Dear Writer Lance,
One of the first things I loved about you–even before I knew I loved you–was your way with words. You see, back when I knew who you were and was dying for you to ask me out but you hadn’t yet, I started subscribing to The Macon Telegraph. Now why would a never-cared-about-the-news-before college student pay good money to subscribe to a daily paper? Because I was stalking you. I searched the pages every day for your name in a byline. Of course, you were writing features stories then, so almost everything you wrote I found interesting, but what I loved most was getting to know you through your words on paper. You made me laugh and you showed me what was important to you.
Once you finally came to your senses and called me I felt like I already knew you in some ways. What I didn’t know was why it took you so freaking long to pick up the phone and call. Now I do. You are methodical. You do one thing at a time and you do it well. At the time that I was obsessing over you, I was on your radar, but I was not the “one thing”. You were overthinking it. You were too disciplined for your own good. Do you know that you missed out on five extra months of knowing me because of your self-discipline? FIVE MONTHS, dude! That’s a lot of lost Carla time!
Patience is not one of my virtues but I stuck it out waiting for that phone call. I guess I knew you well enough through your writing to know that you were worth the wait. I was right. It’s been sixteen years, two cities, three homes, three children, seven vehicles and one dog since that call and I’ve never regretted it. I thank God every day for you.
I thank God that you are the exact opposite of me in so many important ways. The biggest difference in me and you: You are disciplined, you are patient, you are not a quitter. Now when it comes to your health, dealing with our children, working on our finances, and keeping up the house, these virtues benefit our whole family. I will admit that even when it comes to your writing I know that discipline is key. Getting something out there is important even if you’re not particularly inspired on a given day. It’s what serious writers do. They practice. They write even when they don’t feel like it. Sometimes it’s worth reading. Sometimes it’s not.
When it is worth reading, you know it. You know how I know you know it? Because your face lights up, your confidence shines through, you are the Lance that I fell in love with. You glow. Now I know people use that term a lot to refer to women who are expecting a baby, but it’s sort of the same thing. You are radiating the feeling that you are in your element, you are doing what you are meant to do, you are creating something amazing, and you can’t contain your pride. Now I know we can’t all glow all the time. How annoying would that get?( Three babies and I’m done glowing for a while.) You? You’re not done. You have lots of glowing left to do and I look forward to it.
I am not your best advocate when it comes to the discipline of your writing. How many times have you been stressed, busy and uninspired just to hear me say, “Skip it!” My advice to you is to mark it off your list and move on. You won’t hear of it. Today is one of those days. You spent your normal blog-writing morning this week working on writing for a commitment you made to our church. You knew when you did that that you would find yourself on Saturday morning struggling to write a post for New South Essays. You woke at the crack of dawn to drive over two hours to pick up our son and his friend from scout camp. And I know you. As much as you are wanting to enjoy the ride home right now with those boys, you have one thing on your mind: You have no inspiration or time to post on your blog today.
This is my gift to you. Surprise! Your blog for today has been published. You don’t allow me many opportunities to do things for you and you would never have allowed me this one. I took it anyway. Now come home, take a nap, and enjoy the day with your family. Rest and be rejuvenated and ready to write something awe-inspiring next week.
I love you.