< more than looks, be continually useful >
Since my stock-in-trade is writing, you can imagine that I’m never in short supply of pen and paper. Per time, I have one on my bed, another on my desk, and more and more lying all around the place. And, of course, a pack of it in the wardrobe – with jotters and scraps of paper standing by. The way it works, you just never know when the big ideas come calling, and woe betide you if you’re caught unprepared (to pen them down). That sort of Rule No. 1 for slay queens: Never be caught unfresh.
But some of the pens in my collection are not normal. There is one from Cambridge University Press, a gift from the British Council. Funnily, you just get to feel like the Duke of Cambridge writing with it. There is another one from Sterling Bank, a 2018 souvenir that feels fantastic to write with. There are a few others like them, that leaves you wondering whether there is anything about them beyond the pen that they’re supposed to be.
And then it happened last night! One of those exotic ones ran out while I was in high spirits putting thoughts to paper. I mean, I was so inspired that all I could think of was how to get the job done. You just wouldn’t believe how I flung the pen into the waste bin, as I rushed for the one on the bed. It no longer mattered how beautiful it was; it just mattered that it wasn’t serving my writing need no more. And we were done!
It took me until now to realize what had transpired last night. On going to empty the waste bin, I chanced on the ‘pen’ again. But it isn’t pen anymore; it’s now waste. In spite of its beauty. And I’ve simply moved on to the next pen.
I do not mean you should use people and dump them when you’re done with them. That’d be evil. I’m saying that you should make yourself more useful than your looks. It is your responsibility to be useful for the long haul. Because… when the chips are down, looks will be very secondary. And that’s just the way it is.
Your No. fan,
PS. Did you notice how I was able to make a big deal out of a pen that ran out? You should sign up for my training to learn some more: bit.ly/writingexpo2ad