Wednesday, July 28, 2010

on getting things wrong!

Stop the presses.

I made a mistake.

It's happened before and will one day happen again, I am sure. Maybe, like, over and over again.

I'm not a big fan of making mistakes; I'm a lot like my kids—we are perfectionists and it really bums us out when we try really hard and don't get something right.

But what I try and teach the kids is: "Don't be afraid of getting something wrong." I say, "It's when you take a risk and try something you might not get right, that you are really learning. You practice [insert whatever skill you're trying to attain—maths, piano, squirrel juggling, cooking for a party of 35] and then you get better. Don't be afraid."

All good words and important lessons to learn, blah etc blah, until they actually pertain to you. Until you write something and find you got your facts wrong.

Then the kid in me goes, "Oh. How embarrassing. Wow. How'd I get that wrong? Why didn't I check? Why'd I put myself out there? Everyone will think I'm stupid."

And then the adult in me says, "Well. At least fess up. Then you've got your head held high."

And then the kid in me says, "What if I don't fess up? Maybe no-one will notice. I mean, the only people who really know it's wrong are me and my husband. And he can be bought off."

And then the adult in me says, "It's obvious, dude. Anyone could Google what you wrote in an instant and find out you're wrong."

And the kid in me says, "Who's going to Google? They'll just think, Huh, I suppose she's right. She's the writer after all, and writers are never wrong!"

And the adult in me says, "Now, that's silly."

And the kid in me says, "No it's not."

And the adult in me says, "Yeah, it is."

And the kid in me says, "No, it's not."

And the adult in me says—

[Editor's note: sections of this blog post have been omitted because they stopped making sense]

Anyway. I will fess up, because anyone who knows anything about anything would have seen in my last post that I was wrong.

And I'm not one to run away from admitting my mistake. It can't be that hard. I see politicians doing it all the time.

So here goes:

My husband DID, in fact, write the limerick I referred to in my last post.

He made it up himself. It is his limerick!

And it goes like this:

There was a young man from Ork
Who came to earth on a cork,
He landed in pie
And now he will die
Cause he just got stabbed with a fork.

A great limerick. So great, in fact, and recited so many times by him over the years, that it had entered my memory bank in the section, "Old and Famous Limericks that Everyone knows so you don't even have to quote the whole thing in your post."

Now for the next admission:

I didn't even quote it properly to my kids yesterday. I thought he came from Cork. I thought he came on the fork. I forgot about the stabbing entirely! (Which is the pacifist in me coming out)

I got it all wrong.

All wrong!!

I am sorry, and I will never do it again. *cough*

Anyway. The Lesson Learned is this:

Don't make mistakes.

No. That's not quite right.

Risk making a mistake, but run all references to limericks by husband before I post.

After all, every writer needs a reliable fact checker.

So, husband, you're hired. I will pay you with pie.

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