On Post: Everyday is Yours to Win
Date: January 22
This one was a bear to write and I’m still deeply unhappy with it.
The problem is I think I was too close to the idea. More on that in a sec though.
As far as doing a letter from father to son, the song itself is written as a veteran looking back and offering advice to the newbies in his field as they come and/or just an older guy talking to younger people. It is not grizzled or cynical but an optimistic kind of “it’s tough but worth the effort” perspective. It just felt very parental to me.
And I’m a new parent. So you start to see the problem, yes?
I did not want to write what I might write to my still new to me (6+ months in) daughter if I had to write such a thing because I was going off to war. That felt cheap and, honestly, a bit too soul baring. But every friggin’ draft, I’d start to bleed in about paragraph two or three. Realize it, delete all of it except the intro and start again. The story the Dad tells at the end is my essentially giving up and abandoning to idea of “this is what life is, this is how to live it, son” letter and doing something similar but still different.
Like I said, it’s still pretty problematic on the whole and I’m disappointed with my delivery on the idea but in retrospect it probably was too raw for me to really tangle with and try to maintain some kind of distance from. I had to either accept it and make it semi-autobiographical or thinly veiled non-fiction or chuck the idea and start again. I could not bring myself to do either and so the piece is kind of a failure.
My explanation not ring true? Do you have questions that this piece left unanswered? Reach out and touch me at firstname.lastname@example.org or @ungajje on the Twitter. And, as always, spread the word.