm writing -- because I have all these ideas, like you, that I want to share. I'd like even better to know that they were LIKING reading what I'm writing. But I just like to know that they're reading.

    I was going to try to say something funny here, because I've got a rep to maintain, but I couldn't; I found your post too sweet and touching to allow me to engage in my usual ridiculous comment-antics. Nicely written, and congratulations to your son.

  7. Briane,
    I love funny so always feel free. I'm glad you commented anyway. Not to go insecure writers group early since I haven't even signed up yet but I think if I don't hear they are liking it I assume they are not. Ah, a healthy ego, how I search for it in regard to writing.

  8. I think that's why we all write. The stories don't seem real until someone else has read and absorbed them.

    So sorry about your mom. It must be hard to lose a person who was always there to listen. Hugs.

  9. Thanks Lydia, I miss her every day. It was the worst thing I've gone through so far. My dad died two weeks after she did. I'm pretty sure that was the time Rusty was refering to when he talked about feeling like he was writing in my diary. I'm sure it will find its way into a story at some point as all our experiences do, sooner or later.