I love writing stories about genuine individuals who live out their lives with purpose. These people increase my responsibility to give them proper recognition – like a portrait artist who captures the spirit, as well as the image of his subjects.
Now, as I’m writing this, a reprinted story of mine –originally written almost a decade earlier – just chimed into my email from a long-time publisher of my work. I kid you not! Wow… the things that make you go hmmm!
What are the odds of having this re-appear at the same time I’m writing about the quality of my current work? As I read it again, I can honestly say that the initial quality has stood the test of time… at least my time.
I ask myself: am I still maintaining and increasing my link to that same standard of quality? It’s like being reminded of a bigger picture. As President Abraham Lincoln said, “I have been driven many times to my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go.”
So, why would anyone rush the process when so much of it is out of our hands? Is this about revival? Sometimes I feel that I should write faster and produce more. But then, I would have to deal with personal disappointment if the piece didn’t measure up to my own standards: first get good; then get fast.
My blog stories also appear in various publications including ‘The Morcom Report and Laffs’ by Editor / Publisher, Pat Moauro. When I reached out about this, he graciously responded with words of wisdom, saying “We often are our own harshest critic – never quite satisfied… one’s writing is never ‘finished’ – we can always improve.” Paraphrasing Ernest Hemingway, Pat added, “Easy reading is hard writing.”
Leonard Cohen also advised against perfectionism… waiting for our perfect offering. Plus, everyone must deal with deadlines which leaves me wondering: Do I lose something by rushing the process?
Or, maybe, the sparse time allowance is a blessing since it forces me to efficiently produce my 500-word type stories so they’re readable and offer something of value. Yet, every word must help make the main thing, the main thing!
A seasoned author once asked me if anything can be said in just 500 words. I said I didn’t know, but it takes all my time. Abe Lincoln wrote the Gettysburg Address in roughly 300 words; John Lennon wrote “Imagine” in approximately 130 words (plus he had to create the song!) Maybe it isn’t fair to compare myself to pure genius, but their example shows how you can learn to say more with less – be it plain hard work or catching lightning in a bottle. “Whatever gets you through the night (it’s alright)” (172-word song by John Lennon, but who’s counting?)
In the end, writing for the love of it must be the biggest hit of all… we’re always coming back for more.
“With a Little Help from My Friends”
~ The Beatles
That’s the way I figure it. – FP
Image from Pixabay
First published at fredparry.ca
Guest Author Bio
Fred Parry lives in Southern Ontario. He is a lover of people and a collector of stories, music, wisdom, and grandchildren. His raison d’etre? “I’m one of those people who believe that if my work serves the common good, it will last; if not, it will die with me. As a freelancer – including ten years as a Torstar columnist – I still believe that’s true.” His book, ‘The Music In Me’ (2013) Friesen Press is also available via Indigo / Chapters.
Blog / Website: www.fredparry.ca