I’ve been sitting out on the deck, enjoying a glass of wine. It isn’t a place I usually go at nearly 1:00 a.m. The air was still, thick, and cool. The yard was dark, it took a while for my eyes to adjust, to pick out the shapes of the trees. No moon, but the sky was full of stars. They were easy to see despite being in the city. Well, a suburb anyway. I looked around and my mind turned to how I would describe it all. It’s a preoccupation now, the thought of how I would describe the world with the written word. It’s not a bad thing at all. It doesn’t take me out of the moment, instead it enhances it. I see and feel things I may have overlooked when my mind wasn’t in tune to what was right in front of me. All of this got me thinking about how I feel about writing, again. Which isn’t unusual these days. Another introspective moment.
I don’t remember the exact moment, how old I was, or what the context was, but I recalled something my dad told me at least a few decades ago. I believe we were talking about what I wanted to be or do when I grew up. I remember him telling me to find out what I was good at and do it. That one statement stuck with me. It was so simple of an idea that I thought it must be true. And for the most part, maybe it is. But I know I will pass on slightly different advice to my daughter. I will tell her, very often, to find out what she loves to do, and do it. There’s a world of difference.
I’m not ripping on my dad for what he said. I think it was great advice. He didn’t want his son living in a cardboard box under a bridge and scavenging through garbage cans behind restaurants for his next meal. I can’t fault him for that. It was good advice for immediate returns. And I earned immediate returns. It set me up well. I stood on my deck in my lovely suburb at nearly 1:00 a.m. and thought of how nice I have it. I can’t deny it. And then I thought of how unsatisfying and empty of a trip it’s been to get here. I don’t like what I do. I don’t come home at the end of the day and feel like I do something I enjoyed. It’s quite the opposite. I never get up in the morning thinking of how I can’t wait to get to work. Never. Call me spoiled and out of touch, I don’t care.
I took two days off of work before the 4th of July holiday. (I’m in the USA.) These last two days were meant for staying up late, watching DVDs or the DVR, going for long walks, and sleeping late. None of that happened. I stayed up maybe an hour late each night. I was up and out of the house early. I went to breakfast, and then I went to a place I like to write. A quiet little tea shop. Emphasis on quiet. I wrote. And wrote. And wrote. I was excited to get up and get going each morning, it wasn’t a chore. I didn’t dread the day. I wanted to do what I love to do, not necessarily what I’m good at. I could do this every day. I could be excited to work every day.
For the writers that read this, I’m well over 5000 words in five days. Plus this rambling mess. Do what you love to do. Cheers!