“It is nearly impossible to be error-free.” Spoken by a publisher who still finds errors in New York Times best sellers.
You know how it is. We can see errors someone else makes but not our own. That is not entirely egotistic. We know our material, and so our brain fills in the blanks.
Have you ever read a page where every word is misspelled, and you can still read it?
If the first and last letters are correct and the middle letters resemble the word you are writing, it is readable. Our brains are amazing.
However, our little picky brain is annoyed by that error, like a fly on the wall is irritating for it destroys the pristine palate of the wall.
Have you ever noticed that you see the slightest movement in a field of grass on that hillside over there? We are geared to see anything out of place.
I’m in the second phase of my memoir. I hesitate to call it that, for that seems egotistical, but I am fascinated by Natalie Goldberg, who says a memoir can begin at any time in your life, and it doesn’t have to begin with I was born in…” Neither does it have to be your entire life. I love it. Just pick a moment that took your breath away and go for it.
And everyone has a story to tell.
Oh yeah, but is it a good story?
I was impressed by Oprah Winfrey, who said that although she walks into a room as one, she carries 10,000 with her. Think of all those ancestors who contributed to you. Think of what you have behind you. Who came over on a boat? Who was a slave? Who was a horse thief? How about that Grandma who gave birth to twelve children and, by sweat and tears, raised them to adults? Why worked their butts off to put food on the table?
What did you get from them? I know little about those who came before me, but I owe it to them to write what little I know. We don’t know about their inner thoughts; some were working so hard they didn’t have time to ask the big questions or the inclination to ask. Some things were rigid then. Some words weren’t spoken. But those people still had their thoughts and questions and doubts. I felt that by writing what little I know, I honor their lives. Even if those lives weren’t perfect.
Like a perfect manuscript, perfect life is impossible, but we try.
I reached my goal of 50,000 words while the pink blossoms remained on the tree from May 1 to May 31. That’s the fun part. Now comes the work, the corrections, the rewrites, the “What in the world am I doing?” stage. And what was I afraid to place on paper?
I didn’t have anything to say today, so I said this.
Carry on, do good work,