The past few weeks I’ve seen a connection between parenting and writing. As a parent I have learned so many things about my kids and myself along the journey, but the last 2-3 weeks I have come to really focus on two.
1) My kids are not me. I know, this one should be obvious, but every once in awhile I need a big kick to suck that one down. They don’t see things the same way I do nor do they respond to things the same way I would.
2) There is only so much control you have over your children. As much as you want to control their lives and the hurt that comes their way, you can’t. And maybe we really shouldn’t. Here’s why:
The past few weeks have been teaching times with my daughter. Long story short, her best friend turned on her. Texts, facebook posts. (And we all know the power of the word.) A horrible scene at a restaurant that resulted in my daughter leaving in tears.
Just as I’ve told my daughter through all of this, you can’t control what others say about you, only your response to it. As writers we need to remember the same thing. We are constantly told we must develop “thick skin”. There will be times when someone will say something about our MS that will hurt deeply.
A few weeks ago, the first 250 words of my work-in-progress (WIP) was critiqued online. Twice, in big bold letters, they said that my work was boring for all of cyberspace to see. And while I nursed my wounds for a day or two, ok, more like five or six, I know that what they said was true and I’ve worked to fix it. As hard as this was to handle, I know it will happen again the more I take chances and put my work out there.
I have come to realize that what I’ve told my daughter this week is so true. In both life and writing we have no control over how others view us. We can only take what they have to say and chose to ignore it, or learn from it.
Improvement, after all, is what we are looking for. Our goal is to be published and that isn’t happening unless we share our writing and open ourselves up to the occasional growing pain. So go ahead, share your passion with others. Tell people you are a romance writer. Let people read your work. It will be worth it in the end!