Monday, March 5, 2012

"You Don't Spit Into The Wind..."

That's a line from an old Jim Croce song. (Luckily my kids know of it, so I'm not revealing too much about how old I am.) It means there are some things you just don't do, although my take on its interpretation is that you don't do it not because it's taboo, but because it's a waste of your time and will only come back to bite you in some form.

Today I'm giving a writing/editing presentation at William Paterson University. My friend, Dawn Bodrogi, a professor there, asked me to speak to the students. I love an audience to talk about writing, so of course I jumped and squealed like a little girl. My presentation is done, I have swag to give out, some books to sign, and all I have to do is get dressed and wait till it's showtime.

But one thing keeps niggling the back of my mind: suppose it's just spitting into the wind, no one's going to listen past the first few minutes, they'll tune me out? All my words, so carefully chosen to enlighten and entertain, falling on ears closed tighter than a clam out of water? I can just see the eye rolls, the dramatic sighs, the grumbles, the I-know-this-already looks.

I get it from my kids when I try to work with them on their papers.

"Why are you telling me this again?"
"Because obviously you didn't learn it the previous 4,678 times I explained it to you."


"How many times are you going to tell me this?"
"Until it penetrates past all video game knowledge blocking your brain matter."


"I don't need to write, I'm going to be a computer programmer and that's different."(A personal favorite whine of mine)
"EVERYONE needs to write- a college essay, a business presentation, a construction estimate, a doctor's report. EVERYONE. That means YOU too."

It's frustrating, but I keep doing it, hoping one day, like a stubborn washing machine that you have to kick a few times to get it to work, my lecture/rants/discussions/presentations will hit them like a brick and they will GET IT.

So, my little cupcakes, suck it up, because that's the only way to shut me up.

Have a nice day!