When Robert was very little and weighed something like a metric ton his favorite thing in the world was to sit on one’s leg while one pretended one’s leg was “horsy.” And when one had done it a million times, there was always the “do again.”
And because we were his parents, and he was a cute child (even if he weighed more or less a metric ton) we tried and we often did far more than we expected.
This relates to yesterday’s post, of course.
It is not just laying down your bets and taking the result – it’s how hard do you try.
Every traditional story – every satisfying story – the result comes after failure. Anyone who has read the biography of great men knows that, to paraphrase Phil Dick in The Man In The High Castle, it is told that way because it is real.
I’ve tried this book thing, for instance, for TWENTY ONE iterations, before Darkship Thieves sold relatively well. Was it a learning curve? To an extent – but those are the published books, and while most of them were not bestseller material, they should have sold “wellish” except that there continued to be… issues I couldn’t control in distribution and such.
So. I continued trying. In my case, perhaps beyond the bounds of sane human beings. But I didn’t have an option not to, so I did.
The thing is, I hear, with my kids’ generation we’re not seeing as much of that. People give up at the first countretemp.
Maybe I’m being unfair. That’s the ones people complain about, not necessarily all the kids. On the other hand we’ve managed to give them an almost adversity free life and an education while adversity seems to rain on people randomly, for things having nothing to do with the quality of their work. Part of me wishes to say “this will not end well.” Of course, I have no idea how to fix it. How do you make a kid go through adversity without being a horrible parent, just for the heck of it?
And besides, perhaps it’s not this generation. Perhaps it’s human. We try really hard and at a certain point we go “I’ve tried enough” and give up.
Perhaps that’s why we need stories to tell us that it’s not like that. It’s when you’re bleeding and broken, and dragging yourself on shredded feet that the reward comes. It’s when you push beyond what’s possible.
Since I’m pushing beyond my brain, having flown yesterday and then slept too late, I’m just going to say “Go you, then, and do likewise.”
Our nation, our world, our current evil times have need of many exceptional people.