February 11, 2013

Maturing in Life and as a Writer


When I was but a lass
·        I was enthusiastic about learning.
·        Eager for guidance and advice.
·        Bursting with energy and vitality.
As I transitioned into my teen and young adult years
·        My open-minded attitude for input waned.
·        I found myself more sensitive to criticism.
·        I discovered that the world revolved around me, and I could do no wrong. It was truly amazing – as was I.
The next stage of adulthood was more humbling
·        I learned that I did make mistakes.
·        I was expected to clean up after myself when such a thing happened.
·        I experienced disappointment; both the effect of and as the cause of.
These life lessons ushered me into the stage I’m currently in
·        Now I work hard.
·        I stay honest.
·        I try to recognize my mistakes when I make them so that I can fix them.
·        I’m learning how to ask for help.

When I was but a beginning writer
·        I was excited to write.
·        I read craft books, attended workshops, joined critique groups.
As I transitioned into the next stage of writerdom
·        I grew sensitive to feedback.
·        Suspected some input was personal.
·        Thought I could do no wrong. My writing was truly amazing – as was I.
Then I entered the stage of writing that allowed me to
·        listen to feedback,
·        identify my mistakes,
·        learn from the research and from my education.
Now, the writer that I am feels so different.
·        I’m mature.
·        I’m focused.
·        I work hard.
·        I’m honest.
·        I love to support others.
·        I write, it’s cruddy, so I revise, I look for input, I listen to all of it and apply most of it.

I was struck by the similarities of the journeys. The maturity process in both adventures has such similar arcs. Has your journey through writing mirrored your journey through life?

6 comments:

  1. Wow! You explain this very nicely. Interesting. I'll have to think about my journey. I already can relate to some of what you said.

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  2. I found myself shaking my head yes throughout the entire post. Let's see if I can add something that you haven't already touched on. When I was younger, I just did my thing (whether that was playing sports, doing schoolwork, hanging out with friends). I did those things and didn't worry about how everyone else was perceiving my actions. Of course I went through the "look at me" phase as a preteen/teen when I talked really loudly in public places and exaggerated all my actions...but that's not what I'm talking about here.

    As an adult, I find myself so concerned with how my actions will be perceived. I tend to censor myself a lot. I don't let my emotions show because I don't want them to be misconstrued. There's so much filtering going on from my own brain.

    I think that's happened to me as a writer. When I first started writing a novel, I just wrote. I didn't think too hard about the story or the words. As a mature writer, I do think about those things all the time. I'm careful about what I put on the page. I keep the filter on. I'm not sure if that's a good thing. I think the trick is to find a balance with the filter (both in life and writing).

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    Replies
    1. Yep, you're right. Censoring starts as a way to avoid conflict and can so easily be taken too far and it happens in life as in writing!

      Thanks for the addition, Katie.

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