Work Ethic

The driveway was twin cement strips, with a thin line of grass between them.  The little girl wondered how difficult it would be to keep the tires of the car centered on the cement strips all the way up to the low garage at the end.  Just a slip of the tire might tear at the grass in the center. She spent many hours on that driveway.  She created perfect characters.  The perfect friends, the perfect crush, the perfect heroine.  They were all absolutely brave, kind, brash, funny, and completely unreal.  There was absolutely nothing real about them. For one thing, none of them ever said or did anything that made her feel badly.  She could put them away and bring them out at will.  And then there was always something else to do when she grew tired of pretending.  A bike to ride. A sister to argue with. A television show to sneak and watch. This was the first and most important lesson that she missed in her quest to become a writer.  Truly great creativity requires sacrifice.  Creativity itself is enjoyable and entertaining.  Creative production requires something different.  A combination of joy and diligent sacrifice that burn like sweet incense.  The worst part was, in the middle of her aimless dreaming, the little girl knew that something was missing.  She lay in bed at night, stories frothing round her dusky brain, and longed to have something that would force her to actually do the work.  In fact, the stories she created began to take on very specific characteristics. They were all stories about little girls stolen away from their homes, families, and friends, and, for some noble reason, forced to develop their work ethic.  Yes friends, this little girl was grasping at a concept she couldn’t fully understand yet.  The key to writing is … work ethic.

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