Friday, January 21, 2011

A Toddler’s--and Writer’s--Epic Journey

The other day, my two-year-old daughter took me on an epic journey. In her terms, she was going “Up high to see the man (fan).” In Mommy terms, it was a hike to a decrepit analog TV antenna, a half mile as the crow flies but considerably more when factoring in the 45-degree slope.

Baby M tackled the journey with single-minded determination. The shortest distance between house and “man” was a straight line, regardless of barbed-wire fences (two, each crossed twice), canyons (one, steep) and large rocks (numerous). As an out-of-shape thirty-something, my course would have been somewhat more meandering. I might even have worked up to the trip in stages, a few feet each day. Thanks to Baby M, though, we reached her objective in less than an hour.

I admired her devotion to her goal, just as I admire writers--and other professionals--who know and strive for their goals with the same intense concentration. What about those whose path is more meandering, though? What about the writers and artists who are working toward their goals but choose to take the scenic route to get there?

Which one is right? The strenuous but direct path? Or the more relaxed but longer path?

I know my answer. What’s yours?

(Oh, and in case you’re wondering, my answer is, “Yes.”)

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