Adapted from La Mediocre Mommy, May 1, 2013
Yesterday, I jotted down thoughts instead of trying to attack my spec re-write head on. It was an early out of school day for our son so, after running a couple of errands, it was time to pick him up.
That’s when the creativity comes in.
Now that he’s not in afterschool care, it is our job to entertain the children from the afternoon until they go to bed. Since I have removed media from the home, this is not always an easy task. Taking a moment to scribe an email is just enough time for one of the children to take a chair, pull it to the counter where my purse is located, abscond with aforementioned purse and raid it for goods (mainly, the many packs and flavors of sugarless gum I hoard).
Kid #1 has shown kid #2 how to hide the contraband in her Disney play oven. Little did I know, they would repeat the offense the very next morning with more prowess and precision. But yesterday, they got caught in the act, moments after I hit send on an email.
I do have a babysitter, who helps with homework sometimes. She arrived as I was jetting off to get some of our son’s paperwork for his new school. Our son is in kindergarten and his new school this fall will be the 3rd school that he will attend. Why? Because I am not a perfect parent. I thought that moving to a better neighborhood would assure a better school experience. Who knows what our home school near our humble abode in Van Nuys would have rendered?
His current home school in the comfy hills of the valley, near a beautiful golf course, has dampened his desire to learn at best. He now has a cheerleading team of myself, his dad, his grandmother, his tutor and the college student who babysits sometimes to encourage him and assuage the damage caused by his current teachers.
I do not have a perfect kid. I realize that. Even I have been known to raise my voice here and there using the words, “Stop it! Now! Come here! I said come here! Put your sister down! There goes your college fund, buddy!” But I have never told him he couldn’t do anything, he didn’t belong anywhere or that he wasn’t brilliant.
The boy has been coming up with song lyrics since he was four. He’s difficult. I’m difficult. We are not perfect. Therefore, the words I write, the jokes I tell, will never be perfect. Somehow I have convinced myself for several years that everything I put on the page must be. Therefore, I thought it best not to write scripts at all.
When people would see me over the past decade and ask, “what have you been up to? You still writing?” I always responded, “yes.” That’s because I never have actually stopped writing. I just stopped writing scripts. I write song lyrics. I write poems. I write short stories that I never bother to re-write or fix. So, yeah, I’m still writing. But now that I have truly realized my writing will never be perfect, I am writing more consistently.
Hearing stories about and seeing for myself in others, the fearless kid I used to be, has shown the person I have become. It has taught me that some things should not be left behind as we grow older. Fearlessness is one of those things. In a few months, I will send out my writing to some agents. I will, hopefully, write with a mentor.
And I will not care that my writing is not perfect.
Rather, I will focus on the honesty of it. I focus on the distinct voice in it. What I have to say has value and in the end it only matters that I continue to do it. This is what I will teach my son one day. The expectation is not that you do it perfectly but that you do it (and by doing it I do not mean forming and band of thieves with your sister and stealing your mother’s gum). Don’t wait until it’s perfect or it will never be done.