Sunday, 29 January 2012

SHOW NOT TELL

How many times we have heard of this red flag warning in writing? To tell you the truth, I'm still struggling to grasp it. When I do try to scan my writing through this mirror, it fairly drives me up the wall to try to fit my words to suit it.
 Recently something happened to make me see this in a totally different light that had nothing to do with writing at all.
I had been writing furiously and had to leave it to make dinner. So in the eager rush to get back to my ms, I decided to make an ordinary and quickly procured meal of chapatis and lentils for dinner. It would be good for digestion for my in-laws, I told myself and of course lentils are full of proteins so that's great for kids. My son didn't agree with my time-saving but not so savoury efforts. I told him, Mom's busy, so if you're a good boy, make do with this. He answered with something to the effect of 'do you even care what I like?'
This really struck me. It wasn't the first time I'd opted to 'make-do' instead of lavishing my energy on preferences. In my effort to keep the ball rolling and get things done while making extra time for writing, I'd begun to focus more on needs and less on choices. I was expecting everyone to adjust to my lack of time, but what my son said made me wonder if they were interpreting it as lack of love. Show not tell. That's as important in everyday life as in writing. Love has to be shown in caring, in taking into account our loved ones likes and dislikes, otherwise it's no use telling another person how much we love. Love means extending our time and patience to them.
That incident was something of an eye-opener. So I made my son his favourite stuffed parantha and had my smiling boy back.
Now I've made myself a promise to always show, not just tell!
What about you? Have you had a rush hour moment when you ignored someone? Did you get a chance to put it to rights? I'd love to hear your take on this.



16 comments:

  1. Welcome to the wonderful world of blogging, Summer. Yes, I've also been guilty of rushing time with my kids so I can write. Usually on Sundays which I consider "me" days. Thank heavens the kids think peanut butter sandwiches are a treat!

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    1. Great to share this with you, Romy. I agree. Sundays have me run off my feet too!

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  2. Great first blog, Summer. And yes, I've been short with people, short on time, short on the caring stuff, but the dh is old enough to understand and fill the gap and know I'll make it up later. Harder with kids.

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    1. Thanks, Liz. My make-it-up pile is ceiling high, so I'm trying to make dents in it. So glad you could drop by!

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  3. great blog, and i totally agree. i need to show more. luckily, like Liz, my dh understands!

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    1. Wonderful to see you, Raven. I'm sure no one could be miffed with you long!

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  4. nice blog summer. I have 3 wips and nothing completed as of yet. I keep being interrupted by my kids and husband....still i shall try and plod along

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    1. Hi Kooks, I know it's a fine balance!

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  5. Great blog Summer. Good analogy used. BTW I love stuffed parathas!

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    1. Sukhi, thanks! Stuffed paranthas, yummm this winter we've been stuffing* on them!

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  6. Welcome to blogosphere, Summer. You make a really good point about 'ruch-hour' moments. I seem to have more of those these days. I just try to make up in other ways. Great post.

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    1. Thanks, Kiru, lovely to have the compliment from you.

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  7. I agree with the others. Great first blog.

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    1. Thanks Melissa and also for stopping by.

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  8. Hey Summer, been rushing about far too much lately, so a very timely post for me!

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    1. You are a marathon lady, Doris, bet you get it all sorted! Thanks for making a stop here.

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