A Letter to the Young Me

It's out there, kid. (Monte Dutton photo)
It’s out there, kid. (Monte Dutton photo)

Dear Tug,

It’s just the name Dad calls you. Him and Roy Walker. What you call Roy, Pride, isn’t going to stick, either. Nicknames are going to get boring. By the time you reach, well, your age now, most nicknames are going to be related to your last name. Dut, for instance.

Monte Dutton
Monte Dutton

You’re going to be a writer. No two ways about it. It’s what you were meant to be. You think now you’re going to be a lawyer, but that’ll pass as soon as you study it for a while and notice what lawyers are like. You’re too hardheaded for most professions.

Be a writer, but don’t be a journalist. It’ll work for a while, then the business is going to go into an excruciating decline, and you’ll find yourself at this age wondering why in hell you devoted your life to it.

When you start writing that novel, a few years from now, don’t get discouraged. Sure, it will suck, but keep going, and learning, and developing your own style. It will be better to be a struggling artist when you’re young than when you’re old.

Go to a pawn shop and buy a cheap guitar. You can play it by ear, but it’s just like writing. You’ve got to get the hang of it. It’ll give you more to write, and, at the very least, you will learn instinctively the rhythm of poetry. Don’t be a fool and wait for the midlife crisis.

Sons of Bill. (Monte Dutton photo)
Sons of Bill. (Monte Dutton photo)

Learn how to study people and listen to them, especially women. Men are easy for men to understand. Women are more interesting.

Make a plan. It will be tempting to just drift along and take any offer that happens along, but that will only set you back and stunt your growth.

It’s the right word, not the big word, unless the big word is the right word. Then, don’t be afraid of it.

Know that when your life and your job are interchangeable, you must sacrifice important aspects. You’re going to do this. It is your nature. Know the consequences.

Take care of yourself. Don’t let perceived obligations get in your way. Don’t learn the hard way that many people can’t be helped. Be compassionate and lend a helping hand, but don’t get caught in a tug of war. It will never end.

This way things will be better.

Sympathetically,

Monte

Despite my best advice, I still write blogs about sports and other topics at montedutton.com. My books are available here: http://www.amazon.com/Monte-Dutton/e/B005H3B144/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1416767492&sr=8-1

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