My wife called me today, in tears. She is going through a tough time at work and calls a lot, in tears. I don’t mind, it comes with the job of being a spouse.
The source of her stress is a co-worker. You know the type: the person who discovers that knowledge is power and hoards it like gold. To make matters worse, this woman has been lost to the dark side of the force. She uses her power to torment and destroy others.
It is like high-school all over again.
Last week, my wife tried to strike back. It appeared as if Little Ms Despot had made a boneheaded error. So my wife foolishly stuck her neck out and called attention to it. Unfortunately, Karma is cruel and after a long chain of emails wound their way around the office, guess who got blamed for it?
Humiliation was heaped upon scorn.
“How come she never gets caught?” my wife wailed during one especially tearful phone call. I’d like to see it happen to her,” she sobbed, “just once.”
“It won’t happen,” I told her.
“Why not?” she asked, “she makes mistakes all the time and never gets blamed -- and the only time I try it pointing it out, BAM! it backfires.”
“You got caught," I told her, "because you are not good at not getting caught.”
“That doesn't make sense.”
“Sure it does,” I said, “when you're a jerk, everyone is out gunning for you. Every day becomes a day in the O.K. Corral. Jerks have to be quick and keep their butt covered at all times. The only thing they are really good at is shooting others, while not getting shot themselves. You can’t just meet them at high noon and draw down on them.”
“Is that supposed to make me feel better?” she asked.
“No, but if you want to feel better, remind yourself that you failed spectacularly when you dabbled in her game. Being a jerk is not something you are good at. Stick with what you know.”
Here is where we come to the moral of the story. If you want to become good at something, practice. If you want to be a jerk, you have to practice, practice, practice. If you want to write, you have to practice that too.
Take every chance you get to practice and treat it like an opportunity to write better. Even if it is a memo at work or a comment on Gather, try to write it as well as you can.
This week's challenge: write about jerks.
C'mon, have a little fun. We all know a jerk or two. Let's compare notes.
Post your article to Gather Writing Essentials.
BE SURE TO TAG your submission with MWE. Note: I search for articles using the tag "MWE" If you don't tag it right, I will not find it.
- Include "Monday Writing Essential" in your title.
- Try to post by next Monday but don't worry if you don't finish in time. I will be glad to include you post the next week.
Last week the challenge was to write about promises. The challenge drew the following responses:
Weekly reminder: don't forget to recommend an article that you like (to learn why, read Ann Marcaida's article Attract More Writers and Artists to Gather!).. Also try to place a comment on at least one article and say more than you liked the piece. Tell the author what worked and what needs work.