Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Kiddo's Writing Makes Me Re-Examine Mine

The sound of crumpling paper echoed through the hallway outside of my home office. It was late at night and I had been determined to work my way through what I hoped would end up being my magnum opus. I had hit a creative wall. Nothing felt right, and each time I would take pen to paper, I would get a few lines in before tearing the sheet out of the notebook, crumpling it up and throwing it against the wall.

The scommotion must have been louder than I had expected, because it woke my daughter up. She walked in and, noticing the paper graveyard of abandoned ideas, asked in her sing-songy way "Whatcha doooooooooing?".

"I'm trying to write something, but really, I'm just making a mess". My daughter began collecting the paper bombs on the floor and tossing them into the trash can.
"You might want to save one of those", I quipped to her. "They'll be worth a lot of money when I sell this manuscript and become rich and famous".

"When you're famous, that means the whole world loves you?", she asked.

"For a little while, anyway. It seems that people love you when you're famous until they find out that you have flaws just like everyone else. And Lord knows I have a lot of flaws. That's part of what I'm writing about."

Kiddo didn't say a word. She just picked up a crumpled wad of paper and went back to her room. I figured that I would take her visit as a cue that I was working too hard and that I should get some sleep.

When I woke up the next morning and walked through my office, I noticed a wrinkled sheet of paper sitting on my keyboard. My daughter had taken the sheet she had picked up from the night before and had written a note on the back. It simply said:

"Dear Daddy, I love you and your flaws"

She signed it with a smiley face, a heart and a whole bunch of Xs and Os.

As much as I want to tell my story and reap the financial and social rewards that would ensue if it became popular, I realize that, no matter who you are, you don't need the whole world to love you. All you need is one person.

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