The Inky Path to Growing

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The whole writing process, the art of the craft is much like growing up. You start out as a newbie. A baby. Everything you see is new, fresh and entertaining. You want taste everything that comes within reach.

Before you know it, you’re at the toddler stage – still new-ish but struggling to get up and run. Sometimes you try too fast for your ability. You tumble. Scared you resort to the writer’s version of hiding behind your mom’s legs —you lurk. When you catch your spirit again you take your first steps. All by yourself. It’s intoxicating. You do more. Babyhood is dropping away as you move forward. But maybe too fast. So fast you crash. Your head-fast run to freedom has just been clipped.  There are rules to writing and there are ways to write, and just like the big kids, you have to learn them. Just like the published authors did.

The craft of writing is like speaking—which you learn as a child.  You learn there are patterns, steps to each process. You must learn how or you don’t get what you want. There is a right way to do things. And tons to learn. You decide you want to go to school, like the big kids. Learn how to do stuff like they did. But what they didn’t warn you about was the report cards/critiques. It’s where NO rears its ugly head big time. It seems like everyone wants to scribble ‘you can do better’ on your paper.

Ouch! It hurts!

You sulk because you thought you were doing fine but still, for a while, you try harder. Then one day you look around and suddenly, you’re the one yelling NO.

Hey! Welcome to the teen years of a writer. The rebellion period. At this stage you wonder if the efforts worth the work. Besides, what the heck do they know anyway. They don’t really know you. You spend your days in la-la land daydreaming about the masterpieces you will ‘someday’ do.

Then one day, maybe a year or two later, you realize you’ve been sitting in your own little stinking mud puddle for way too long. Maybe you should listen to the elders of the ink. You’re ready to learn from those who’ve been there and gone beyond.

Welcome to adulthood = earned maturity.

And with practice comes wisdom. The wisdom to trust your gut instinct when it’s banging against your brain. The wisdom to have enough faith in yourself to say, No thanks, that’s not for me—at least not right now. But I’m glad it works for you.

 You’re in your prime—finding your style, voice and speed.

Growing can be a long confusing process. But, get this—yahoo—it’s graduation time! You have become the writer  author you’ve always been. Now you understand where you want to go and how to get there.

Get to work—Don’t waste a minute of your writing time and ability because old age, and your walker, are waiting just around the corner. .  . . .

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