There's an old saying that goes "Those who can, do. Those who can't, teach." That ties into this week's blog prompt of "Reading, Writing, or Living?"
Unlike intrepid authors like Ernest Hemingway, I'm not much of an adventurer. Heck, taking a well-used bridle path when I'm not entirely sure where it goes screams "ADVENTURE!" to me. I'm not about to hie off on a wilderness safari and go big game hunting. I sure as hell won't run with the bulls in Pamplona.
Real adventure involves far too much physical risk and discomfort for my taste.
So, I read and write of daring people taking on grand adventure. I'm perfectly content to let them endure the injuries and inconvenience.
Another author with whom I'm acquainted, Mary McFarland, loves the adventure of her life which entails raising her own food. I admire her tireless effort, her garden, her flock of chickens. Then there's Teri Conroy, who's not an author, but a small farmer in New York raising a lovely herd of llamas and running a 4-H club she started. They both come across as happy, content in their endeavors even as they strive to improve on what they have. Perhaps "content" is the wrong word, as that implied complacency. Perhaps what they have that I lack is peace of mind.
Like many authors, I suspect, I live inside my head. But still, I must earn a living, so I write and edit for others. (Let's endure a moment of brutal honesty: my royalties don't come close to funding my modest lifestyle.) In editing, I tell my clients that I'm not their friend. If they want to pay someone to give them compliments and flatter them, then they ought to go elsewhere, because they won't get that from me. My candid editing and comments will sting like proverbial dope slaps to the back of the head: "Hey! Pay attention!"
You don't learn from flattery.
The goal of candid comments is always--always--to help the author improve the quality of the content. Several authors note that my guidance teaches them to become better writers.
However, being an editor who incidentally teaches doesn't mean I can't do. I do write. Some folks even think I'm pretty damned good at it, good enough to pay me money to do it for them.
Perhaps that means the old saying that came to mind initially doesn't really fit with the topic.
So, I spend a lot of time reading and a lot of time writing. But do I spend a lot of time living?
I think I live more than those folks with smartphones in their hands who record everything. When I do go somewhere, whether it's a restaurant or an adventure (tame as that might be), I experience it. So, yes, I live. It's a tame and often boring life, but I do live it. I don't look at it through a screen.
My book, Bear of the Midnight Sun, has been nominated by TCK Publishing for a
2019 Reader's Choice Award.
Please vote for it here: https://www.tckpublishing.com/2019-readers-choice-voting-page/.
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