Using it wisely

IMAGE: Jose Murillo via Unsplash

IMAGE: Jose Murillo via Unsplash

Nobody important born on today said anything worth quoting.

I’m sure that’s not true. It’s just that none of them inspired me to write.

Go ahead, Cosmos. Mock me.

Writing something brilliant every day takes planning. Planning that I didn’t really accomplish over the weekend. But, I did get the yard mowed.

Over the years I’ve collected dozens of links and “free” books that are supposed to serve as writing prompts. Most of the time my response is “who would want to read about that?”

Don’t get me wrong. The writing prompts are good exercise. Just not the brilliance you expect here on a daily basis.

Speaking of good exercise, by the time you’re reading this I should be on my second consecutive day at the gym. Work with me.

Never mind that I’m going to dinner with a friend tonight where there will be Italian food and multi-national beverages. Or the fact that I’m visiting the ‘rents this weekend where all nutritional bets are off.

I digress.

Coming up with compelling content every day is a challenge. I think that’s been my struggle with blogging all along. I have friends and acquaintances, and even family, who have turned their blogs into successful business ventures. But they had a focus whether it was interior design, or cooking, or politics.

My focus is sort of a life/acting/family/faith/writing/art/work/coffee/wine/travel kind of focus.

You see the problem.

It has nothing, or everything, to do with the fact that I changed my college major three times.

But seriously, even those who have found their niche can have days where it’s difficult to find topics on which to write.

I am very blessed to be a part of The Mighty Pen Project. It’s a writing program sponsored by The Virginia War Memorial and designed for veterans. As non-veteran (perhaps the one area in my life where I do still allow myself some regret), I am very fortunate to have been grafted in as a civilian because there was space.

Each week half of the class writes, the whole class reviews, and our instructor, Author David Robbins, teaches us the mechanics, and the techniques of better writing.

I had no idea I had so much to learn.

But as much as I am enjoying this class, I am a bit intimidated to sit among veterans from Vietnam and Iraq and read and listen to their stories. Even writing fiction, my work can’t compare to the stories they have to tell.

I sit there in awe as I read these very personal, very difficult stories. And I realize how fortunate I am.

I admit to feeling a little sheepish every time I write a story. Never mind that the instructor has told us we can write about whatever we want. I just don’t share the source material.

What I’m trying to say is “thank you” to those veterans in the class, to those veterans not in the class who served this country, who fought for our freedom. For MY freedom.

I do not have the ability to adequately express my appreciation or my respect for those who have worn the uniform of this country.

I am highly blessed to be sitting around that table every week. I don’t take that lightly.

Being part of this class has been a gift.

I am challenged to use it wisely.





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