My bride asked me what my end goal is with writing. My answer started off small with normal, level headed answers. The more I talked the larger the dream got. Sometimes I wake up at 6:00 am on a Saturday and things pop into my head. This morning and this topic was one of those times.
For those of you that don’t know, my dad wrote for years. He had a HUGE impact on me and I’m not sure he ever knew it, or knows it. My father wrote for the local paper for years. He had creative control on what he wrote, much like I do now. Difference is dad got paid and had actual, real talent. That talent was spotlighted every Saturday morning for years.
Part of having full creative control is knowing how to correctly use your filter. Knowing what the masses want to read. Take for instance my “Bathroom Etiquette” idea. That stems from from my father and an article he wrote years ago. His article was on pickle forks. I can’t tell you exactly what was said. I know the end result was someone sending dad a pickle fork in the mail.
That’s the kind of talent my father had. Touching lives one pickle fork at a time.
He did several pieces like that. Each one made me smile. But he also did powerful pieces that me cry. Thinking about them now gives me goosebumps. Brings chills down my spine as my eyes welt up. The day my first nephew was born comes to mind. The scene is much the same as you’ve seen a hundred times. The couple in the room while family and friends wait outside the door. The relationship I had with my brother at the time was more than brothers. Best friends. Dad’s angle wasn’t the anguish of mom delivering or dad being supportive. It was of a worried brother, soon to be uncle, and brother in law. He had the talent to recognize that. He had the ability to look outside the norm. To see things that normal people wouldn’t. He wrote an absolutely touching piece on that days events.
The other one that comes to mind is a very close friend of mine was over seas. He wrote my wife and I a letter about life in the desert. I remember calling my dad and sharing that letter with him. We talked a for a solid hour on this page and a half letter. The following Saturday my father rocks out a gem of an article. Sure enough that article reached my friend in the hot deserts of war. Those words on that paper brought powerful soldiers to tears. To this day my friend remembers that article and speaks of it fondly. That soldiers dad still has it. A pride of joy as he thinks of his sons sacrifice. That’s real talent.
Every Saturday for “x” amount of years my dad displayed his talents for this great city to read. As I went about my day to day business in our community I was often asked “Are you____ son?” I was always answered proudly with a firm “Yes” it was always followed with “I love his articles. Every Saturday morning I read them. Tell him I enjoy them”. This brought me great pride. To this day people ask me about my father and his great articles. That’s lasting power. That’s talent.
So I guess if she were to ask me again what my goal with writing would be today; I believe my answer would be different. I think it would be that I want to have an impact. That I want that lasting power. I want a pickle fork. I want to carry my fathers name on. More importantly I want to make him proud. I want someday for someone to ask him if I’m his son and he answers with that sense of pride that I did.
My end goal is very simple. I want to know how far the apple has fallen from the tree. I want to make the tree proud of the apple. I want to know if I have what it takes to find answers to both statements. I’d like to know if that apple has a worm in it. Only time will tell. I hope to get my pickle fork someday. If I do get that pickle fork, I know exactly what I’d do with it. I’d take it straight to the man that inspired me to write every “article” I’ve ever written. I’d thank him.
So while we all chase dreams, I lay here chasing my own. Something pops in my head and I put it into my phone. I go back to it later and write about it. I tell my wife about it. I tell my 4 kids about it. I guess you could say I’m living my dream. I get to write and share it with the tens of people that read it. That’s pretty cool. Technology has afforded me the chance to follow in my fathers footsteps. Maybe that’s my pickle fork right there