The Beardly Writer

Some write from the heart. I write from the beard.

Month: June, 2014

Oh, The Places You’ll Go

I dropped by my sister’s house last week to visit with her kids. I had just learned about my acceptance to grad school, to the Master of Arts in Cinema Television: Scriptwriting program. I was elated! I was nervous. The school is in Virginia; I live in Ohio. My mind was preoccupied with finding a job, a place to live, and figuring out how to pay for school in the next nine weeks before classes start. On the living room floor of my sister’s house was a copy of Dr. Seuss’ Oh, The Places You’ll Go, my favorite of his books. I sat my niece down in my lap and asked her to read it to me.

“Congratulations!
Today is your day.
You’re off to Great Places!
You’re off and away!

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own. And you know what you know.
And YOU are the guy who’ll decide where you go.”

As she read the words written over 50 years ago in her sweet, child’s voice, I was reminded that life is not safe, it is not easy, it is not guaranteed a certain number of years, but it is the greatest adventure. And as dangerous as it is, as narrow the path, as unsure the footing, as dark the skies, I would not trade a day of it, future or past. Obstacles hurdled are medals pinned to my chest. Obstructions ahead are trophies waiting to adorn my mantel. I will go to Virginia. And I will thrive.

 

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Paths

The path to becoming a writer is not a clear one.

In fact, there isn’t one.

There are many. There are as many paths as there are writers. Which is to say, a whole hell of a lot.

My path has not unfolded as I pictured it would. I daresay most writers would admit the same. This is neither good nor bad. This is the way it is.

I am on my second job in as many months. I traded in the well-paying temp job for a lesser-paying quasi-permanent one. More of a sideways move than forward. The new job gets me outdoors and active, which is healthier than sitting all day. That’s what I tell myself when my back, knees, and feet hate me at the end of every shift.

And still the writing continues. And sometimes doesn’t. Fits and spurts.

This is no quick or easy path.

And so, I am trying a new direction. Pushing aside branches and brambles in my efforts to clear the forest and reach my destination beyond; a fertile land of milk and honey and ink and time. A path I said I would not take, not yet.

Undergrad cost a lot. It was eight years ago and I’m still paying for it, and probably will be for many more years. I’ve always desired another degree, even an MFA so I could teach at the college level, but I told myself not until I could pay for it out of pocket. Well, desperate times, and all that.

Grad school. Come, let’s have a look at you.