Friday, February 24, 2012

Good Enough

Two years ago yesterday, my dad died. I'm not usually this transparent and personal here, but today I want to be and need to be. For my dad . . .

What if my writing isn't good enough?

There are days that question haunts me. Some days that question creeps right behind me, and I peek over my shoulder at it all day. At certain moments it breathes in and out with me. At times it sits on my chest, pressed there so tightly my heart skips beats.

Most days I hold all the haunting and skipped heartbeats inside myself and say nothing to anyone because my writing is part of who I am, so asking, "What if my writing isn't good enough?" is the same as asking, "What if I'm not good enough?" But what if I pour hours, that if piled together might heap into years, into my writing and none of it is ever good enough?

I don't expect an answer. I don't even want an answer. What I wish is that I could ask my dad that question because he would understand the depth of my asking it simply because he's my dad. He wouldn't answer. And I wouldn't want him to.

We would just sit, my question hanging between us, and that would be good enough.

12 comments:

  1. Based on this post, I know your writing is good enough. Sorry about your dad. My sister was the only one who could walk with me and my emotions when I felt my writing wasn't good enough either.

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  2. I know that question too. And it does become something you think about more when you've lost someone you love. But I know your writing is good enough. Even if you never got published, if you grow as a writer and enjoy it, it's good enough. At least for me.

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  3. You know how there are those ice cream stores that offer eleventy billion flavors? Or the candy shops with shelves brimming with thousands of confections? Books (and writing) are kinda like that. Someone will like the flavor of what you have to offer. Guaranteed. <3

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  4. I really liked what Beth B. said above. "Someone will like the flavor of what you have to offer. Guaranteed."
    And I want to second that. <3

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  5. What a lovely post! I'm sure you'd make your father proud with those few paragraphs right there. It is enough!!!!!

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  6. Your words really touched me - I teared up. There is your answer. Thanks for voicing what many of us feel.

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  7. First off: *hugs* So sorry to hear about your dad. I can't imagine yet what it must feel like to lose someone that close.

    I can completely relate to the thoughts of not being good enough, though. That question nags me all the time, especially lately. It can be hard to ignore, but it must somehow be ignorable, for all us writers to be able to keep writing like this!

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  8. How much do you want to bet that if you ask that question into the void, you'll hear his answer, anyway? Because you know him, even though he's gone.

    Hugs.

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  9. What a beautiful post! It is amazing what feelings and certain people can do for you. I totally get what you are saying, I guess that's the rollercoaster ride of a writer. But I also know your writing IS good enough! :)

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  10. Thank you, everyone. That doesn't seem like enough to say, but truly, even for a writer, sometimes there just aren't words.

    Here's something my son wrote about my dad and showed me just today. It fits so perfectly with what I wrote about today. "My grandpa knew when there was no need for words. He knew when it was right to just sit...I miss that about him. A quiet presence."

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  11. Sometimes answers do spoil things, don't they? And with some people it's hard to ask questions, because you don't really want/need an answer, but they'll try, even feel duty-bound, to give one. It's wonderful that you had that rare "some questions need to just be questions" relationship with your dad. I wish you peace on this anniversary.

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