Monday, January 15

The perfect gift @Liz Flaherty

We've just passed the traditional season of gift-giving. I had a glorious time buying gifts and opening gifts and using the gifts I was given. No matter how old I get, I love the whole gift-giving process, whether I'm the giver or the getter.

I've been given some superb gifts in my life, haven't you? My daughter's birthday is Thursday, reminding me that our kids were perfect gifts. The ones they married. The Magnificent Seven. Not that they're unflawed--they are human beings, after all--but as gifts...yeah, perfect.

I've given a few, too. I searched for two years to find a video recording of my father-in-law's appearance on the TV show What's My Line to give to my husband. Duane hadn't seen it since he was a kid. I pulled off the surprise and it was, even in memory, a star-spangled moment.

So I was thinking today about writing and about the gift it is to those of us who do it. I was staring at the screen--I don't know about you, but I stare at the screen a lot--and trying to think of what to write. About gifts. About perfection.

I never strive for it...perfection...when I write. (Or any other time, but that's another post altogether.) I want my people to be flawed, their lives messy, even the solutions a little lopsided. This is how I can relate as a reader, so it's what I want to relay as a writer. Other readers, on the other hand, want top-of-the-crop and thankfully there are writers who provide it.

But I got away from what I meant for this to be about. It was about gifts, and I realized that for any writer, the perfect gift is available at any time. It is, no matter how well or how poorly our writing is going, the blank screen--or the blank page. Because every single one is a new chance to get it right (or lopsided.) If we do it wrong, there's that perfect empty space to start over again.

Aren't we the lucky ones?

10 comments:

  1. Liz, writing is a lot like the gift of our children. We struggle and agonize, send it off to others for help in getting it right, often want to give up and walk away, but end up sending it out into the world the best that we could create and hope others love it as much as we do. Great post!

    ReplyDelete
  2. So many good gifts in our lives--I'm especially reminded this season as my kids have moved back home and we're having more time with Grandboy. Love this post and the reminder to be thankful for the gift of being a writer--when you're in the throes of trying to build a story, you sometimes forget to be grateful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Especially for that blank screen, which often seems more of a threat than a gift!

      Delete
  3. Yes, sometimes that blank screen makes me break out in hives. But I like the way you've framed it - an opportunity to start over, a new chance to get it right. Thanks for reminding me to think positively and be grateful for the gift of writing.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love this! I do love a blank page especially when I have something begging to get out. Although, I hate a blank page when it just sits there and blinks at me...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Which it will do! The first move is always up to you. :-)

      Delete