Writing Right with Dmitri: Don't Be Discouraged
I wrote this column, and then deleted the whole text. I was discouraged by what I had written.
I thought, 'How trite. Nobody wants to know that. Besides, who am I to offer advice?' I was disgusted. Then I went over to the chiropractor's for my monthly appointment. My back's been killing me for the last couple of days. Moving all the furniture in the living room didn't exactly help.
The chiropractor is a cheerful guy – and muscular. In between manipulating spines, he's pretty insightful, too.
'I was just talking about you,' he commented while trying to distract me from what he was doing to my cervical vertebrae.
'Oh?' I responded cautiously, trying not to tense up. I concentrated on not thinking about that movie I saw where Rutger Hauer broke somebody's neck when he turned it that way. I was failing at this.
'Yeah,' he said. 'I was talking to one of the high school students. He was thinking about taking a writing course, but he wondered if it would be useful. After all, he doesn't want to be a writer. I told him what you said about how writing practice helps you organise your thoughts. He said that sounded like a pretty good idea. So you see. . . ' crack, 'you're having an influence around here.'
My back suddenly felt much better. And so did I.
The moral of this story? Don't be discouraged. Sure, you may think you're just throwing words out there. But writing is a good thing to be doing for its own sake. And you never know: it may be just the thing someone else needs to hear.
Like a good spinal adjustment, your writing could be just what the doctor ordered.