Or: "Can You See the Chicken In This Picture?"
On several recent occasions, I've had the opportunity to get involved with people who, for one reason or another, didn't think very highly of their writing abilities.
Some were motivated to improve their writing. Others were more fatalistic about the merits of their words.
I believe that everyone has something to say. I enjoy working with writers of all skill levels, helping them to see beyond their (often self-imposed) limitations.
I wish every writer who bemoaned his or her ability could meet one of my chickens...
One day, with great fanfare and fluttering of wings, a hen flew up to the top of the laying house. A little while later, she set her sights higher and made it to the top of the chicken house.
She looked down on the lesser poultry beneath her, and contemplated re-joining them for some time. Then, she looked up.
The tree branch above her head must have looked inviting. It took some doing (and no small amount of cackling theatrics), but she finally made it.
Then, she headed even higher.
The first day she made her foray above the ground, she strutted back and forth for over an hour before flying back to the chicken run.
Now, chickens aren't known for their flying abilities. In the same vein, some people believe that getting their thoughts down on paper is an impossible dream. I disagree. I believe that if you can speak -- or even think coherently -- about a thing, you can write about it. Sometimes the best prescription for doing a thing is not knowing that it's beyond you.
Some might point out that my chicken never progressed from where she started. But that argument misses the point entirely. She chose to return. She came down from the tree in her own time, on her own terms. But she now knows that, if she wants to, she can fly.