Last week I posted about completing a first draft of a novel. Tektonick added a comment, including the line:
“…I want to say that I’m very impressed with all the projects you seem to keep pushing forward so damn easily. My hat is off to you!”
Of course I took offense at the “so damn easily” part, but only until I noticed the word “seem”. Yes, sometimes things seem easy, and this mainly comes about by people getting on with getting stuff done. Talking about how you are going to do things in the future is good (and I’m sure I’ll be talking about future plans on this blog) but sometimes people become better known for talking than for what they actually achieve.
Anyway, in an exchange of emails with Tektonick we turned to the subject of role models, and it was suggested that people should try to talk about doing stuff less, and get on with it more, rather than the other way round. This would make it seem like I’m setting myself up as a role model. I’m not, I just think other people should try to be more like someone I’d like to be like. And if I think other people should do that, so should I.
Of course, the way to formulate this approach of self betterment took a few attempts to get right, but I settled on:
“If I didn’t think other people should try to be more like me I’d try to be more like someone who I did think other people should try to be more like.”
Tektonick thinks clarity is a virtue, and replied:
“Exactly, and this very clarity is, as part of trying to be someone whom one wishes other people to be like, instead of merely being someone who should change into a person that others, who are not yet someone others should be trying to be like, should be like, one of the aspects to be emulated.”
I’d hate to have to do a sentence diagram of that one.