Looking Up

“Well don’t get your prissy little tutu all in a ruffle!” The voice was boisterous and loud. It made me wince. “Off you go, little ballerina boy! Prance away! Too delicate to press your fingers to the keyboard and write something, aye?!” My god, this guy was annoying! What a jerk!

Then I realized it was me. I was the boisterous, loud voice. I was the jerk. There was a reason for it though.

ballerina-man[1] A dear friend who demonstrated a great capacity for writing and telling a compelling story had lost his way; he decided writing was not something he should pursue. He had chosen to just give it up. When reason and common ego-boosting failed to elicit any real effect, I launched into provoking him. I was doing it in fun, but I was also annoyed with him and a cruel overtone crept into my words. I couldn’t apologize, though. That would never do. I had to keep up the front, even though I was now annoying even myself. To women who are reading this, just accept that it is a guy thing we do and it doesn’t really make sense to men either.

What happened to Kenneth? Why had he so suddenly lost his desire to write? I know what happened. I know where his joy for writing went. He had looked up. As a writer, he saw where he was and where he wanted to be, and he measured the distance. It took the wind right out of him.

I think all people who aspire to write do this. At some point, we take an honest appraisal our abilities as a writer. We consider the quality of something we have written and we see the errors. We question our prose. We consider our accomplishments as a writer thus far. And then, we look up to see where we want to be.

That is a make-or-break moment.

Some will look up and go, “Man! I’ve got a long way to go. I better get moving.”

Some will look up and say, “Why bother? It is too far. It will be too hard a climb.”

Kenneth had looked up and said, “Why bother?”

That makes me sad, and I hope he finds the joy for writing again, because he can tell a really interesting story. He has the ‘bones’ for it, as I like to say. And maybe on a more selfish note, I really liked sharing the passion for weaving a story in the written form with him, and now… I can’t.

I looked up and saw where I want to be. One foot in front of the other, I am still moving up. I hope Kenneth will do the same. Sometimes, it just takes getting a second wind, prancing little Nancy that he is.


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