Self Indulgent Saturday

Moments ago, I started an email to my daughter and the more I wrote, the more I decided I wanted to share it with all my ‘daughters’. Heck, and sons, sisters, brothers: whoever might chance upon it on … my … blog! Call it self-indulgent, but like so many say, ‘well, it is my blog!’

Hey Chikky!

I recently had a revelation that I started to share with you, but didn’t give you the entire thing. today’s ur lucky day because today, I’m going to finish that thought because I loves u!!!


you know how people always say ‘practice, practice, practice’? well, I don’t know if you know that I took piano lessons for 8 years when I was young (you may not know because I cannot play!) but I pretty much understood that you had to practice to improve your skill at something, that the more you did it, the better you got at it. Well, that’s only partially true.

I was listening to this guy on NPR not too long ago. he was a pitcher in the major leagues and something happened; he lost his mojo. He said he would work with different coaches who would have him think through the mechanics of throwing the ball, and this was really the worst thing they could have done to him. The more he focused, the less able he was to find that sweet, thoughtless momentum he previously excelled at when he just threw the ball.

I pictured Michael Jordan shooting free throws and Michael Phelps stroking away in a pool.

I began to think about writers and they always give the same advice: write every day. Just keep writing. Now, if you have the wrong mindset (like I did) you’re not only tired of this seemingly trite advice, but you’re expecting that the more you write, the better you get at the mechanics. But from the baseball player, I realized that the more you write, the easier it is to find that’ sweet spot’.

Then, I pictured Amy Tan and Toni Morrison, pen in hand surrounded by mounds of paper, some fresh and unused while even more was balled and crumpled. And I realized, there’s a ‘sweet spot’ in anything we want to do well, whether it be in sports, arts, engineering, teaching, computing or styling hair.

You know when you’re putting a film together and you’ve lost all sense of time? Left alone, things seem to come together magically but, if someone interrupts you, you have to collect yourself and realize where you are? You’ve perfected the mechanics as you know them and you’re completely lost in that productively, creative moment; in that sweet spot.

That’s why I told you to go out every day with your camera. Perfect your skills and find your sweet spot, your mojo; the surreal feeling of doing the right thing in the right way that only you can do.

you did it when you wrote this:

I want a reader. Knowing I am understood by someone and completely transparent without ever having to say a word is what I want. I want to be chosen. Instead of a night out with friends or watching television I want someone to sit with me by the fire and relax with a glass of wine. Better yet, I want to be the last thing someone takes in at night. Things might be formal at first while they get introduced to my story so perhaps they might start the evening sitting up against their headboard. As the night goes on and they get more comfortable with me. I want to be under the covers while my pages are turned in the heat and desire of wanting to know what comes next. 

I want a reader who loves me so much they take me in their purse, briefcase, bag, maybe just in hand, to work and boring meetings and even on vacations. I want to ride the subway with them and go the doctor’s office. I want the feeling that they care about me so much they do not want to fold my pages to keep their place in my story so they go out and find a special bookmark. I want to be such an inspiration and delight to their life that they cannot wait to share my existence with friends and family. My reader will protect me from rain and spilt milk, they will keep me from fire, children and dogs, I’ll have nothing to worry about. Whenever they read something funny I want to feel the tickle from their small chuckle on my pages. In sad chapters I want to feel my reader hold onto my ends a little firmer than usual while they reassure me they’re with me through the pain. When I get airy or start to run on I want Reader to love me so much they will still have the desire to read every single word. Every story must end but I want to be a never-ending story to my reader. I want my pages to turn forever in their hands.


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