NaNo Inspiration: November 17

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“To err is human. To blame it on somebody else is even more human.” — Arthur Bloch

Oh, you don’t know how much that was happening yesterday. Despite knowing I really needed to hunker down and do my words, the husband and I took off to see a show taping. Left work at noon — and everything started to go wrong. Lunch took longer to get to us than it should have. We had to stop for gas. We had to stop by the house (and it turns out we didn’t need to), we ran into traffic along the way, they were trimming trees on a major street we needed to be on, etc., etc., etc. All in all, probably got us there half an hour later than I’d hoped.

If we’d been there just five minutes earlier, we would have gotten in. As it was, we were the first people turned away.

As this was a major disappointment, blame was hurled. Should have gotten gas earlier. Should have done this, should have done that. In the end, it was a confluence of circumstance, and while I did miss out on something I really wanted to do, what’s done is done.

It’s a little different in writing. It’s very easy to say, “Well, I didn’t write today because all these other things demanded my time, so I couldn’t.” Yes, there are times this is true. The day of a child’s recital or major game, graduation, a wedding, someone getting arrested, serious illness or death. I’ve had to deal with a few of those this past year and had to learn to just let the writing go at those moments.

But there are all the other times, the ones where we let ourselves be talked into writing that article for the church newsletter we didn’t really want to write, the committee we get talked into serving on, the TV show we just have to watch — those are times when we look back, realize we didn’t get the writing done and want to place the blame on others for us not doing what we know we should be doing. (We’re committing to this writing thing, right? That means it’s something we should be doing.) We need to take responsibility for our choices and that means owning up to the times we say “yes” when we know we should say “no”, or when we kick our feet up and decide to watch TV instead of turning to the keyboard. It’s better that way because if we keep making the choice not to write, then maybe we’ll start asking ourselves why we’re doing that — which is a subject for a whole ‘nother post.

But I’m still blaming the City of Los Angeles for trimming the trees on Fairfax Avenue yesterday. Just five minutes sooner….