I had to fight all my life to survive. They were all against me, but I beat the bastards and left them in the ditch.”
There comes a time in every life when the knocks you suffer leave you at a crossroads. There you are, completely alone and just one decision to make. Everything you’ve learned has brought you to this one place in time to make your mark. Such things as skill, luck, timing and ingenuity will affect the outcome but only one thing will determine the road you ulitimately choose to take: character. Character, the monument to life we create from our successes and failures, our joy and our heartbreak. Unfortunately, the only way to be certain of your character is when it’s tested and that can feel like one mighty hard kick in the ass. Well, I’ve had my kick and now I’m at that crossroads with a decision to make.
For days I’ve been mentally gnawing and chewing on this book I’m writing. Lately it’s become rewriting and cursing and ignoring and on and on with it until it’s been wrung out like an old dish rag. I want to make money and lots of it. I don’t deny that. Will I? I don’t friggin’ know, but whatever happens, will I be proud of what I leave behind with my name on it? Will my daughter be proud? Today I chose the high road. I’m going to build a career on story telling alone. No trying to cash in on a trend or writing to satisfy anyone but those characters who keep pissing me off with their incessant badgering to be in print and read by someone. If only one person buys my book, reads it and enjoys it, then I’ve done it. It’s long past the time to stop farting around and write the damn thing. Purge it once and for all.
By the way, Ty Cobb is up there because he was one tough bastard who excelled as an athlete simply because of his focus and tenacity. Writing is like that too. It’s really you against all odds and you’re out to win. You’ve got to keep your eye on the ball, don’t get distracted by the shouts from the stands or inner doubt.
Baseball meant everything to Cobb and he fought for his love of the game. That was his character and it served him well. I’ve two things I love and have fought for, my child and writing. That is my character and it has served me well. I’ve got my mitt, I’m in the game and like Cobb I’ve had to fight all my life to survive. Lots of things are against me, but I’ll tell you square, I’m hittin’ this ball outta the park. It may not be a tie breaking home run, but it’ll sure make someone run like hell to catch it.