Yesterday in the US was Father’s Day. My dad is gone (as is my mom) but both supported my efforts to write while I had a full-time job. For common sense, they couldn’t be beat. So I’m going to share my dad’s wisdom on writing that I’ve used as a yardstick ever since.
I had read a writing magazine that extolled the virtues of one type of writing. It’s formulaic! It makes money!
By the end of the issue, I was convinced to write a book in that genre for some quick and easy cash. I typed one paragraph and cringed. I couldn’t write another word but I was so disappointed in myself.
I went to the living room where my dad watched TV and told him what I’d tried to do. He said words that are engraved on my heart:
“You start out writing garbage, you end up writing garbage.”
What he meant, of course, is not that that unnamed genre was garbage—just that it wasn’t right for me. And to write solely for the money and not with any part of my heart was simply wrong.
He didn’t make me feel like a failure because I couldn’t do it.
Thanks dad. Miss you still.
Image courtesy of sattva at FreeDigitalPhotos.net