Maturing in Life and as a Writer


When I was but a lass
·        I was enthusiastic about learning.
·        Eager for guidance and advice.
·        Bursting with energy and vitality.
As I transitioned into my teen and young adult years
·        My open-minded attitude for input waned.
·        I found myself more sensitive to criticism.
·        I discovered that the world revolved around me, and I could do no wrong. It was truly amazing – as was I.
The next stage of adulthood was more humbling
·        I learned that I did make mistakes.
·        I was expected to clean up after myself when such a thing happened.
·        I experienced disappointment; both the effect of and as the cause of.
These life lessons ushered me into the stage I’m currently in
·        Now I work hard.
·        I stay honest.
·        I try to recognize my mistakes when I make them so that I can fix them.
·        I’m learning how to ask for help.

When I was but a beginning writer
·        I was excited to write.
·        I read craft books, attended workshops, joined critique groups.
As I transitioned into the next stage of writerdom
·        I grew sensitive to feedback.
·        Suspected some input was personal.
·        Thought I could do no wrong. My writing was truly amazing – as was I.
Then I entered the stage of writing that allowed me to
·        listen to feedback,
·        identify my mistakes,
·        learn from the research and from my education.
Now, the writer that I am feels so different.
·        I’m mature.
·        I’m focused.
·        I work hard.
·        I’m honest.
·        I love to support others.
·        I write, it’s cruddy, so I revise, I look for input, I listen to all of it and apply most of it.

I was struck by the similarities of the journeys. The maturity process in both adventures has such similar arcs. Has your journey through writing mirrored your journey through life?

Comments

  1. Wow! You explain this very nicely. Interesting. I'll have to think about my journey. I already can relate to some of what you said.

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  2. I found myself shaking my head yes throughout the entire post. Let's see if I can add something that you haven't already touched on. When I was younger, I just did my thing (whether that was playing sports, doing schoolwork, hanging out with friends). I did those things and didn't worry about how everyone else was perceiving my actions. Of course I went through the "look at me" phase as a preteen/teen when I talked really loudly in public places and exaggerated all my actions...but that's not what I'm talking about here.

    As an adult, I find myself so concerned with how my actions will be perceived. I tend to censor myself a lot. I don't let my emotions show because I don't want them to be misconstrued. There's so much filtering going on from my own brain.

    I think that's happened to me as a writer. When I first started writing a novel, I just wrote. I didn't think too hard about the story or the words. As a mature writer, I do think about those things all the time. I'm careful about what I put on the page. I keep the filter on. I'm not sure if that's a good thing. I think the trick is to find a balance with the filter (both in life and writing).

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    Replies
    1. Yep, you're right. Censoring starts as a way to avoid conflict and can so easily be taken too far and it happens in life as in writing!

      Thanks for the addition, Katie.

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