Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Growing Pains

Princess Rhiannon stayed home from school today due to those pesky growing pains. Do you remember those? When I was young, I remember those shooting pains going from back to legs, to knees, to thighs and back again. Well, now my poor princess must be growing like a crazy person because she is experiencing those painful growth spurts. In fact, it gets so bad that she won't be able to walk without crying. Now, my princess is dramatic and a fabulous actress, however, this was not acting and my heart cried for her. I let her stay at home and lay back down in bed with a heating pad. I feel like maybe I'm wrong for not pushing her to get up and stretch those legs!

Most careers experience growing pains as well. Those days when you learn so many things that you thought you already knew about your job. Those times when the boss drags you in his/her office and chews your butt for thirty minutes.

I think as writers, we can empathize with growing pains better than most careers. We write this masterpiece that bares our souls, our mysteries and our insecurities. Then we slash it and reword and reshape and print and trash and print again. Each revision is a different shooting pain. Our characters argue and fight with us. Our plots rebel and try to run opposite directions, creating shooting pains in our heads. But after each pain subsides, our story has grown. Our talent has grown. Then when we send it off into the world, the pain can be unreal. Once that has subsided, again, we've grown. We grow with each and every word we write on the page (or screen).

How do you ease the pain of growing?


  1. The pain is most definitely worth it in the end.... I remember in the devastating the rejections were. But after the crying and pouting and depression, I told myself that obviously the work was not where it needed to I went back and made it stronger. It was painful, that's for sure....but in the end I had work was better and my projects after that were better.

  2. I had those pains so bad and so has my daughter. I've definitely had them a lot the past few years in regards to writing. I've grown a lot, but it's been painful at times.

  3. Ease the pain? Record them. Then play them back and tell her that you will 'cause the AGAIN if she doesn't behave!

    I tried it with my kids. They laughed at me. They do that a lot though.

  4. How do I ease my writing pains? With a cold beer and a good night's sleep. Two days ago, I was having a TERRIBLE time writing my novel synopsis. After I sent it to a friend and she told me truthfully that it did nothing but confuse her, I set it aside and walked away from the computer. Sometimes that's what works best.

  5. Great analogy. I embrace growing pains in my writing. It always comes out bigger and better when the pain subsides.

  6. JM: Yes, my kids don't take my threats too seriously. Unfortunately I've shown them too many times I didn't follow through. *sigh* Parenthood. :0)

    Melissa: I'll take some wine please, but that's a good way to ease the pain, for sure! :0)

    Stephanie: Yes, i can see improvements with each new manuscript, which is awesome. :0)

  7. Nice analogy with growing pains and revision! Hugs to your little one. Growing pains are no fun.

  8. My son had some horrific growing pains when he was younger. Horrible stuff.

    Great analogy! I'm still learning & still getting those pains ;)


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