It’s can be very hard for me when my progress is of the “2 Steps’ variety. Whether it’s a manuscript, or being more patient (or whatever personal growth I’ve set out for myself) or a child mastering new emotional skills. Some days, it’s hard to feel like there’s forward momentum.
On those days, I can feel discouraged, or disheartened, filled with anger-inducing thoughts like, ‘What’s the point?” Or hopeless thoughts, like, “It’ll never happen.”
But I have to remind myself . . . this is the way of growing things.
Much of the important work is done underground, where no one can see, in the dirt. Little swirlings and pushings as the roots move out, learning what to do and how to do it, taking in what’s needed to keep getting stronger and bigger and ‘better.’ And no one can see a thing.
Then, one day, a little tendril pushes up above the soil and people inclined to notice little things pause and say, “Oh, wow, look at what just happened!” Although, of course, it didn’t ‘just happen.’ It’s been happening for weeks or months or years. (Others, sadly, will never notice at all, even when it’s in full bloom, but that’s another topic.)
This is the way of growing things, be they skills or wisdom or living organisms. Some of it happens naturally, like with the flowers (or weeds <g>) in the yard. They are genetically programmed to do what they does. We can add or remove certain elements and their growth can be enhanced or retarded, but the growth itself happens naturally. Our bodies do the same, grow naturally, better or worse for what we give them or withhold. For the rest of our growth, the skills sets, the emotional growth, the building of craftsmanship, etc, we human usually have to make choices to grow. Set our minds to it. But even still, the process is the same.
As writers, we’re growing our skills, developing in our craftsmanship. As moms, we’re becoming better mothers. Wife, friend, lover, partner, most usually, we’re trying to grow.
And our children . . . some days, they’re growing so much that with the right measuring instruments, scientists can hear their little brains cracking as new neural pathways gets formed and strengthened.
And on most days, you never see a thing. Until you do.
This is the way of growing things. They take time.
(And I apologize for taking this already slightly-corny metaphor to new heights. I’m helpless in the face of a corny-but-true metaphor.)
What about you? Where are you growing but maybe don’t see the ‘proof’ yet? And has this ever happened to you, the experience of one day, all of a sudden, you or your child “got it”?
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!