The Ferris Bueller of Writing

Hello, Book World! It’s been a crazy, exciting time in the life of this writer. Last week, I celebrated a birthday, banged away on the keyboard for my current WIP, blogged and took in life. I’d say it was a stellar week, but then again I feel every waking moment is stellar. However, I digress.

What has Ferris Bueller got to do with writing? So thankful you asked;-) Well, Ferris Bueller has EVERYTHING to do with writing. I mean, not only is it hilariously funny, it’s a film with pointers on everyday living. You see, it’s easy for all of us to lose sight of the world around us and our life’s ambitions. The conundrums of eating, working, drinking, sleeping, working, tending to our house chores and children (did I mention working???) can pull the focus off of our goals faster than we can say “Lasagna,” which I’ve been longing to fork a sumptuous heap of onto my already forlorn and deprived tastebuds, but my gluten days are upon me and the rice noodles don’t taste as good.

Alas, we are beasts of habit, and the wood to stoke our fires sadly diminishes and we’re left to our learned daily rituals with a dim glimmer of the hopes and dreams traveling further out of our grasp with each passing moment.

The last time I watched Ferris Bueller I was but a wee babe, fantasizing over the fortune and fame that achieving movie star status would entail. I marveled at the spontaneity of Ferris, his hypochondriac friend and hot girlfriend seizing the day, getting in and out of situations effortlessly and comically. Who wouldn’t want to take a joy ride in the car or eat in a fine dining restaurant without having a care in the world? Matthew Broderick was perfectly cast in the role, and he’s one of my all time favorites even now. BUT, it wasn’t until I watched it again this past week after about a twenty-five year gap that I could fully understand and appreciate the message of the film.

Sure, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off was meant for entertaining crowds and it excelled at that, but by the time the closing credits rolled, I gleaned another glaring message from this film that I wouldn’t have caught the first time around all those years ago.

Yep, I never caught this the first time around. We all need to slow down a little bit. I hear myself saying this a ton these days, and it’s true. Stop and smell the roses. Take time out to go to the park, go swimming, watch a movie, or read that book I’ve wanted to read. Of course, a date night is LONG overdue. Yet, many of us never take time to slow down and enjoy the little things until it’s late in the seventh inning when life has all but passed us by.

Now, what’s this got to do with writing? Everything! As writers, we observe, and if we’re too absorbed in the mundane of life, we fail to see the brilliance. Sure, we’ve got to tend the laundry, but take time to listen to the whirling of the machine. Imagine the cascade of bubbles sloshing about each time the washer spins. If a child cries out, listen to their pain, kiss their boo boos, and thank your loving stars that this day they cling to you.

Of course, another message I heard LOUD and CLEAR from this film the second time around was to take time for yourself. Not enough people do this either. I know we’ve got bills to pay, but we’ve all got five minutes to do something for ourselves. Ferris takes a day, but we can take five minutes. Listen. Breathe. Absorb your life.

If we hanker down and consciously take an active roll in our lives instead of floating through it, then we’ll be happier, joyful people, not to mention the upside to our writing or any other career we aim to achieve. Yep, our writing becomes vivid, a light in the tunnel of darkness, and we rain joy upon others in the process.

I can honestly say that I’ll be watching good ole Ferris Bueller again, but this time I won’t wait another twenty-five years. Nope, time is of the essence, and I plan on seizing it.

 

Carpe Diem and happy reading,

KD

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