A topic discussed by a visiting author yesterday on the Happy Endings blog of our fabulous webmistress and fellow MamaWriter Jeannie Ruesch, prompted me to think about this.
Occasionally I bore you all terribly by reflecting on opine about how being a mother and a writer are alike. And somehow, I’d missed one of the most obvious, perhaps because it is so obvious: Growth.
Our kids grow and our writing grows. Or rather, our skillfulness as a writer increases (hopefully!) Like watching our kids grow, though, it happens so gradually that often we barely notice it’s happening.
With our kids, we have ‘markers,’ moments where we pause, when we recognize and celebrate growth.
Our children get bigger, stronger, smarter, more loving and insightful, more capable and engaged in the world around them. And we measure that with pencil marks on the wall, and ohh and ahh over the fact that it’s not two inches higher than it was before. We have little rituals and thresholds to mark different kinds of growth, some very social and culturally-common, some specific to our own families.
We have graduations, whether it be kindergarten or college, and birthday celebrations. We go through old clothes, shaking our heads and thinking, “I can’t even imagine him being that small.” We tell our children stories that begin, “I remember when you were only. . . ” and end with “. . . And look at you now!” We get out pictures and reminisce, out loud and in our minds.
In our house, each year, at birthday time, our child gets to pick out one new ‘privilege’ and one new ‘responsibility’ (chore) that he wants to have for the year. A year older means a year more capable, which brings freedoms and responsibilities. Of course, these morph over the year, and we change, remove and add as needed, but it’s the ‘marking’ that matters, the pause and acknowledgment that yes, you’ve grown, and we notice.
We are growing too, though, as writers. Maybe we should be marking that as well. As we write, and become more skilled craftswomen, maybe we should be sure to mark the change.
And maybe we should nurture it, the way we nurture our children, so it can thrive.
How about you? How do you celebrate growth in your families? And do you ever mark your won growth as a writer?
Kris Kennedy writes sexy, adventure-filled medieval romances for Kensington and Pocket Books. Her debut book,THE CONQUEROR, came out May ‘09. Her second, THE IRISH WARRIOR, winner of the 2008 Golden Heart Award for Best Historical Romance, releases June ‘10. She loves hearing from readers–stop by her website, sign up for her newsletter, and say Hi!