Writing Meditation 5/14
Believing in the impossible. It's essential to being a writer, to applying oneself daily to a task the results of which cannot be seen. How to believe in the impossible? Create an environment where the impossible is cherished. Gather people around you who will encourage and not discourage you in your goals. Ask only supportive individuals to critique your work. Remember, those surrounding you will act as mirrors, reflecting your belief in yourself. And each completed task, each encouraging word from an editor, each published piece will reinforce your belief in the impssible.

-- Laurel Becker

I believe her. When I was a kid, I got the "concerned parent talk" a lot--no, not that one from my mom where she thought it wasn't such a good diea that I kept having those long late-night "talks" with girls, ahem--but the other one that all writers, rockers, actors, poets, painters probably get. The "it's not practical" talk. The you need a career, like law or medicine! talk. The one where they tell you, helpfully, writing is a hobby, but it isn't a career. I wanted to ask, How do you think I arrange all those late-night "talks" with my honeys, Ma??? But she would not have appreciated my answer...though she would have laughed. My dad would have probably urged me to go ahead and write.

So here I was, Mr. Dreamer, Mr Writing-Fu, faced with a teenaged boy who wants to be a rock star. Oh come on! I cry. What, are you kidding? I tell him that there are a million drummers in a million schools in a million towns, and every one of them plans to be a rock star. Completely unaware of the irony of this, I explain to him that drumming is a hobby, but it isn't a career. And I say to him, "How likely is it that you will get into a college on the strength of your drumming? And how likely is it that you that you will be able to make a life out of it?" And he turns the Drum-Fu on me and flips me: "How likely was it," he says, "that you would take your little poems and stories and make a life out of them?" He gestures to the big fat house we're sitting in and smirks. I bow to him. "You are my master," I announce. But, before he cal gloat too much, I tell him: "Be prepared to suffer and bleed. Don't cry to me when your life is hell, because there is much hell in a life of art. But it's worth it if you can withstand the pain." He says, "I can." I believe him.

And, of course, he auditions into the impossible U of I music program in Champagne/Urbana. And then he auditions into the elite Marching Illini drum line. So Ms. Becker is right--believe the impossible.

Was it Bill Haley who said: YOU CAN'T STOP THE ROCK?
Rock around the clock--L

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