The hardest thing about writing is that sometimes the words don’t come. They’re not there. They swirl in a stew on someone else’s back burner.
Today I was writing for a client (my “day” writing job), and I just couldn’t do it. No matter what I said, no matter how I said it, it all ran together into a mish-mash of confusing, stale, what-is-this-crap-I’m-producing-ness.
It’s even harder when someone says to you: “Hey, are you going to knock this one out of the park?” Yeah, I’d like to, but it doesn’t mean it’s going to happen, jerk.
That’s when you know you have to stop. Look out the window. Take a walk. Search for wrinkles and gray hairs in the mirror.
Or…I sometimes find it helps to reflect on the occasions when I (and other people I know) decidedly did NOT hit it out of the park. More like performed abysmally to the sound of sad violins. And possibly broke some bones. Shall we go there?
I once got an F on my forward dive off the diving board. Yes, but diving can be challenging, you say. And I say to you: an F, for Pete’s sake. I could have not even showed up that day and done better.
My sister tried boogie-boarding for the first time in Manhattan Beach, California, when she was about 16. We were born and raised in Colorado. Enough said.
My boyfriend and I had a bum anchor and non-existent boating skills in Croatia. Go read about that misadventure here.
I ran full-speed into a brick wall in sixth grade playing tag in a backyard. With two loose teeth held in place by my braces and blood pouring out of my nose, the emergency dentist told me, “Those teeth will die over time.” He was right. And I wasn’t even tagged out!
Twisted ankles and torn knee ligaments, anyone? My basketball-playing boyfriend and brother-in-law can relate.
How about the poor woman in red pants who had the misfortune of crossing an icy bridge in Estes Park in full view of my best friend and I (who, lucky for her, happened to share my comic love of anyone falling down). She did one of those Looney Tunes scrambles before landing squarely on her ass, and I’ve never laughed so hard in my life.
Let me keep going. I once hit a parked car on a straight road. Yes, I’m a good driver. And no, I was not intoxicated.
A girl in one of my college classes, which was held in one of those theater-type classrooms, walked in 15 minutes late one day. The only empty seats were in the front row down a long flight of stairs. Halfway down, she tripped and did a tumble-and-slide all the way to the bottom as we all watched in utter horror. Hats off to you, sister. Thank God it wasn’t me. (And I’ve never silently laughed so hard in my life).
I once did a mocking imitation of a client to a co-worker while said client was on the phone—on hold—or so I thought. She heard everything. My only excuse was that I was in my twenties.
And all those other little failures and offenses: traffic tickets, blowing a deadline, putting your foot in your mouth, taking a swing and missing the ball, getting slapped in the face by the jump rope, sitting in the wrong seat on the plane, flubbing a speech, stubbing a toe, diving under the news desk when the tornado sirens go off, delivering sub-par copy to an expectant client. Oh, the humanity…
So now that we’re done with the bloopers, let’s get back to work. Because though it can always be better, it can always, always be worse.