Friday, August 28, 2009

The Blank Page

As I told a twitter friend the other day (@misslizzyc ) sometimes you just have to write a bunch of stuff that you later delete. Or as she put it #JUSTBANGITOUT. Every writer has their rituals for breaking through writer's block, but mine is pretty straightforward. I've learned to just suck it up, sit down and write. Here goes...

I had coffee with a friend yesterday. We had this really funny conversation about moving in new directions. She's been raising her two little boys, freelancing after leaving her full-time job as a big-time producer for ABC News.

Earlier in the week, she came running in the house with a cucumber from her garden. She proudly showed the cucumber to her six year-old son and he said, "Mom I think you should get excited about something other than cucumbers."

Today my son ran a mile without stopping. I was really excited for him because he'd convinced himself he couldn't do it. He had this ear-to-ear grin on his face. Then he promptly began attempting to blackmail me saying, "Mom since I ran a mile, maybe you should buy me some Yu-gi-oh cards."

"I think I'll just congratulate you on your accomplishment," I said.

Then this bit of wisdom from my eleven year-old, "Maybe running the mile is my reward."

My producer friend covered the OJ trial, school shootings, war, you name it. For now, she's growing vegetables. But she's gearing up to get back in the game. Maybe a new game with new rules. For me, I'm working my way back into news. I've been on the other side, doing PR, long enough.

Our reward systems have changed dramatically. I mean on the one hand, my friend won an Emmy. And I worked at The Washington Post with Herb Block, Ben Bradlee, Bob Woodward, Gwen Ifill and the list goes on. Then the reward was the prestige. There's nothing like that feeling of saying, "I work at The Washington Post."

For now our rewards are cucumbers and running a mile. Maybe we're learning what my son did today. Whatever your accomplishment, no matter how small, the reward is doing it. Today it's vegetables, but tomorrow we're talking Emmy.

No comments:

Post a Comment