I wrote an essay today to submit to a humor writing contest on the topic of sisters. I’d missed the original submission date last night because I was wound up thinking about how there was nothing funny to write about my sister.
But, amazingly, the deadline was extended for 24 hours until 11:59 tonight, today, oddly, being my sister’s birthday, although I didn’t write about her, there not being anything funny to write about. Instead, I wrote about my friend, Karen, and I doing a triathlon together thirteen years ago.
So I printed out the first draft and took it out on the back porch where my husband was smoking a cigar. I’ve made the mistake (actually fairly recently) of sending off a first draft to a contest and learned the hard way that reading a piece to someone will always make it better.
So after I was done reading, I asked him, “So, what do you think?”
“It’s good,” he said. “Except it’s not funny.”
And he was right. It was funny in my head but not on paper. I would have gone ahead thinking it was hilarious if I hadn’t asked him. Still. Those are some harsh words he spoke.
All of us writers need to have somebody who will say what’s true to us. I sure do and I’m really glad.