Tuesday, December 24, 2013

"Welcome to Pi's Ark."

We're the sort of people who celebrate a religious holiday by exchanging gifts.  Since we don't live where we're from, there is usually a lot of travel and shipping involved in our annual exchange which resulted, this year, in us opening a few gifts a couple of days ago.  A most wonderful thing happened.

#3 opened a package.  (It may as well have been a McGuffin, the item itself is meaningless to the story.)  He really gets into the opening packages bit.  It's a contagious excitement.  Anyway, he opened the package with the aforementioned excitement and turned to #4, practically jumping, and said, "Look what we got!"

It wasn't addressed to them both, just to him.  But he never gave that a thought.  My wife has done an amazing job with all of our children and I've grown used to that.  Seeing and hearing that, though, really struck me.  Wow.  It also made me feel a little guilty for hiding the apple pie.

But not much.

We all need to share -- appropriately -- to stay productive.  If you have knowledge I need to become a better writer then you need to share it with me or I won't get any better (thanks, Dad).  Find some friends that know a bit about what you're doing -- either topically or vocationally -- and get their feedback.  And make sure it isn't all just one way.  You may not be the greatest editor in the world, but you know what works in a story and, as an author, you can say, "This character was flat.  I never really got to know her or like her."  That's sooooo much more helpful than "I thought this was pretty good."

I've read a couple of books about writing.  Steven King's was the best, but they were all pretty good.  These authors have shared their experience with you.  Take advantage of that.  But then also remember, just because you haven't made millions of dollars with your words doesn't mean you can't offer something to those around you.  Just remember it's give and take, not just take, and that the give part comes first.

Sharing is a lifestyle, not a costume.  Nobody is fooled by Batman on October 31st.  But when #3 showed his little brother what they'd gotten?  That was real.  Real builds relationships.  And that's the bit of experience I wanted to share with you today.

BTW - I'm telling you where the pie is.

1 comment:

  1. You have a lovely family, Jon. Merry Christmas to all of you!