Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Writing Epiphany

I had an epiphany a few days ago and thought I'd share it.

Writing is a lot like raising kids.

They both need important tasks done frequently that can seem mundane.  I don't know how many thousands of diapers I've changed, but I do know it's important.  The repetitive parts of writing can seem mundane too, but they build and get more exciting.

Kids and writing both grow with repetitive habits.  A child needs to see a letter and hear its sounds hundreds of times before he can read the words it makes.  Similarly, a writer needs to put some proverbial ink in the notebook daily to teach her mind and body how to write.

A community does wonderful things.  Getting support, encouragement, and ideas does wonders for mommies and writers.  It's nice to know someone else has been (or is) in the exact same spot as you!

Kids and writing change constantly.  They both grow and have new needs as they meet new days, months, and years.  Mommies and writers have to grow too!  Only in growing are we capable of using challenges to reach new heights and change as momentum for progress.

Kids and writing both thrive on routine.  My kids know that after lunch they take naps.  There is no question or argument.  They just know.  Similarly, I look forward to nap/writing time each day.  It's something that just happens.  Sadly, when I don't get my writing time I am as cranky as a two-year old who didn't get a nap!

One joy can make up for a thousand stresses.  When my three-year old gave me a hug last night and said, "Mommy, I just want to keep you forever!" I completely forgot every silly argument and melt-down she had dramatized during the day.  Likewise, every article I sell and every bit of positive feedback re-energizes me and reminds me how much I love to write.  Cheap thrills are a wonderful thing.

It's a small epiphany, but it's a lot of fun to see how much raising kids and writing have in common.  The best part is how much each "part" of my life can learn from the other.  What about you?  You learn about writing from writing, but where else do you learn about writing?  I'd love to hear from you!


Susan R. Mills said...

It's not a small epiphany! It's so true. Great analogy. Gives us all something to think about.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I love this analogy - it's perfect!! :-)

Bethany Mattingly said...

Great analogy! I learn about writing from reading mainly. I try to pick out what I like about an author's work and apply it to my own, like specific description or use of metaphors.

Roxane B. Salonen said...

Carla, how fun to meet you! I also blog M and F at Peace Garden Mama, the blog that started me on this path; would love to bump into you there as well. This post was fabulous! As a mother of five, I could relate on so many levels, and feel I could have written this post myself! I love the parallels you make here between these two worlds. They fit right in with where I've been and where I'm at. Looking forward to continued sharing in the coming year. I see that you are new to blogging -- it's a great place to be. Welcome!

Corey Schwartz said...

Ah, I once said, "there is NOTHING that cannot be used as a writing analogy!" Ha!

You're doing much better as a mom than I did. I had to drive my kids around in the car to get them to nap!

Debbie Maxwell Allen said...

Such great points, Carla. I've never thought about motherhood/writing that way!


Carla said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the analogy--it was a fun one to write! Bethany, I also love pulling tips and methods out of books I read.

And Roxane, I am amazed. Five kids is a handful...and you write! I will definitely visit you at the Peace Garden Mama.

Corey, if both my kids would sleep in the car that would be so very tempting!


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