close enough

This is a blog about about staying after it. When I was in High School, I was a class clown with ADD.  I could never sit down very long and concentrate, so I tended to disrupt the class, because if I would not or could not do the work, then I got bored.  I do not think ADD was a thing 35 years ago, so I kept getting C’s year after year and going on to the next grade.  I never read a book all the way through.  I simply could not retain the information from the sentence that I had just read.  Then I would just be reading words and not comprehending anything that I was reading.  I could not ever read the cliff notes from cover to cover.  When I read I actually got anxious and panicked.

I would get so mad, that when I really tried, the English teacher would seemingly not look at the content, because she could not get past the grammatical mistakes.

I ended up going to Community College and was informed that I needed to take an English 100 course before being allowed to take English 101.  I had to do my best selling that I could do the work and keep up with the class.  I got through English 101, but I remember to this day the comments on a paper I wrote and it said I expected more depth.  The problem was I had no more depth.  I was functioning at very shallow area.  When I got to English 102 that is when the magic happened.  To set the stage I never answered a question correctly in an English class in my life.  This time the teacher asked a question to the class and I answered it correctly.  Well my chest pumped with pride and probably came across as pompous, but I can promise it was classic example over overcompensating for a glaring weakness.  The magic is about to come.

The professor saw how cocky I was and said okay explain this to me.  He had drawn on the board what looked like a Nike swoop and one top half hoop and several vertical lines underneath the swoop.  Everything above and below the swoop connected to the swoop. For this moment everything slowed down and became clear.  I took that confidence I was feeling and I decided to put fear on the back burner and just give myself the opportunity to ponder it.  I came up with a reference to I love Lucy where Ricky, Lucy, Fred and Ethel all sat on one side of the table facing the television camera.

The class looked at me like I was crazy.  The teacher stood silent and just stared at what he had drawn to see if he given to much away.  Then after what seemed like 30 seconds of silence, he conceded that was 180 degree perspective he was trying to convey.  People after class said they had no idea how I saw that and to tell you the truth I do not know either.  But it gave me the confidence that I could pull out some pretty creative stuff if I refused to panic and give it a go.

I spent a couple of year writing a 420 page Novel.  The writing of the novel was grueling, never typing more than 7 days on any given day.  When I was done, I had an unedited book.  I had read snippets of every aspect of the book to my wife and she thought it sounded really good.  That is the problem.  I write like I talk.  The written form had so many grammatical mistakes that I could not get anyone to read through it to give an opinion on whether it was good or not.  That book still sits on my shelf.  I still do not want to make editing it my life’s work so I am going to try and get in a rhythm again.

I have friends that are so passionate of the written and spoken word, That when they heard I was going to start to write they have been so encouraging.  When the read what I write it will be interesting if they are still as encouraging.  It will not be because I do not have interesting things to say.  I am just a first cut kind of guy. i get pleasure out of the creative juices coming and spilling it out onto paper.  I have very little interest in doing a proper edit to have it appreciated by a larger audience.

My message is simple. Do what you do, have fun, and enjoy your work even if you cannot pay your own family to read it.