Friday, July 6, 2012

First Steps

As my baby's birthday is approaching, I've been thinking of how much she has grown these past six years.  The time has passed so quickly I can barely catch my breath.  I have to remind myself from time to time to stop whatever it is I'm doing that seems so important to take a moment to witness my child's first steps.

I used to have big dreams of some day being a Pulitzer Prize winning novelist.  I wanted my words, my creation, to touch people far longer than I will be able to in the span of my own life.  And I've got this little blog.  It's self-published, which gives me tremendous freedom to write what I please.  But it's also largely unfunded.  And when I think about all the time I spend digitally documenting my thoughts, basically unpaid, I worry that I'm not doing enough.  How can my writing be worthwhile if it doesn't rake in large amounts of money?  I'm a subsistence writer.

But what's wrong with that?  Life still has happy moments for poor writers and farmers.  And painters.  I look at this picture "First Steps" by the legendary painter Vincent van Gogh:


Didn't van Gogh only sell one painting during his lifetime?  He must have felt like an utter failure.  I know how he feels.  I hope he somehow knows that his works, his creations, live on long after his life has ceased.  

Parents like this father in the painting and like me are lucky.  Our finest creations are alive.  They can pull our attention away from our toils, whether our tools are a wheelbarrow or a keyboard.  

So I'm probably not going to get that novel written as fast as I'd like, just as this farmer's crops might come in a smidgen later than planned.  We've got important parenting to do.  This man needs to watch his child's first steps.  My baby wants to go swimming.  I must take a break from writing now so I can watch her first strokes.