Monday, May 23, 2016

Follow Your Own Violin

People often try to tell you the “right” way to do things. Naturally when it comes to things like math and God’s commandments, you need to follow the rules. Other times, do what you feel you should/want to. A few examples:

I’ve been told the best way to write a book: Make a detailed outline before putting hands to computer, or so “they” say. That doesn’t work for me. I’m what’s called a “pantser.” In other words, I write by the seat of my pants, letting the story come out. Not always in order either. More like a patchwork. I start at the beginning. When a portion in the middle calls to me, I write that. It could be the end, even scenes that will go somewhere undefined. Part way through, I write an outline, which I then forget about, but it adds structure and points me in a less random direction. When I have the pieces mostly in place, I sew it together adding in patches that make the story flow together. It isn’t that I haven’t tried outlining. It simply doesn’t work for me.

When I was in school, I took French. Living in southern California “they” said I should take Spanish. I don’t know why I had the desire to learn French instead, but it came from within. Then I married a man of Mexican descent “they” cried, “Don’t you wish you had taken Spanish?” No. (My husband now speaks okay Spanish, but growing up his parents only spoke to him in English so although he understood it, he couldn’t speak Spanish.) The French I remember came in handy when we drove our RV through New Brunswick and Quebec, Canada.

Reading scriptures is another one: “They” tell me I must get up early and study scriptures. I’m a night person, not a morning person. When I had teenagers, early morning seminary started at 6:00 am. When I had pre-school children, I sat them in front of Sesame Street at 11:00 am for lunch then went into the living room to read scriptures while munching on my own lunch. Now, I read whenever I get the time, in the morning with or after breakfast, when I can’t write another word and need a break, at the latest right before bed. It isn’t a bad thing to have scriptures on my mind before going to bed.

I played the violin in 4th through 8th grade in spite of the fact that “they” told me I couldn’t march in the band, or that it was too hard. I wanted to play violin, so that’s what I did.

I wasn’t always a stubborn brat. As I sit here at the computer I’m grateful my mother insisted I take typing. So many people my age don’t know how to use a keyboard. There are times we need to listen to “they.”

The important thing is that nobody knows you as well as you do yourself. Follow your own violin. 

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