Monday, October 24, 2011

Mothering and Writing- sort of the same.


In my three and half years of being a mom and my fifteen years (give or take) of being a writer I've noticed one huge similarity.

Mistakes.

As a mom, I could do a thousand things right.  My kid is a smart, funny kid, she's creative, caring and happy.  I keep her healthy, well feed, I read to her every night.  I'm doing all the stuff I'm supposed to.  But the only thing I can see is mistakes. 

Not her mistakes, but mine.

I forgot to floss her teeth, disinfect her stinky shoes, brush her hair. 
 (clearly hygiene isn't a high priority)

Writing is the same way.

I can write a funny scene, interesting characters and fun plot, but all I see is, my characters are one dimensional, I used too many adverbs and I hate that I can't spell.

Sometime mistakes aren't obvious to the world, like when my daughter puts her underwear on wrong, like her leg through the hip hole in a way that can't possibly be comfortable and yet not once did she ever stop to question it or ask for help.

A writing example would be naming all my minor  character Mike, or those plot holes that no one else seems to catch.

Then there's BIG stuff.

I forgot my kid's lunch on the kitchen table and I can't go home to pick it up.  What makes it a billion times worse was she was the one who decorated her bag and picked out the food.  Which means when I dropped her off at pre-school she's a sobbing messing and I'm getting dirty looks from her teachers.

For writing it's unclear plot choices and slow pacing. 

There are things you just don't want people to see.

When you focus on the mistakes, its easy to forget all the amazing things.

My daughter is incredible. Every day I look at her and think, "you made me a better person." She can put me in a great mood in the matter of seconds. She makes me laugh and cry. 

Writing is the same thing.  The simple fact is, writing itself is incredible. Your characters (much like your child) didn't and couldn't exist without you.  It can make you laugh and cry.  Make you feel like the smartest person on the planet and make you feel worthless.  Writing gives you the oppertuinty to FEEL and to CREATE.

Don't focus on the mistakes. 

You'll miss all the incredible.

Zoey dressed up as her imangary friend...how meta!





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