Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Preaching to Me


We’ve all heard of the old saying about the Preacher preaching to the choir. But who is he really preaching to? Did you ever think he might be talking to himself? Well, right now, I need a very stern lecture, so I’m going to use this blog to preach to me.

But of course, if you know me, then you know I’m going to tell myself a story first. So here goes…

Once upon a very troubled time of a grandfather clock, bad things turned into worse and the poor clock got disgusted.  Now the grandfather clock lived in a great mansion with very great people. He shared a dining room with a beautiful grand piano and they stood in opposite corners from each other separated by a massive stone fireplace. When all were asleep in the grand house and all was quiet, the grandfather clock would boom out the hour at midnight. Then he would sigh upon a groan until he could catch a few winks again.

From his corner, the piano said, “Yo, Grandpa! Why don’t you ever stop? Why do you insist upon striking every hour and keeping me awake? Why don’t you stop your incessant noise?”

The Grandfather clock moaned back, “I wish I could but our master keeps winding me up all the time. As soon as I think I can get a decent rest, along comes our master to wind me up. I wish he would stop and leave me alone.

The piano harrumphed! “I wish he would leave you alone too so that I could get some decent sleep.”

Without warning the master of the house went away. Soon afterward, the ticking of the clock wasn’t so steady. His chimes weren’t so loud and finally ceased.

This is the life he said as he hunkered down for a long cozy sleep.

Days passed and turned into weeks then into a year. Poor Grandpa Clock was getting tired of sleeping. He felt rust settling into a few joints and cogs. Dust was settling on his now dirty face and darn it all, if a spider wasn’t weaving a web in his nether regions.

He finally complained, “I’m tired of doing nothing. I wish the master would wind me up again.” The piano agreed, “I wish anyone would wind you up. I miss your chimes.”

A few months later, the master came home. The first thing he did was rewind the grandfather clock. All the noise makers in the room rejoiced with happiness.

That night the grandfather clock said to the piano, “The old saying is true: If I rest I rust. I’m glad to be working again.”

Illness and injuries can sometimes make us lazy in one or all areas of our lives. It is a question of habit. It very easy for us to let ourselves become lazy and we have to guard against it. We see so many up-and-coming young authors, but where on earth do they go? For how many of them was breaking a good habit the reason?

The great musician Paderewski practiced up to one hour before every concert. Captain Scott, the great polar explorer who went as far south as the South Pole, wrote a letter for giving instructions to his son. It included, “Above all, you must guard the boy against idleness.”

My problem isn’t writing. My problem is twofold. I hate typing and write all my books longhand. Thus, I have five drafts completed and in need of typing. And, I just plain hate the internet. Don’t take this the wrong way but I’d rather spend a lazy evening on the front poach with mint tea and watch the fireflies.

 I know better. I have enough degrees to know if I don’t do some of what I hate like typing that I’ll never sell another book. Just when I’m having down time from illness and I could get started, something else comes along. (I’m pretty sure my greatest work someday will be about writing through every illness listed in Mereck’s Manual). My new To List begins with: #1, Type. After that, everything else falls in place.

So basically, the secret to success is to jump at opportunity. How do you know the opportunity? You don’t. You just keep jumping, even if you don’t want to. If nothing else, you don’t remain idle no matter how bright the fireflies are glowing. Now that I’ve preached to myself, I hope some of you have gotten something out of it too.

Until next time, happy reading and writing!

www.marymccall.net

6 comments:

Julie Eberhart Painter said...

You obviously know how to type. So, why not type what you've handwritten daily right before you quit? That way it won't accumulate into an untenable work challenge.

Big Mike said...

Excellent story. In fact I'm going to borrow it for my grand daughter. When we baby sit I have to have a new story each time.

Michael Davis (Davisstories.com)
Author of the Year (2008 and 2009)
Award of Excellence (2012)

Mary McCall said...

I so love you, Julie, along with your advice...and posts I read here at TWV. And I'm very picky.
I've set a new writing goal that I hope doesn't backfire. I must type for at least 30 minutes every day BEFORE I write
crossing fingers and hope this helps!

Mary McCall said...

I so love you, Julie, along with your advice...and posts I read here at TWV. And I'm very picky.
I've set a new writing goal that I hope doesn't backfire. I must type for at least 30 minutes every day BEFORE I write
crossing fingers and hope this helps!

Mary McCall said...

Thanks for the chuckle, Mike. I know how it can be when trying to find a new tale for the grand babes. I still remember sitting on my grandpa's lap when he told this one.
Want to hear sad? #3 on my To Do list for the last month has reason: Email Big Mike....

Liz Fountain said...

Great story, and here's wishing you a windfall so you can hire a dang typist!

Liz
lizfountain.wordpress.com