Being gifted kinda bites some days, don't you think? I mean, think about it. Most gifts come with the proverbial double-edge, don'...
Being gifted kinda bites some days, don't you think? I mean, think about it. Most gifts come with the proverbial double-edge, don't they? Race car drivers are expected to drive the speed limit on normal roads. Talented orators have to listen to people stumble over their words. Amazing chefs have to eat not-so-amazing foods.
Having a gift means being surrounded at times by people who DO NOT. And there's a lot of awkwardness and frustration that goes along with that.
But it's worse for writers. Oh yes, indeedy. Because story is EVERYWHERE. It's not just tucked safely into the covers of books. It's in our music, our movies, our magazines. Miniature stories clog our facebook and twitter feeds, are told to us by friends and family members and random people at the grocery store who suffer from the delusion that they're actually interesting. Unless you're a hermit, holed up somewhere with nobody but rocks for company, your life is flooded with stories.
This morning I snuggled up with my girls and watched cartoons. Being a mommy kind of rocks like that. But while the cuddles were lovely, the show we watched . . . wow. Riddled with plot holes, writer artifice, stilted, unnatural dialogue. The character arc was wobbly, the plot made little to no sense. It. Was. AGONIZING.
Although, there was this one part where a character picked up a ringing phone and asked, "Doctor who?" And that made me all kinds of briefly happy.
Thing is, ten years back, stories like that didn't grate so badly. I didn't start to twitch every time someone used your/you're wrong (and really, people do that ALL THE TIME - people I love and otherwise respect even). I could watch a mediocre movie and find it entertaining, or listen to cheesy song lyrics without feeling like a solid chunk of my brain matter was slowly atrophying.
On the flip side, I now enjoy a well told story in a way that is almost . . . transcendent. Proper grammar sends a thrill through me, and beautiful music stirs me in ways it didn't before. The wonder of words, the power of story . . . they're transformative.
VanderVision Tip of the Day: The best gifts are the ones where you see the double-edge, see it clearly, but unwrap them anyway. Because they are THAT AWESOME.
That said, I think we're lucky if we see our gifts at all, never mind see them clearly. The world is a noisy, blaring sort of place, and some people never get to hear the quiet voice that says, "This. This is what you're meant to do."
Have you heard that voice yet?
About author: Kimberly VanderHorst
Kimberly Vanderhorst wrote her first book when she was seven (it was totally awesome, but the world isn't ready for it yet), and her next when she was twenty-seven. When asked to account for the intervening decades, she likes to suggest the possibility of alien abduction with as straight a face as possible.