Letter from the Cape (Part 1)

While the world spins madly, I am taking a much needed break from the regular schedule for the next two weeks. I am giving myself the time to revising a novel I’ve been writing for the past three years. I mention it here because between photographs for clients and projects, the novel demands attention, it needs to be finished so I can move onto to the next one. Writing a book requires time and care so the story can develop and take its own course. 

I had a french teacher in high school who used to quote J.D. Salinger whenever we asked how long our essays had to be. This is what he would say,”How long should a man’s legs be? Long enough to touch the ground.” I think of him and Salinger’s words often as I write. 

The length of a person’s legs are exactly as they should be, not according to standards or expectations, but a natural progression of practicality—in other words, the story will be exactly as it needs to be, if we learn to listen to what it’s telling us. I think this deep listening is required for the creative arts, writing especially.

So as I’ve been writing and rewriting and revising and ready to throw the book away, I remember my french teacher. He taught me to follow an idea through to the end, to not give up before the surprises happen, and to find the joy in the process. This, I, share with you, whatever the dream, don’t give up.


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