Parenting your writing

My parents on the left with me as a baby.
When my mother died (my father had passed away a few years before that), I felt cast adrift. I was married with a family of my own but I had always looked to my parents as an example to guide me. It felt as if they had been on the rung above me on the ladder and now they had stepped off, leaving me to be at the top. If I'm honest, it took me a couple of years to become accepting of, if not comfortable with, my rung on the family ladder but I got there. I realised that to be happy with my rung, I had to own it and become my own parent.

In writing, we can sometimes lose our connection with what we create. Perhaps we're embarrassed to share it with others. Maybe we think we're not talented enough to call ourselves a 'writer'. We despair at the lack of time in our lives to write or how everything else seems to be more important (common excuses here are our children, the housework and getting enough sleep). We leave our creations in the corner where we write, never showing them the light of day. Is it then any wonder that others do not take our writing aspirations seriously?

Step up to your rung. Own it. Shout and wave your arms on it. To succeed in this journey of writing, we must be the parent to our creations and our intent. Nobody else will get the words down on the paper. Nobody else will put our words out there. Certainly nobody else will take us seriously if we do not have respect for our own writing. Be the parent. Love your darlings and do what ultimately all parents have to do. Set them free.

Comments

  1. I did this for years. It started at nine when I was told being a writer was a stupid idea. Then at sixteen I wrote a story for publication and got it it ripped apart by a teacher. Then life got in the way and here and there I did keep a journal. And at thirty-somehting I decide to write again and wrote one chapter to my first book. It sat in a closet for the next ten years waiting for me to finish it. Life got in the way again. Today, its finished and will be out soon. YAY!

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  2. This is very true. If we aren't secure with our roles as writers, no one will take us seriously. This is something I struggled for years. I thought if I didn't have a contract, I wasn't a real writer. That wasn't true at all. As soon as I started owning my writing, people believed in me too. It was a great revelation. :)

    Great post, Fi!

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  3. Shelly - congratulations. That's brilliant.

    Kelly - glad you didn't continue to struggle.

    Thanks for the comments.

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  4. Absolutely agree with you, Fi! Too often we think if we can write, it's not that big a deal. Why discount ourselves and our hard work when there are always other people who will do that for us? We need to own our writing, be our biggest cheerleaders!

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    1. Thank you, Nancy. I like the idea of cheerleading our writing.

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  5. So, so, so so true. A writer's work will never get published if the writer doesn't put it out there, if the writer is too afraid to let anyone see it. And what a shame that can be! A beautiful post. I'm sorry you had to go through that moment of drifting in order to become what you are today.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you but sometimes drifting is good. It can set us on new paths.

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  6. Good idea, Fi. Claiming one's writing means having the guts to think you are good enough to treat this as a profession. Very important.

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  7. I am still in hesitation mode. I can say I am a writer because I write, but to say I am a Writer? not so much.
    I just interviewed the very talented Delia Ephron on my blog(that post goes live Aug 7) and something she said really stood out to me - be brave. What you said about owning your rung goes along with that.
    So much lately has come to me about 'stepping up'. Thank you for yet another nudge in that direction.

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    Replies
    1. Maybe you should take the hint then :-) Brave is good.

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  8. Oh, this hits home.

    I wanted my father to read and appreciate my writing, but when I showed him some of my first texts (that were translations), he was going blind and could not read them. Then he passed away 2006. So I have never really shared my writing with him as I had hoped. But he always knew that I wanted to become a writer.

    Recently, I have connected with my nephew who was very close to my father; and I've found a new friend of literature in him! And we can talk about my father, his grandfather, since we both loved him very much.

    I've decided to take my writing seriously and step up to the top rung now. My nephew has helped me even though he is not my parent; he has offered to be a sounding board and has given me hope. But I am going to do it anyway, with or without his help.

    Best wishes,
    Anna

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