Sunday, June 27, 2010

You Don't Know What You Don't Know

I'm on vacation and part of the time I'm away I'm staying with my dear friend in Oakton, VA. Her mother is a super person and has come along to the pool with us (along with dear friend's darling daughters aged 4 & 6) as we hang out. It's been fun not having a regular schedule, floating through the lazy days of summer vacation with young children, smelling the scent of chlorine & sun block lotion. Playing games, coloring and reading stories with little ones is always a fun treat for this mom of a teen. And the hosts are beyond generous and super people.

As the lazy days progress, I have managed to write a little here and there, but I've been taking in life at a gentler pace, too. And that means getting into interesting conversations with interesting people like my dear friend and her parents. Her mother brought up a New York Times series that dear friend's sister had forwarded to her: a series about the concept YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU DON'T KNOW. We've had a lot of fun with the play on words, but based on our conversations, it's really about the human ability to deny the existence of problem before they undertake something or to not know what problems lie ahead of their efforts to perform some task.

Okay, she used a bank robber who believed if he rubbed lemon juice on his face, no one would see his face in a photograph. He didn't know what he didn't know. Obviously or he wouldn't have attempted his bone headed attempt to rob a bank with lemon juice on his face. I know that lemon juice doesn't prevent my face from being recognized. I know what I know. But had I known five years ago what I know now, would I have begun writing?

I didn't know what I didn't know. I didn't know how hard it was to get published. I didn't know how painful it was to revise. I didn't know how frustrating the task of unthreading a story multiple times and sewing it back together again would be to perform. I didn't know how much I had to know about plot, craft, POV. I didn't know about RWA, writing chapters, and online writing classes. I didn't know that I would stop doing everything I was into doing to give my heart to writing.

I didn't know what I didn't know. I didn't know I'd meet amazing people who didn't know what they didn't know. I didn't know that I'd grow tough skin and learn to deal with rejections. I didn't know that I had more than one story in me. I didn't know that I had something to offer other writers as a reader, a judge, a friend, a motivator. I didn't know what I didn't know.

I'm glad I didn't know what I didn't know. If I had known about the hard stuff, I might not have started writing. And then I wouldn't have learned about all the wonderful, good stuff about writing.

I'm sure I don't know what I don't know about many more things. I'll leave the gathering of the knowledge to time, experience and the pursuit of knowledge.

18 comments:

Susan said...

Wow, Christine ! You got it ! Love your blog, and your writing style...maybe you don't know how great you are, but whatever you know, keep it up.
love, from a big fan

Piedmont Writer said...

You said it sista! If we didn't know half of what we know now, I'm sure a quarter of us wouldn't have started on this journey. But you know what they say, in for a penny, in for a pound.

Kieran said...

Thank God we don't know what we don't know!! I loved this post, Christine. You are so talented. I'm sending the few Twitter followers I have over here. Hugs!

Christine said...

Susan: I want to get more recipes from you-- you are an inspiration to me and make me feel like I will one day know more than I didn't know! You rock!

Christine said...

Piedmont Writer: thank you so much! We are sistas! And writing is in our souls. We may not know what we don't know, but isn't the journey grand?

Christine said...

Kieren: thank you so much for your kind words. I know you are on your way and I am sooooo happy for you. YOU make me believe what I didn't know is knowable!!

Talli Roland said...

Love this post - and I love your way of looking at the world! The journey is so difficult, but who we encounter and what we learn along the way more than make it worthwhile.

Christine said...

Hi Talli: Thanks--it was interesting reading the article my friend's mom sent to me via facebook. I guess I am guilty of optimistic delusion LOL. But it works for me :-)

M.V.Freeman said...

Weird, I wrote a comment on this earlier...and now its gone.

Hmmm. Must be me. LOL story of my life.

Love how you look at things...

Wendy Marcus said...

Hey Christine!
I'm glad you're enjoying the lazy days of summer. Take a dip in a pool for me, will ya? And enjoy this time with your daughter. It goes fast!!!

Christine said...

Mary! I wonder indeed... could be a "I didn't know what I didn't know about the Internet" moment. Thanks for reading :-)

Christine said...

Hi Wendy! I haven't seen darling teenager in a week because she is with her BFF and chillin' with her peeps while I chill with mine. So funny to me. But DH is here and now I am at the hotel with him. We're planning a city trip to DC and a winery trip (can't wait--will be the third winery fix I get on this trip). Meanwhile, DD returns to the next on Thursday and then we all reunite for a bit.

And yes, it is going too too too fast... and yes, I am still revising the crazy book I'm revising. Woot!

February Grace said...

Bravo!

I could really relate to this!

It's sure been an education for me, learning so many of those 'things I didn't know' the past eight months but I'll tell you this much at least I know that despite it all that I will always write something, somewhere, no matter how the whole trying to get published thing turns out.

thank you for this post!

bru

Christine said...

Hi February Grace--I'm glad you enjoyed this post. I am with you about the writing something no matter what the outcome is for me. I enjoy the process, the people, and the intellectual gymnastics.

Happy Writing :-)

Gwen Hernandez said...

It's like a tongue twister. But so true. Ignorance is bliss, right? =)

Christine said...

Oh yeah... it is, Gwen. But then knowledge is power, right? Oh, what a tangled web I weave :-)

Anonymous said...

Wow, Your writing is really, really good! Hang in there, you'll make it. Elaine - Emily's mom......

Christine said...

Hi Elaine: thanks for popping in to visit my blog. I appreciate your kind words. One day I do hope I will get there. In the meantime, I have a fabulous journey to enjoy ;-)