Inspired By A Third Grade Drop Out

My father was a third grade drop out. He then went to work digging ditches for to help his family out. Imagine that for a second, you, 7 or 8 years old, digging ditches with a bunch of grown men, not going to school playing with friends.

There was a sense of family / humanity back then, also a rule in the country that you help out your neighbours, you do what is right, you always work hard, and are always kind. Look at the world today, this is no longer the rule, and only a hand full of parents teach the golden rules. Even the police motto changed from “serve and protect” to the new ridiculous, “vigilance, courage and pride”. I liked the earlier motto, it reminds them that they are police officers to help, not to bully.

For those who have read my blog to now may know the respect and love I have for my father, nothing new. He was a jerk at times, but aren’t we all? But there was this way with him, he always loved people. Never turned away anyone needing help, and always tried being the best man he could be. So when I saw this YouTube vid on the wisest man was a third grade drop out, it reminded me so much of my fathers words, and it reminded me to “Be a better me”. I am at rock bottom, but with no place to go but wallow here, or go up, I’ve been working on the later by working of goals to get me there.

I am an inspiration junkie. I love those YouTube vids that make you wanna jump up and be somebody. Only the inspiration dwindles until the next time you watch another one. The yo-yo effect will not make me a better me though, but this video made me feel like I was listening to my fathers words reminding me who I am, how strong I am, and to not give up. “This too shall pass”, he would quote to me all the time when things got tough. “As long as you keep pushing through, this too shall pass” he said.

We need more dads like this, this is a real man. This is a man I would love to know. To have the courage act with kindness, the respect to be early, to help others for the sake of helping, this is a great person to look up to. I am grateful this person speaks.

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I effed up again!

Ever have one of those days, weeks, or months where you just can’t do anything right? Nothing you say is right, what you do was wrong, and even breath incorrectly. Sheesh!

That has been my life! OK, a little over dramatic I know,  but this passed 7 days has been one thing after another. I cooked the wrong food at work, then I burned the right food, then I forgot to make the other food. What is with my head? I can’t seem to get things flowing right.

At home I become a dropaholic, anything and everything I drop, break, crack and dent. I spilled our wash water all over the floor, I dropped the food on our now wash watered floor. I stubbed my toe on the crazy little corner that shouldn’t even be there. Then a part fell off the car, yup, driving along merrily and then it just fell right off. Random pieces of my car are trailing the highways. I hope it wasn’t needed because it is long gone.

While I drive I am taking the most attentive care to obey the speed limit. I have a lead foot so, I’ve been trying to be very good. There I am driving along doing the speed limit and everyone is honking at me, fingering, and shaking their heads at me. I keep telling them if they don’t like it, go around me. But no, they have to stay behind me and flick their high beams at me. Like that’s going to make me get a speeding ticket to make them happy. Yelling at me and fingering me is not going to make me speed for you either, so, GO AROUND! There is three lanes so, it’s not like you have any reason you can’t go around me.

Then the icing on the cake, I said the wrong thing to the person I love the most in the whole universe. My daughter. I popped her bubble on an idea she shared with me and I just reacted like a total jerk. I of course realized after I said it and, tried to back track but too late. The words fell out. I didn’t even know where those words came from, I don’t feel them at all. I want her to express herself, I want her to share with me, I want her to take her leaps of faiths and try new things. I was just a jerk so how do you fix this. Say I’m sorry right. I did, I did again and again but it still doesn’t feel right, and she doesn’t seem to be as excited about her thought anymore. Maybe if I stab myself to make her feel better? No, that won’t work, again, being overly dramatic. I just feel like crap for my behaviour and words.

This passed 7 days is over but this stretch of crap keeps going on. Like the never ending song, or never ending story, only worse. How is it worse than that? It’s happening to me, that’s how.

OK. Stop whining and figure this out. Shit happens, so how can I make a shit pie that tastes a lot better than it smells? I think I just have to laugh at myself, and then try to do better the next time, or day. Or take a really long nap, like Rip Van Winkle.

I am one of those people who mull over everything. I am a muller, I am a person who can not let things go until I make things better, or at least made my best efforts to make things right. I will try to see that it’s OK to make a booboo and learn to move forward. But what if you screw up repeatedly?

I suppose it’s all part of growing right?

Don’t ask your daughter what to do when you keep effing up, all she is going to say is: “I don’t know, it’s your problem.” Gee thanks hun for your great advice. heehee she was a fountain of help hey?

Well I will think on it more and maybe just take a long nap. I hear the Great Northern Catskills are a great place to sleep.

What do you do to stop the series of troubles or screw ups? Or stop mulling?

 

Why Write?

 

I saw a post in the LinkedIn group “Before the Ink Dries” by Don Gewywolf ford .This made me curious why writers write.

I’m a curious individual, so much so that I’ve been called a cat. I’m wondering why other writers write? Being new to this industry I have only met a couple of writers. What made you pick up that pencil, pen, or keyboard? What makes you tick, as a writer? What keeps you going?

I mean, it’s a cruel business to be in. Rejection is a guarantee. How many people would go to work everyday for a boss that tells them “We don’t like your work” or “You just don’t have what it takes to advance”? Everyone I know wouldn’t want to, they would find a different job, one that appreciates them.

Self-doubt, fear, that little voice inside always undermining every word you think or write. That thought “I’m not smart enough” and “No one reads my stuff anyway?” or “Is this post worthy?” The self-doubt is heavy, then add the naysayers telling you the same things you are thinking.

The fact that publishers will not even look at you if you are not published, yet you can’t get published unless someone publishes you. Yikes, that’s maddening. The pay is peanuts. Actually, it’s peanut dust. Some don’t pay you at all. You spend hours pouring out your soul, sharing pieces of yourself in your prose, then sell it for $25. Let’s dump some vinegar on that paper cut, that prose is kidnaped for months before you even see that money, since you don’t get paid until it’s printed. Worse, “they” change their minds and not print it, now there’s no money after waiting so long. When or if, you get a book published, you are the one who does all the work. You use your own money, (from that temporary job you do) you put in all your spare time to promote and sell your book. Then, how well you market your own book, and continue to market your book over the years; you may make some money. How’s your marketing skills and networking contacts?

So far, I have not painted the life of a writer in very good light. Painting it in the black of night I think is more accurate. When you consider all that is a “writer” it may not sound like a great career choice. The number of people who make a wealthy living on just writing is a small percentage. Is this maddening, crazy making career choice worth it? Are we just floating down that inevitable shit stream, with a ginormous hole in the bottom of a wobbly old wooden raft without a paddle? The answer I wish I could say is an absolute yes it’s worth it, but I can’t. The answer is very personal.

How much rejection can you take? How much do you want to invest of your time, finances, and emotionally? Why are you doing it in the first place? Have you forgotten why you are writing in the first place? Maybe you are unsure at this point.

I know for me I have those lows, but I write about it. Sometimes my most haunting stories come from those lows. Sometimes its just dripple on tear-stained paper. I say, write about it and keep writing. I do wish that it was a more welcoming industry choice. I wish all writers the courage to continue, only if it is what makes them happy.

So why do I do this? Originally, I wrote to escape reality; my imagination was a better place than what I lived. Over time I learned that through my stories they helped people. I love to influence people either a smile, anger, laughter or maybe even a tear. For whatever emotion sparked, I love influencing it. I want to live my dreams. Now that I am older, I must act on those dreams before I lose time, no more regrets. Perhaps this is selfish, but so be it. I’m too old to give a damn what you think of me type of thing. I write because I will not be told I can’t. I write because I want to be the best writer in the world. This will take some time, maybe 2 weeks. (I joke about the 2 weeks) I write because I want to, and I can. As I learn and grow, I want to write even more. Every rejection letter makes me want it even harder. Therefore, I write.

We can not blame the publishers for this writing game. Publishers are not bad people. It may feel like it as you have all this happening to you. But they are not these creatures with horns and a long pointy tail, smoking cigars in an expensively designed office, laughing at your work. They’re not gathering other creatures with horns and pointy tails to come laugh at your work. They are not laughing as they write that horrible rejection letter.

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“We thank you for your effort, but really you suck, though we had a great laugh at your writing. Better luck next time.” -Fictitious rejection letter #1001

 

 

 

Publishers have thousands of papers fall on their desk. (I’m not talking about the creatures with horns and pointy tails, I’m now talking about actual human beings.) When the work day is done, they take a pile of those papers home and read while in bed, in front of the TV, or maybe while taking a bath. That’s my image of someone who is a publisher. Just a hard-working individual who obviously loves to read, a lot. They’re on the hunt for the next big league writer. Publishers, I believe genuinely want to find someone to publish. So, I am sorry, we can’t hate on the publishers.

So, what makes you write? Such a personal question I’m sure. For some it’s personal and private, others it’s a hobby. Some for delusions of grandeur. I really want to know.

Each time a writer creates, they’re sharing a piece of themselves. They exposed themselves to you the reader. You are given the opportunity to peek into the mind and spirit of that writer. Why do you expose yourself writing?