Flying Your Flag in the Dark

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The flag of the Order of Seven Hills martial arts club — flying in the darkness

My martial arts club meets outdoors Tuesday nights and Saturday afternoons, rain or shine, twelve months a year.  We’ve had as many as eight people coming out regularly.  One afternoon I remember counting eleven.  Lately it has been more like four.

But there are some nights, like this past Tuesday, when nobody comes out besides me.  Totally alone in the cold darkness with paper cups blowing like tumbleweeds, I don’t turn around and go home.  I put up the club flag.  I work out and, when I’m done, I recite our closing pledge.

I do the same thing with my writing.  Do I have any books on the NYT Bestseller List?  Do I have thousands of fans clamoring for my next book?  Nope — but I strive to make every book I write the best damn book I ever wrote.  Even when nobody is reading but me.

Fly your flag.  Even if its dark, even if nobody is watching, even if nobody knows it’s flying but you.  It just may be that those lonely nights are the most important times of all to let it fly.

3 responses to “Flying Your Flag in the Dark

  1. I love that everything I’ve come across is “you”. Who you are. What you hold as ideals. What you are passionate about. But this piece struck me. My approval/recognition is neither sought, nor needed (hence the point of the piece!). But, fantastic none the less.

  2. You’re right — I’m going to do my thing one way or the other — but a little pat on the back sure does sweeten the sauce. So thanks Mark, I really appreciate it. I just followed your blog, so I can sample your wisdom the way you sampled mine. All the best!

  3. True! And it does sweeten the sauce…as well as the stew 😉

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