Sunday, September 12, 2010

Thoughts on Writing & Miracles

I was going to write today, there are lots of things in my head that need to get out, but I think I'm just going to reflect instead. That sounds a bit silly--by "write" I mean on my book and, even though reflecting is writing, it's not going to be writing my book.

However, I might write about writing my book.

In fact, during this fourth rewrite, I can see that one of two, perhaps both, things are happening. Either my writing has improved because I have to write professionally all day, or it takes me about four rewrites to get to the heart of the story that I’m trying to tell. My guess? It's a lot of both. And, with that knowledge in mind, I will draw on the energy of improvement even on days when writing social media posts for 3DTVs, diapers, anti-aging skincare, frozen food, and laptops... or proofreading 15-page statements of work... or video scripts for the world’s largest brands... even on days when these things wear me out, I'll know that their non-fiction improves my fiction.

Yesterday, we remembered a tragedy of nine years ago that kept most of us glued to the TV for days. We're intrigued by disaster; let's just admit it. We watch as weather wreaks havoc on cities. We slow down to ogle traffic accidents. We stare into the flames of forest fires and know that the difference between black smoke and white smoke delineates the difference between man and nature. We watch for hours as people on the scene pass bricks hand-to-hand in the hours after a devastating earthquake. We stand, even when sitting in the upper deck, when coaches, players and medical staff have surrounded a player, because we're trying to get a closer look at one's fate.

However, it's not because I’ve come to believe that we're all masochists. No, not at all. We’re not watching tragedy to bathe in horror; we’re watching tragedy to witness a miracle. The toddler is trapped in an unused well and is rescued 58 hours later. The racecar driver emerges from a demolished ball of steel. The player walks off the field under his own power. The driver trapped between two levels of concrete highway is freed 90 hours after the earthquake. The emergency personnel rescue 11 people in 24 hours, but continue to work around the clock for days fueled by the hope that someone might still be alive at ground zero. Miracles.

... Pause...

While we'll never forget, let's also remember that we don't need tragedies to see miracles. Life is a miracle. You want to rescue someone? Rescue them with a smile and ask for nothing in return. Hold a child's hand when you walk through the park. Help someone across the street. Hold the door, even when your party has long since made its way through it.

Be the miracle, ya? Okay. Enough reflecting. GO!

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