There are many indications (the music selection in my car, that I know PBS’ show line-up, and the number of picture book texts that I have memorized, as well as the ones mentioned in the earlier post) that I’ve reached the age of MOTHER. But this isn’t a bad thing. More like a necessary thing. An adaptation that makes me, well, not to be dramatic but, survive as a mother.
The same sort of rite of passage thing happens with most things in life. Especially growing up. And writing. Prepare for the parallel.
I’ve been writing seriously (though I dabbled 7 years ago) for about four years. That could mean my writing age is four. But, of course, I don’t think it is that simple.
I also published my first book as an ebook. That could mean my writing age is technological. Still not that simple.
When I finished the first draft of my chapter book, I thought it was great! I submitted it to a few publishers and agents. And, of course, I got rejections. I didn’t know any better. I was a writing infant.
Bruised by the rejections and not sure where to go next, I put the draft away for a while. For a nap, if you will. When I felt ready, I pulled the draft back out again and took it to my new critique group. I took notes on what they said and made some of the changes that they recommended, but I still wanted to do it my way. When more submissions led to more rejections, I felt like tantruming. I was a writing toddler.
I just wasn’t ready to make the changes I needed to make in order to grow up completely. I put the draft away again and focused on learning all I could about writing. I went to school. And I was a writing child.
Now, ironically on my thirteenth draft, I’m on the verge of young-adulthood. I’m making big changes and finding my identity. Some days everything is smooth and cooperative while others are tumultuous.
I only hope I have the patience to see this project through as far as I’ll need to go, though I do hope it is just to adulthood or middle age and not death.
I realize that with each new project, I’ll probably start again as an infant. And that I might have to go back and forth between child and toddler or between child and young-adult as I find my way. Still, it is encouraging to think that I am growing. It may be the one time aging isn’t so bad.
More on writing age:
Richard Hartwell shares how his writing has aged on the National Writing Project: http://www.nwp.org/cs/public/print/resource/118
A post on Writinghood about how to evolve as a writer: http://writinghood.com/writing/evolving-as-a-writer-the-steps-towards-perfection/
From a guest post by Natalie Whipple on Kristan Hoffman’s blog, The (De)Evolution of a Writer: